Stuart Lees: Adventurous Container Gardening

The speaker at Grayshott Gardeners’ September lecture was Stuart Lees, a trained horticulturist and experienced head gardener, who now runs his own Garden Design and Consulting business. A keen supporter of the Perennial Charity which helps people and families in crisis who have a connection with horticultural trades, Stuart has donated his speaker’s fee to the charity.

Stuart Lees and Club Patron Gordon Rae (Photo John Price)

A series of slides taken at various client locations illustrated not only the variety of pots available (different sizes, shapes, materials) and the various functions (framing doorways, indicating presence of steps as a safety measure) but also the different effects created by the planting schemes. These ranged from empty but decorative pots, to pots with one plant, or containers with combinations of various species of plants, often with phorbiums to add height and an architectural touch. Stuart favoured shrubs over bedding plants, as the latter are labour-intensive, although excellent for providing colour when planted in window-boxes; we saw slides of some magnificent pub front displays. Nevertheless, colourful displays are also possible without annual flowers, as shown by the Christmas-themed schemes in a collection of similar containers devised by Stuart.

Answering a question from the audience, Stuart admitted to always adding crocks in plant pots “to keep slugs and insects out”.