Flowers On Steps – Make more of a feature of steps in your garden, and soften the edges of paving surfaces, by placing pots at the sides. Leave enough room to walk up the steps comfortably, although, if you are growing aromatic plants, it is an added bonus to brush against their foliage, releasing the fragrance as you walk past. Try to grow a pot of lemon verbena at the base of some sunny steps in your garden – its leaves exude the most delicious, lemon scent, which makes walking up the steps a sheer delight. Generally, we find that low, sprawling plants look most effective on steps: a pot planted with ivy-leaved pelargoniums, trailing lobelia, some portulacas, or nasturtiums works well.
Choose containers that will stand firm and steady on the treads and will complement the fabric of the steps. Well-weathered terracotta looks attractive on almost any type of hard surface: brick, stone, concrete, metal, or wood. Glazed and coloured pots need to be used with more care. They seem most effective on the more hard-surfaced steps, such as those made from tile, stones, and concrete. However, there are no rules. Sometimes the most unexpected combinations work to perfection.
The clusters of weathered, terracotta pots on stone steps give a great sense of perspective. Situated on the sunny side of the building, the site is just right for ivy-leaved and zonal pelargoniums, which flower in summer and fall, demanding only minimum attention. The bright red flowers set off gray stone steps especially well.