Gardening Q&A: what plants are suitable for a butler sink?

Horticultural advice from the experts at the RHS
Click to follow
Question: Please could you advise me as to what plants would be suitable for my butler sink?

Answer: There are several ways you can use your butler sink. I have seen them looking great planted up with plants for damp soil such as Iris sibirica, candelabra primulas, ferns and hostas.

Another alternative is to grow alpines. You can make a mix of cement, compost and sharp sand to cover the sink to make it look like stone and use equal parts John Innes No 2 compost and horticultural grit to fill the sink.

Choose from saxifragas, sedums, sempervivums and all the other jewels of alpines available in spring from nurseries and garden centres. You could use the sink as a herb garden, or for winter impact, fill it with single species such as Helleborus orientalis.

Send your questions for the RHS to:

Only a few questions per month can be answered. For further advice on handling problems in your garden, visit

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty, Facebook and Instagram