POTTING-UP WINTER CONTAINERS
Great tips for planting a gorgeous arrangement
‘Creating a colour palette is all part of the fun’
IT may be cold outside, but the best antidote for staving off the winter blues is spending a couple of hours creating bedding containers. Planting for impact and long-lasting colour is possible with a good mix of plants. The trend for mixing evergreens with grasses and instant bedding makes a substantial display and if you pop in spring bulbs as well, you can be assured of a succession of flowers to take you through until into the spring.
Choose from evergreen shrubs and small ornamental grasses such as
Stipa tenuissima and ophiopogon, combined with heucheras in shades of purple, amber or silver, senecio, lamium and trailing ivy. Structured foliage plants will create a backdrop to miniature cyclamen, pansies, ornamental cabbages and violas.
Placing the pots together in the garden centre to create an appealing colour palette is all part of the fun – I can spend hours loading up my trolley, adding and removing plants as the mood takes me.
Bulbs such as reticulata irises, crocuses, miniature tulips and grape hyacinths also provide a succession of colour. The general rule is, the larger the bulb, the deeper they need to be planted, at least three times their depth.
I planted a container for winter and spring interest and used a tall, glossy-leaved Hypericum ‘Magical Red’ as the central plant, surrounded by a variegated ivy, a rust-coloured Carex Buchananii and a little thyme for scent and cooking. The colour will come from two cyclamen and a few violas.
I also planted bulbs of Iris reticulata ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’, which bloom a rich blue with white flecks in February, and some dwarf white-and-yellow Polychroma tulips that will come into flower in March.
They key thing to remember when planting up a winter container is that plants are more vulnerable to cold and wet over the winter months and need extra protection.
As I show you here, bubblewrap, fleece and pot feet are key elements in keeping your plants healthy and alive until spring.
Stand pots on feet to help water escape Colourful pots with a variety of plants will colour the garden until spring
These plants should look good through winter