Win­ter colour is more than pot luck!

If a sunny day lures you into the gar­den this month, there is al­ways a job to do. Here we look at perk­ing up your win­ter pots to keep them look­ing fab­u­lous over the fes­tive sea­son.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - East Kent Property - - OUTDOORS -

The gar­den may look bleak in win­ter, but your pa­tio pots can liven things up, whether you’re adding win­ter flow­ers, berries or bright fo­liage to the mix.

If you have climbers in pots next to the house, whose leaves have fallen and are now of­fer­ing no colour or in­ter­est, use the bare space to un­der­plant them with brightly coloured win­ter flow­er­ing plants such as cy­cla­men, heather, var­ie­gated ivy or or­na­men­tal cab­bage. Cy­cla­men should do well in shel­tered ar­eas out of the rain, as they will suf­fer if they are too wet or over-wa­tered.

Keep conifers you had in pots as a back­drop to sum­mer bed­ding, but fill up the spare space with new and dif­fer­ent win­ter stal­warts. Good can­di­dates in­clude skim­mia ‘Rubella’, vi­o­las and win­ter-flow­er­ing pan­sies, which should flower un­til the worst weather hits but will re-emerge to bloom again in spring. Also, win­ter­green (Gaulthe­ria procum­bens) which bears fes­tive red berries, or bur­gundy-leaved ajuga.

If you have per­ma­nent plants such as hy­drangeas in con­tain­ers, leave the flow­er­heads on, which will not only add win­ter in­ter­est but also pro­tect the plant from the worst of the weather.

Make sure you choose large plants and place them close to­gether for im­me­di­ate im­pact, as they won’t grow very much in win­ter.

Place your con­tainer where it will get as much light as pos­si­ble dur­ing the shorter days of win­ter, to help the fo­liage re­main green and healthy.

Wa­ter plants care­fully, mak­ing sure you don’t sat­u­rate them, but at the same time check­ing the compost to en­sure it hasn’t dried out. Poor wa­ter­ing is the main rea­son so many plants per­ish in the cooler months.

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