Winter is often viewed as ‘down time’ in the garden, with little to do but wait until spring.Not so.
There are many winter plants for the garden, particularly when used in seasonal pot and container displays.
Bright flowers, vivid berries, evergreen foliage and colourful stems can all be combined to great effect. With the right plants you can create a high-impact but low-maintenance scheme, to lift the spirits on even the darkest of days.
For a bee-friendly container, opt for plants with a generous supply of nectar, like crocus, hellebores and snowdrops. Sitting in a frost pocket? Try growing robust plants like Hakonechloa macra, Hylotelephium spectabile and Calamagrostis xacutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’.
Before you plant, remember to make sure your pots are winter ready too. Clay or terracotta pots are prone to cracking in frost so either avoid using these for your winter displays or look for frost-proof pots and containers. Plastic, fibreglass, wooden and treated terracotta and clay are all good materials for winter pots. Look for pots labelled frost-proof rather than frost resistant which can still crack when temperatures plummet.
Raising pots up by standing them on blocks or pot ‘feet’ over the winter will also allow water to drain away, prevent them becoming waterlogged and help to reduce the risk of frost damage.
Snowdrops are perfect for growing in winter pot displays. Team with black lilyturf and hellebores for a modern look.
Height x Spread: 15cm x 8cm
(2) Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is a naturally festive-looking, neat, low-spreading evergreen with large red berries and reddish-tinged leaves in winter.
H x S: 30cm x 1.5m
(3) Winter-flowering pansy
Winter-flowering pansies with yellow, maroon, white or purple ‘faces’ will keep flowering except in the very worst weather. But they will recover and then continue until June.
H x S: 20cm x 30cm