Want to inject some colour into your garden or patio this festive season? Here’s our top tips for bright and beautiful winter containers…
Although it might feel like the colour drains from the garden in winter – it’s easily replaced with bright pops of berries, foliage and flowers in Christmas containers and pots.
Choose three or six plants per large container, with a taller plant at the back. The plants will grow very little over winter, so ensure you buy good-sized specimens to fill out your tubs and pots. The bigger the container, the less likely it is to get blown over by winter winds. Position in a bright, sheltered location – a porch, balcony or patio is ideal.
Plants for winter pots
Winter heathers are easy to care for and, available in pinks, purples and whites, make a wonderful backdrop to other plants. Depending on the type of heather you choose, they may prefer a more acid compost such as our SylvaGrow Ericaceous. Pair with a shiny-berried Festive Teaberry, as this also likes acid soil.
A snow-white Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) will shine alongside one or two trailing ivies, with violas or winter pansies. Use our SylvaGrow Tub & Basket, and deadhead the smaller plants regularly to prolong displays.
You could stick to two or three colour combos for a cohesive look in your Christmas containers, or dazzle with clashing shades such as lipstick-pink hardy cyclamen and lime heuchera. While the cyclamen won’t flower all winter, its variegated leaves still pack a punch.
Edibles and ornamentals for containers
And consider potting-up some edibles for your Christmas garden pots. Pretty ornamental cabbages add a zing of colour alongside herbs such as rosemary and sage. Underplant with cheerful violas. They’ll all like a free-draining compost, such as our SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose.
Plug any gaps with fabulous foliage. Evergreen ferns provide lovely textures alongside box or bay. And there’s a multitude of Carex to choose from – whether you want bronze stems, papery fronds, or two-tone spikes. Black ophiopogons make a dramatic canvas for all sorts of colourful winter flowers.
Festive sparkle all winter long
As the plants will be standing in the pots for long periods, it’s best to choose a good quality free-draining compost such as our SylvaGrow Multi-Purpose, or SylvaGrow John Innes No 3. Fill to 5cm below the rim so there’s plenty of room for plants and back fill. Firm in and water well.
While your Christmas garden container won’t need feeding, you’ll need to keep a regular check on water levels. In mild spells, or if the pots are standing in a rain shadow, they can dry out.
Your winter displays can easily be repurposed as it warms up. Transfer spent plants into the garden and insert bulbs into the gaps for a whole new look come spring.
Like this? Find more Frosty Garden Projects here.