Adding colour to your garden
Winter doesn’t have to be a miserable time of year in the garden. Albeit limited in choice as far as plants are concerned, it’s just another season with its own unique array of colourful possibilities. Here are a few plants that you might want to try growing this season in your winter container, pot, window box or tub. This selection of hardy evergreens is also great for all year round interest.
- The Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)
- Winter flowering Pansies & Violas
- Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Ornamental cabbages
Baring in mind that due to the lower levels of light, plants grow much slowly over winter, establish your specimens closer together than your would normally for summer displays with a recommended single larger plant in the centre as a focal point. Select mature plants for your container, building a ‘finished look’ as opposed to ‘will grow into’ display. You will need to break them up a little in the spring so that they don’t get too overcrowded as growth starts to pick up.
Think about the colours that you would like to introduce into your display. A mixture of light greens, golds and orange hues will brighten up even the dullest days during the winter months.
Preparing your winter container display
Use a standard multi-purpose compost and ensure, as ever, that your container is free draining (holes at the bottom). With winter being such a wet season, you don’t want your container display to unintentionally become a bog garden! It’s also a good idea to add fragments of broken pots to the base, before adding compost to improve drainage.
Don’t add any extra feed as it’s not needed during the winter months and can even damage your plants. Line the walls of your container with newspaper, cardboard or fleece to provide extra protection against frost damage to your plants roots during the coldest nights.
Water only when absolutely needed. Cut away dead growth and spent flowers as they appear to prevent moulds from forming which can infect and damage your plants.