Plant up autumn containers now to fill your patio with colour and interest through till winter and beyond. Keep your pots looking great as the garden winds down and you’ll still feel as good about your displays once the frosts set in as you do now.
The secret is to target plants which look great through the autumn season. Pop into the garden centre here in Poynings right now and you’ll find a kaleidoscope of choice: it’s actually a really good way of picking out the plants which reach their peak at this time of year as you can see them on the benches looking at their best. Great container plants for autumn colour include blue-flowered hardy plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides), evergreen grasses like Festuca glauca; and easy-care heathers which bloom prettily all winter too.
Use a frost-proof pot – you’ll find a great selection in a variety of materials from terracotta to lead effect and lightweight moulded plastic in our container section.
If you’re planting up a large pot, move it into position beforehand as it will be too heavy to move once it’s full of damp compost and plants, choosing somewhere close to the house so you can enjoy it without going outside in the cold! Stand the pot on feet to aid drainage, as pots can become waterlogged in winter.
Next, fill the pot with a good quality multi-purpose compost mixed with a handful of slow release fertiliser. Arrange your collection of plants while they’re still in their pots until you’re satisfied with how they look; the tallest plant should go in the centre of your display, with lower-growing ones around it. Carefully remove the plants from their pots and place them in the container, planting your centrepiece first then adding the others. Fill any gaps between the plants with compost, firm in and water well.