“Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream.”Josephine Nuese
As we enter the New Year we are reminded of new beginnings and opportunities. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the garden. January is a time of preparation and planning for the year ahead. It is the perfect time to add a splash of colour to your garden and patio. Creating beautiful planted containers and patio pots is the first step in brightening up your garden and patio. In this post, I will talk you through some of the best ways to create a successful planted container.
“There really is something special about the first of the spring flowering plants. The snowdrop, crocus and daffodil all signal another new year in the garden and the start of an exciting gardening season ahead.”Paraic
What You Need For Successful Containers:
- Select enough plants to fill your container – remember that plants grow very little in winter.
- Position your container outside where it will get as much light as possible to ensure plant foliage remains green and healthy.
- Choose a quality compost and add some slow release fertiliser to the compost before planting.
- Water containers carefully making sure you check the compost regularly. Pay particular attention to smaller plants as they are more susceptible to over or under watering.
- Raise containers off the ground on pot feet or bricks to aid drainage and to help prevent pots from cracking.
- Choose frost-proof terracotta or containers made of plastic, fibreglass or wood.
Plants I Recommend For Containers:
For a touch of colour in spring use a variety of cyclamen, winter-flowering pansy, viola and/or primula. These all flower intermittently during mild spells in winter, and will add a splash of color to your container in January. Additional options include spring-flowering heathers, large flowered daisies, wallflowers and potted spring-flowering bulbs (crocus, tulips, dwarf daffodils and snowdrops).
Grasses add a twist to a garden container. They give height and add a contrast in texture. Try small, evergreen, ornamental grasses such as Stips or Carex. Alternatively, add herbs to your container. Evergreen perennials like rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender and curry plant are all options.
Evergreen shrubs are a reliable addition to a large container as they retain their green leaves throughout winter. Why not try mixing them with other shrubs for a variety of foliage and flowers? Boxwood buxus, bay, skimmia, euonymus blondii or ivy are all viable options. Ornamental cabbage and kale will also provide additional foliage interest.
Hardy evergreen ferns such as hart’s-tongue, common polypody and soft shield-fern are worth including in containers in shady positions. A herbaceous plant, i.e. Heuchera, is an excellent choice for their evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage in green or rich plum shades, some with exquisite markings.
So remember, now is the time to embrace the opportunities that January holds. Get out into your garden and make it the space you will enjoy for the year ahead.