Winter Containers

Before all the raking last week I planted up our winter containers, thinking I would be a bit run off my feet for the next couple of weeks.

Winter containers - Cyclamen, Heather, Ajuga, Box and Bay

Outside the Long Gallery where we hold our wedding receptions I planted up the troughs with Cyclamen, heather and Ajuga, very similar to last year. These little cyclamen are something of a gamble as in a cold winter (like last years) they tend to get rather unhappy, but in a mild year they can be good for a fair while. The heather and ajuga combined with the simple shapes of the box and bay can ‘carry’ it by themselves if the cyclamen do fail. Last year I left the Ajuga in the containers through Spring and into Summer when they succumbed to powdery mildew. Next year I think they’ll go out into the garden when I put the Summer plants in.

In the stone trough outside the offices I took a different approach to previous years.

Winter container planting - pansies and hellebore

Close up of winter container - pansies and hellebore

The shrub in the middle is a permanent planting of Myrtle which I’ve surrounded with silver variegated ivy, blue violas and Helleborus argutifolius ‘Silver Lace’. I’m never sure about pansies/violas for the winter because I use them so much the rest of the year and also because I think of them as a Spring plant, so they seem a little out of place in Winter. I’ve decided to give them a try though because yet more heather and cyclamen is getting, well, boring. The rather lovely silvery hellebore can certainly find a spot in the garden come Spring – I do like using plants for containers that can then be transferred to the garden once their job is done.

The sheep have already escaped once and pulled all the ivy out. Fingers crossed that between sheep and winter these plantings get through to at least late January relatively intact!

 

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9 responses to “Winter Containers

  1. Normally I would agree with you about violas but those look absolutely lovely. Might have to reconsider! And I hate lawn care which is fortunate as I only have mown weeds.

  2. I’ve been given three heathers (though I’m not sure they really are) (heathers). I’ve put them in pots and, despite having wanted them, I’m not sure I like them now I’ve got them. I suppose much depends on what one puts them with. As for violas – I like them a lot. Big and floppy pansies are another matter..

    • You’re right; there seems to be a point at which the flower just gets too big to support itself in the lightest of rain or drizzle. I do like some pansies, especially when they’re available in single colours but it irritates the hell out of me when I can’t find many single colour seed packets – they’re mainly mixed garish floppy things. Ugh.

  3. These containers look just lovely!

  4. I love that very long stone container…beautiful! I have been thinking about what to put in my containers for the holidays. Violas are an idea…

  5. Love those containers – beautiful -and good luck with the sheep. Hmmm…

  6. I find it difficult to make heathers work for me in the garden, I think containers might be the answer. I love pansies and violas in winter, they are so unexpectedly cheerful when everything else is tending to gloom. There again, I don’t use them elsewhere, so no overload.

  7. Thanks everyone 🙂

  8. Love that stone trough…nice planting combo too.

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