Flowers in containers

Ideas for Autumn & Winter containers

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, September 21

Ideas for Autumn & Winter containers

The summer is passing and tubs and containers are beginning to look tired. Now is the time to think about injecting some colour into the garden to complement the glorious transformation the trees undergo, from green to yellow, red, orange and purple. These colours can be used as a palette for planting and can extend the season by giving splashes of colour in a fading landscape.

Think about where to place your container, a stand alone large planter or a group of pots set against a door or lining one side of a path or steps. Obscure and interesting containers will also add interest. Galvanised steel is a popular choice, fill a trug with bright coloured primulas or be different and plant bright red or yellow peppers. Colours that clash will infuse a bland space with vibrant colour.

Line an old basket, add drainage holes and plant with variegated ivy and hot pink surfing or place a collection of varying sized baskets together all planted with the same combinations for kerb appeal at your front door.

Olive trees are surprisingly hardy and can be planted in large terracotta pots surrounded with pretty cyclamen or a mixture of late season grasses, coloured Heuchera and viola's. Rich red painted pots, chocolate brown cordylines and golden Miscanthus either side of a bright red front door will invite you in.

On your terrace place groups of pots in an empty corner or in a row outside your windows. Fill them with pretty, pastel ornamental cabbages surrounded with black dragon grass or multicoloured pansies.

Get the children involved and let them paint smaller pots in vibrant colours and plant with tin, delicate, multicoloured violas.for them to future during the winter months.

Don't be afraid to make a themed statement, basic terracotta pots painted in alternating stripes can look impressive planted with monotone schemes and add an injection of interest to chase away any sense of autumnal blues!


Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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