Bring colour to your outdoor space

After all the bright colours of summer and the golden hues of autumn, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was no ore colour until spring. However, there are many winter plants that can be used to create colourful seasonal pots and displays.

Bright flowers, berries, evergreen foliage and colourful stems can all be combined to great effect and you can create a high-impact but low-maintenance displays.

Before you start planting, you need to make sure your pots are winter ready.

Fibreglass, wooden and treated terracotta and clay are all good to use for winter pots. Clay or terracotta pots are prone to cracking in frost so avoid using these.

Stand your pots on blocks or pot ‘feet’ through the winter as this will allow water to drain away, prevent them becoming waterlogged and help to reduce the risk of frost damage.

Top Tip – Look for pots labelled frost-proof rather than frost resistant as these can still crack when it gets freezing

Which plants are best for winter displays?

  • Snowdrops – who doesn’t love a snowdrop!
  • Wintergreen – a low-spreading evergreen with large red berries and reddish-tinged leaves in winter
  • Winter-flowering pansies and violas – these will flower except in the very worst weather. But they will recover and then continue until June. They come in a great selection of colours including; yellow, maroon, white or purple ‘faces’
  • Cyclamen – gorgeous in winter pot displays and can be planted into the garden after they have flowered.
  • Carex  – these evergreen perennials have green, variegated or bronze, curly or arching leaves and will look good all winter.
  • Skimmia ‘Rubella’ – a rugged, hardy and reliable evergreen shrub with grape-like clusters of tight pink buds throughout winter.
  • Phormium – a colourful evergreen with  stripey leaves in pink, purple and bronze shades
  • Hellebores – also known as the Christmas rose, this pretty plant has white flowers and deep green foliage

You can create your own combinations but for a particularly festive one, pop in some hellebore, holly and ivy. The combination of the green and white is simple but stunning.

Top tip – To make your displays bee-friendly go for plants with a generous supply of nectar, like crocus, hellebores and snowdrops.