Feb 012013
 

 

P1040256c

I stopped by to see Andrea Brunsendorf, head gardener at the Inner Temple Garden the other day. Her display of pots is amazing in spring and summer, and in winter she keeps the display going with evergreens. Any pots that are filled with bare earth or planted with bulbs are covered with pieces of conifer. Andrea says this is common practice in Germany – it’s too cold for many types of winter bedding, so the conifer pieces make pots and window boxes look more attractive in the chillier months.

Andrea says that the conifer cover has the added advantage of keeping the Inner Temple’s cat out of the pots. It doesn’t fool squirrels, though…

Jan 212012
 

 

Staffordshire

Ever since I set myself the challenge of only featuring winter pots that don’t feature all the usual suspects such as ivy, skimmias, pansies, cyclamen and so on, output on this blog has dropped dramatically. So it’s just as well that I came across these winter containers at John Massey’s garden.

John isn’t a fan of pansies as they often get mildew, so he prefers to use other plants. In these pots, he’s got a few winter stalwarts such as skimmias, carex and ivy, but to them he’s added flotsam and jetsam from around the garden: seed heads of grasses and perennials, leaves, berries and pine cones. It’s a technique that florists use all the time, and one I’m definitely going to adopt.

Oct 212011
 

Regent's Park

I find this pot a bit depressing. It’s perfectly nice and everything, but the sight of it makes my heart sink a little.

Let me explain. This container contains all the usual suspects for winter interest –  ivy, tree heather, cyclamen, pansies and an ornamental cabbage. Go to any garden centre now and these plants are pretty much what’s on offer. And they’ll continue to be on offer until next spring. And therein lies my problem.

Whereas the choice of plants for summer pots is vast, with lots of potential for colour and exciting plant combinations, there are hardly any options for winter pots. It’s quite hard to find an unsual cyclamen or pansy, let alone come up with an amazing planting combination. It takes real skill and imagination to come up with anything a bit different for winter, and lots of people don’t bother.

And so, the hunt is on. I will endeavour to bring you some winter pots that are truly amazing, and hereby ban red cyclamen and purple pansies from this blog. Let’s just hope I that doesn’t mean its pages will be empty…