Many of our first experiences as gardeners were growing in containers. Maybe you planted a sunflower seed or two in a plastic plant pot at nursery or grew a broad bean in a see-through pot so you could see top growth and root growth simultaneously. Although container gardening is not without its problems, it can be very rewarding and add a dynamic to your plot no matter how big or small.
As the Autumn cools into Winter so many gardeners stop work and look upon the coming months as 'dead'. However, with a little effort and careful placement, pots can provide almost year-round colour and interest in your garden. My patio currently has a beautiful miniature bright red rose in flower and in a scarlet matching pot - possibly not the most tasteful or subdued colouring, but certainly a ray of sunshine on a cold dark day.
There are a huge array of plants to choose from for your Autumn and Winter pots including: roses, heathers, cyclamens, colchicums, pansies, skimmias and snowdrops. Although these plants may not survive the whole season, if you have planned carefully, deadheaded and chosen brightly coloured pots this should see you through to the new year early bloomers like snowdrops. You can also create a better display by grouping differently sized pots together and trailing ivy over the edges of containers which will give them an 'aged' look and can be used to cover the sides of less attractive pots.
Essential garden tools for fans of container gardening include a compost scoop which will allow you to fill your pots quickly and easily. A good trowel with a narrow blade is perfect for digging holes for planting and as deadheading will always prolong a plant's flowering, you will also need some good snips/scissors to remove dead blooms.
So this Autumn and Winter try going 'totally potty' and bring some colour into your life and into your garden.
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