Potted plants make wonderful additions to the garden right through the year… and even in winter. With a small army of pots of various sizes tucked away in the garden shed or behind the garage or barn, you can create a moveable garden of potted plants for each season. These portable gardens get their start ‘out back’ somewhere, where they wait backstage for their grand entrance when it’s ‘curtain call’ time for them.
The key to success in these seasonal potted gardens is planning and timing. Make your plans on paper for the varieties of plants you want to display for colder seasons, then plant ahead so those particular plants will be ready for display in conjunction with their season.
Chrysanthemums and ornamental cabbage take the stage here. But there are many other fall-blooming plants, including pineapple sage, goldenrod, asters, confederate rose, and ornamental grasses. Plan your traditional ‘pumpkin display’ in advance. Set pots of fall plants around your pumpkins, add a few dried cornstalks, and set your favorite, dressed-up scarecrow down beside them. The neighbors and neighbors’ children will enjoy this festive scene.
Few plants bloom in the winter, but don’t let that keep you from having beautiful pots to decorate your home. Many garden centers have small, one-gallon pots of hardy evergreens, such as juniper, cotoneaster, and boxwood. In many Southern states, pansies will survive the winters with a colorful display. Small conifers offer excellent interest in pots. As Christmas season nears, decorate them as tiny Christmas trees. Pots of poinsettias can also brighten the inside of your home at this time of year. Pinecones and a display of cut greenery, such as magnolia leaves and ivy with stalks of dried ornamental grasses for height make attractive pots. And for fragrance and pure, white color inside during the bleak darkness of winter, start planting paperwhite bulbs in pots in November. In a number of pots, stagger these plantings in every two weeks until late February, and you’ll have blooms through March.