Create a colourful winter container

As the weather gets chilly, the garden can certainly look drab and lifeless. Yet you only need a few carefully chosen plants to add an instant pop of colour.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the steps to creating your own creative winter container. We’ve opted for a “hot” theme here, featuring flaming branches of cornus and fiery red primroses.

You will need:

1 Medium-sized container

1 Cornus “Winter Flame”

1 Rosemary shrub

1 Golden euonymus (Euonymus japonicus)

3 Primroses red & yellow

Multipurpose compost

Spare black plastic pots (for drainage)

Step 1: Plan

Arrange your plants into a display while still in their individual pots. Planning the design beforehand will give you the chance to experiment with different configurations. Consider where the “front” of the container will be and position taller plants towards the back of the display, with blooming and trailing plants at the front.

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Step 2: Drainage

For drainage, we recommend using black plastic pots at the bottom of your container. Black plastic pots are not recyclable so this is a great way to use all those unneeded ones stashed in your garden and cut down on plastic waste in the meantime.

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Step 3: Compost

Fill the container with multi-purpose compost to about 3 inches from the top.

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Step 4: Plant

Plant up your arrangement, starting with the plants that are furthest back. Make sure that when you gently pull the plant up, it doesn’t pop out of the soil. If it stays firmly put, you’ve planted it properly.  

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Step 5: Finish off

Finish off the display by adding decorative mulch or pebbles around the plants. This gives the container a polished look.

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And it’s done!

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For contrast to the glowing red container, you can also create a “cool” container with icy blues and silver foliage. For this display, we used winter-hardy heather (Calluna vulgaris ‘Amethyst’), Hebe ‘Turkish Delight’, trailing Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Carpet’, white decorative cabbage, a blue conifer, and three blue & yellow primroses.