Pots are great by the front door because you will enjoy them as you pass in and out of your home. They are also a good way to boost an unexciting border. Hide a pot full of seasonal colour amongst your green shrubs. As the pot stands a little higher than the border plants the impression of colour and the focus will be closer to eye level. A New Zealand flax, a silver Pittosporum or a dwarf weeping Cotoneaster tree may be the perfect feature emerging from a bland unremarkable area. The pots can be moved in the spring or summer when other features become prominent.
When planting pots at this time of the year it is marvellous how much plant life is on hand to use. You can simply plant bowls of Violas or if you are more adventurous select from appealing coloured evergreens like Photina Little Red Robin, small berried shrubs like Pernettya or Gaultheria, spiky grasses such as Carex testacea and Uncinia ‘Rubra’, trailing plants like Thyme, creeping Rosemary and ivy. To bring in texture use evergreen ferns such as Phyllitis Scolopendruim and Polystichum Plumosum Densum and for spectacular foliage colour you cannot beat Heucheras.
Fill the pot with good shrub compost or lime free compost if you want to take advantage of plants that are hardy but may not thrive in the local soil. Choose colours that tone and harmonise, or if you would like it to be really outrageous plants that contrast. Engage your artistic eye when planning what to plant in your container. Winter containers will not make mammoth growth in one season like summer bedding plants, not while the weather is cold, so your arrangement will remain as you planted it