Thursday, 14 October 2010

Pots, plants, and planning…

Even with the warm sunshine of last weekend there was no disguising that autumn is here. Time for some forward planning and for the first time ever, as the summer garden dwindles to gone, that’s what I did.

I usually plant bulbs for the spring but don’t really bother much with autumn and winter planting – well, when I say ‘much’, I really mean ‘at all’. This year though I’ve decided it’s time for a change – well, when I say ‘decided’, I really mean had change ‘forced on me’.

Rather than just plant the bulbs that I got from the Factory Shop (two twenty-five packs of mixed daffs and narcissus for three quid instead of £1.99 each – a real bargain as each pack had twenty seven and twenty nine bulbs respectively) in pots and wait for the spring, I planted some cyclamen (four for £1.99 at Home Bargains) to give some autumn colour, and some winter pansies for -- well for the winter. To hold it all together I also planted a few variegated ivies and some small conifers in the pots to add a bit of height and interest.

I got this idea from a poster at the garden centre explaining: ‘how to add height and interest to your autumn and winter pots’, although I like to think that I’d have come to this master plan myself. What forced my hand was the ‘six mixed ivies for a fiver’ offer at Lidl and a couple of ‘special offer’ yellow green conifers at the garden centre for less than two quid each.

The Factory Shop, Home Bargains, Lidl? The times are certainly changing. Time was I’d buy my plants from ‘The Posh Garden Suppliers – highest prices guaranteed’.

Still, I expect that they’ll grow just the same and all-in-all I’m very pleased with how my planned, planted, pots look. Square pots by the front and back doors, an ornate pot by the gates, troughs on the raised beds, woven hanging baskets hanging - all potted, planted, planned, and ready for the autumn and winter and spring. I even planted miniature narcissus in the baskets.

Pots are good. Pots can be moved when summer begins and replaced with bedding, they are versatile.

Plants are good. Plants grow and blossom – unless you let the insects and slugs get to them first.

Plans are good. Planning gives you something to work towards, something to look forward to, an aim.

Pots, plants, and planning – there are some answers in here somewhere. I’ve just got to find them that’s all.


  1. There are no real answers in a garden, it's just that all those 'important' questions seem to fade away.

  2. Della Jayne Roberts commented on Facebook from Australia:

    Della wrote
    "It was spring here - but today it is winter; SNOW is forecast and outside there's a galeforce wind blowing and the rain has been torrential. I love pots - some of my plants have been growing in them (from little pots big things grow!) for nearly 6 years (not the same pots; I have re-potted them from time to time).
    I've even started transporting them to the house in Canberra - you can never have enough pots of colour.
    Like you, I buy my plants from Aldi, Big W; wherever they are 'a bargain'. We get that from Dad! "Aye, it was near dead but it was a bargain" . And he would bring it back to life.....

  3. I love cyclamen but pansies go all leggy so I've never bothered with them. Yours look nice though so I may try a few this winter.

  4. Alan Spence e-mailed:

    I like Cyclamen as well but not nearly as much as I do the Lady's Slipper.