Add a splash of colour to your autumn pots

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Don’t give up on your garden, get potty potting.

Here at Preston Bissett Nurseries, writes Jacky Richardson, I have been making containers and baskets that will look colourful throughout the winter and into spring.

Autumn containers are one of a gardener’s best-kept secrets. The great thing about autumn containers, apart from colour, is that all the plants you use are hardy.

If you do want to replant the pots in May next year with summer bedding your hardy plants can be replanted into the garden, though often pots of mixed evergreen are equally lovely throughout the year.

The first decision is what kind of containers you have to plant as different shapes and styles lend themselves to different planting styles.

A large classic Cretan pot may possible suit an equally impressive large architectural shrub or small tree, perhaps a red acer. A square lead renaissance style container can look great with topiary.

A rich red salt glazed tall pot would suit a lollypop olive or small shaped holly as an alternative Christmas tree and a small terracotta bowl would look lovely with an arrangement of alpines dressed with a bit of alpine grit.

Often what we plant is partially determined by where we are placing the pots. Are they an identical pair to stand either side of steps or a grand entrance? Do they need to make a statement or are they a collection of mismatched terracotta with a quaint potage feel? Should they look simple and minimalistic? Perhaps to be arranged on a gravel path, each needing to look bold not misplaced or lost.

The scenarios for what we need a container to achieve and how it should be clothed are endless but once it is clear it is much easier to choose the outfit!

In summary, once you have taken into account the style of your pot, where it is going to be placed and what colours you will enjoy, you will find there are some lovely plants which merge together beautifully in a container and you will probably enjoy a long time.