While winter may bring chilly days and dreary skies, it doesn’t mean the landscape has to follow suit. Winters are still mild in many parts of California and the rest of the country, which allows for new plantings of shrubs, perennials and seasonal color. Whether you live in a condo, a town-home with a small patio or a home with a large yard, large container plantings can help you keep your landscapes looking fresh all winter long.
There are a bounty of shrub options to choose from when choosing cool-season container planting combinations. The key to successful container designs is to balance the height, width, color and texture of the plants you choose. With these few simple tips, your containers will be the talk of the talk of the neighborhood.
Tip #1: It’s all about the soil!
As it is in the landscape, a good quality potting mix is essential for maintaining beautiful containers. Stop by your local garden center for a quality pre-mixed potting soil. They can also help you create a custom mix. Add in an organic plant food at planting time to boost vigor and blooms.
Tip #2: Thriller. Spiller. Filler.
Need an easy way to choose and arrange plants for beautiful containers? Choose a “thriller” plant, which will provide height. Bay laurel is a great thriller option. Then add “fillers” to flesh out the middle of the planting. Nandina ‘Firepower’ is a perfect filler. “Spillers” do just that; trailing plants that spill over the edge of your container. Trailing junipers fit the bill perfectly.
Tip #3: Add the unexpected.
This time of year, you can embellish your patio containers with fresh cut holiday greens, colorful branches, stems of berries and even ornaments. Simply snip to the desired length and press stems into the soil around your plantings. Festive!