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Ideas for exposed patio pots

I’ve got a pair of fairly large pots which will be positioned on the patio outer edge corners, so will be fairly exposed to the elements; full sun, wind, rain, etc.

Looking for suggestions for what plants would survive here, ideally evergreen, can be left out in winter, size to maximum 60cm approx. White or bluish purple flowers would match well with rest of garden. Pots are about 50cm diameter, frost proof glazed ceramic in a teal colour.

I’ve had dwarf azaleas recommended, but open to other suggestions. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    You could try Arbutus Unedo 'Compacta'. Evergreen with small bell shaped white flowers in autumn. On the second year, they form into small red round fruits which are decorative whilst new growth form new flowers. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The smaller growing hebes would be fine. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,199
    From our own experience, I would recommend putting a couple of bricks inside each pot before filling them. We have a terrace 5 ft up from ground level and one of our big pots was blown over and smashed. We assume it was a high wind (it can get very windy here) but may have been an animal of course. Sorry I can't think offhand of any shrub that meets your brief.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • I quite like the strawberry bush thing, not sure if it'd be a bit big for my space though. Hebes are a good shout, but already have three elsewhere! Considering dwarf pieris now too, but not sure if that's a bit boring?

    There's a big one in the ground at the front which survives well despite no care and me hacking off a big section to get to the gas meter, so they're certainly hardy.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,199
    You could look at a choisya ternata, evergreen, can be pruned, fragant white flowers in summer. Available with plain green leaves or a gold variation. I'm not sure however whether it would cope with very cold winds or heavy prolonged frost, mine got a bit scorched with the Beast from the East. If you already have hebes, why not have a look at spire like conifers to provide a contrast.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,956
    What about Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)?  Flowers are yellow, but the grape/berries are purple.

    Utah, USA.
  • [Glen][Glen] Posts: 73
    edited May 2018
    I keep various trees in 50cm pots as it brings larger specimens closer to the house without damaging building foundations. I have also heard of people using pots to keep trees on their apartment balconies.

    Most will be bonsai'd by the limited space but is that really a bother? I have a Himalayan Cedar in a pot, so have real cause to hope that the bonsai effect holds true. Its life-expectancy will diminish too.
  • Been having a think – was almost committed to pieris, but now wondering about Phormiums? Sounds like they can take full sun and strong winds and I think the leaf shape would be a nice contrast to the largely shrub based border I have.

    Wondered if anyone else grows these in pots? A deep purple coloured one would be good – looking at Back In Black, but photos of different varieties seem to vary massively, maybe dependent on age and where they've been grown?
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,199
    Yes, I grow several in pots, the biggest is a greeny/gold one (don't know the name) in a very big pot and the rest are a pinky colour. I think they're Phormiums but sometimes get confused between them and cordylines.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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