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Winter colour in pots

I'm in need of some cheering up!  I fancy getting some winter flowering plants or small shrubs to go in a couple of empty pots I have.  I'm not a fan of little pansy type flowers particularly and so was thinking maybe a hellebore or something.  Any ideas (or ideally pictures of your own) for 2 pots to go either side of my patio doors?  I have a bit of a mix of stuff already and don't mind if it 'matches' what else I've got I just want a bit of colour.  Fave colours white or purple but open to anything else.  Thanks!
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    How big are the pots? That will determine what you have as much as anything.
    I have Hellebore niger in flower just now and native primulas flower all year round here. 
    I use foliage plants and mix the pots up depending on season. A gold  Libertia and a black Phormium are there just now with those, plus some sedums. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Sarcocca ( Sweet Box ) don't grow very large and are evergreen.  Little white scented flowers during winter.  I find them best in part shade. Mine are just starting to produce flower heads now ( SW UK ).  Flowers followed by black berries and will produce seedlings if left to fall.  You can also germinate them yourself.
  • thanks @Fairygirl and @philippasmith2 some great suggestions.  The pots are fairly small..30cm diameter narrowing down and are only about 25cm high.   Like the idea of sweet box as the fragrance woud be nice. Sounds like that could stay in a pot all year round?  My garden is quite shady. Just googled gold libertia bet that looks great with the phormium...hmm maybe I should look for colours in foliage instead of flowers.  Thanks for your ideas.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Pots are a bit small then. Might be better to have bulbs in them, and get a bigger pot for some foliage plants. You could certainly have things like Sarcococca, Libertia and Phormium in them for the winter, but they'd not thrive well for very long in pots that size.  :)
    Heucheras are fine in small pots.  :)
    My pots are grouped near the back gate, in a section of path I was widening. The Libertia was a piece that I split from the main plant, and was in a smaller pot until last week. The hellebore is at the front now too, so that I can see it from the house.  


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • @Fairygirl those pots look nice together.  Do heucheras die back over winter?  I have some in a raised bed and they are still looking great but I wasn't sure what they'd do over winter..  I saw some gorgeous red and purple coloured ones at a garden centre recently.  I've planted up 3 much larger 50cm pots with spring bulb and probably should have planted something over the top as they are just sat against the wall waiting for spring and my garden is too small to hide them really.... thanks again for your ideas
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    edited November 2020
    Heucheras, and their relatives, are evergreen. Lots of colour combinations too, so very good for pots. Vine weevil is the only problem with them. They're also very easy to propagate.  :)
    Some of the small carexes are good in pots too - Evergold and Everest.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • oh fab I'm so pleased about the heucheras!!! I had it in my head that they died back..  I have some gorgeous lime marmalade or something like that and I had managed to propogate a couple of smaller ones which are hidden under my hebe.  I might just dig them out and plant those!  I'm so excited.  I'm having a really bad week and even just thinking about my garden makes be feel better - thanks @Fairygirl
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,358
    Euonymous fortunei  is another foliage plant which will be happy in a pot for a while. They can be trimmed too. Readily available almost anywhere  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • that one looks nice too  :)
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,121
    Astelia's are lovely, very architectural foliage, and do better in shade.  Most are silver, but there are some bronze coloured ones too.  They do flower, but nothing to speak of.  
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