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Inspiration for colorful winter planters and garden boxes

Inspirational ideas for garden boxes in winter

Weather is drab and gray – isn’t that a good reason to battle the droopy mood with color-packed winter planters?

A great number of plants can take the season’s cold temperatures without any damage at all. Greenery and color are definitely an option for your windowsill planters.

Choose your plants based on the exposure and sunlight your balcony or windowsill gets. Most flowers need lots of sun, but many small conifer trees and certain plants with ornamental leafage (ivy, Carex, Heuchera…) will do great in the shade.

Winter is actually a season that is well-suited to welcoming vegetation without flowers on your deck or terrace: an inspired play with hues and colors will produce elegant garden boxes that will have nothing to be ashamed of when compared to summer planter compositions.

Winter flowers

Narcissus and muscari with ivy in small potsHellebore, or Christmas rose, is one of the very rare flowers to bloom in December. As hardy as it gets, it’s also easy to grow. Another way to go is early bloomers. Among these you’ll find plethora of spring flowers: narcissus and daffodil, pansy, violet, the unforgettable primrose and also cyclamen for areas with milder winters.

Whether white, pink or red, winter heather will always be found pleasing with its charming vintage appearance. This slow grower is perfect for lazy gardeners: it can stay for years in the same pot! Great option as well for shaded portions of the balcony, since heather prefers shade to full sun.

Ornamental leaf plants for planters

Ornamental cabbage (or kale) in a cement growerA great many options are now available, with surprising original choices such as the silver-leaved silver ragwort, colorful heads of ornamental cabbage, and silky strands of Carex sedge grass. These are fun to pair together. Experiment to create your own dramatic designer planters!

Evergreen shrubs for decks

White and red garden box in winterThe eternally green holly shrub will grace the deck and balcony with green all year round, and a series of dwarf conifer trees will also help structure volumes and shades of green. They typically take on the cone-like shape of miniature pine trees, which is excellent to add vertical lines to your compositions. Other leaf plants like Japanese spindle stand out thanks to their variegated leaves.

Berry shrubs – ornamental apple, female holly cultivars, gaultheria, etc. will contribute dots of bright color to your miniature landscape. All in all an excellent endeavor to turn the mood from gray to great during the cold season!

L. H.

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: K M, Sheila Sund
Flower Council Holland
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