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Hi my name is Stewart and I was wondering if anyone could help me with some advice please. I enjoy gardening but have a limited knowledge and would like to know what plants would be great for outside pots for winter. Is it too soon to plant seeds for this, and what seeds would be best. Really sorry if this is a stupid question, I love gardening but just don't know that much about it and am keen to learn.
I'll assume you are talking flowering plants-I would forget about sowing seed until next soring if you are a novice-instead around late August/September spring flowering bulbs will start appearing in the shops-you can make up some containers for next year -flowers will appear mid-feb onwards
They are virtually guaranteed and foolproof
Or are you talking about something to eat?
I would go for violas, buy some as plugs and pot them on for a good winter display.
what would you like you pots to do?
Provide colour, shape, texture, be good for insects, be edible?
Do you want something permanent? or something to fill in the gap before planting for summer?
It is a bit late to put permanent planting into pots, though there are such things as hostas which you can plant now, probably better to wait until spring for most things to start permanent planting. Bulbs for spring need to start being planted end of August into September for daffodils, much later for tulips, violas are good now and may flower all winter depenedent upon the weather. Evergreens such as the small hollies are good, christmas box, any of the smaller euonymous, golden laurel - lots of choices for pots, worth looking around some good web sites for what is on offer now. The reality is that you can grow anything in a pot as long as you are willing to do everything for the plant that it cannot do for itself. For eating, small apples, plums, blueberries and - of course - strawberries.
I agree about evergreens and would definitely recommend Christmas/Sweet Box (Sarcocca confusa) which flowers in winter followed by S.hookeriana which flowers in spring. While the flowers are very small on a sunny day they pack an aroma punch per inch like few other plants.
Holly too is a good choice but you need a male and a female to get berries.
While it doesn't flower till March I have a Rhododendron which has lovely dense green leaves all year round. It's pretty old and unfortunately I can't remember the variety, so if anyone recognises it I would be most grateful. Pictured here with Camellia Silver Anniversary