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I've been staring at an empty terracotta planter all Summer, meaning to fill it, but have never got 'round to it.  Now it's mid-August, I'm wondering a) whether it's best to leave it empty over the Winter (as I have no space to bring it inside) and b) if it is worthwhile to fill it, what to plant.

Any suggestions/advice would be gratefully accepted!


In a few weeks time spring bulbs will appear in the shops-you could plant it up with different varieties for colour next year

Or violas or wallflowers-also for next year


Last September I planted up a terracotta container with some dark purplish-red hyacinths, some pinkish Wanda primroses, a lighter pink hardy cyclamen and a light green miniature conifer about 12" tall.  There was something to look at all through the winter and in the spring when the hyacinths bloomed the perfume was gorgeous.

I shall do the same this year, I've saved the hyacinths and the conifer - the cyclamen perished and the primroses got planted in a border, so I'll get some more of those. 

Another very successful tub was planted with Panolas (a cross between pansies and violas)  they flowered their socks off all winter and were really quite cheap from Notcutts - several different colours available.

I also put a dozen Snow Bunting white crocuses in a smallish terracotta urn - planting them in layers - the flowers only lasted a couple of weeks, but when they were out, in the early spring when there was nothing much else about, they were an absolute picture.

Pink tulips with an underplanting of blue grape hyacinths or scilla is also a favourite - lovely by the front door in spring.

Pennine Petal
Skimmia, flowers and berries as well as shiny dark green leaves?



Ooooh Noobgardener - thanks for puting this on, was wandering the same and now I also have some ideas - thank you everyone

Thanks for your suggestions ... I especially like dovefromabove's pot with the conifer.  The only thing I wouldn't be sure of is how well the conifer would stand up to a pretty windy location?  My garden faces the prevailing wind and it can howl in the wintertime!  How can I also protect it against slugs?  I understand that you can't get nematodes until early next year!

hollie hock

I too have some empty pots to fill. Dove- I love grape hyacinths. Thanks for the idea

I've been thinking about getting a holly in a pot to make the front garden look Christmassy.  Apparently JC van Tol is self fertile so there may even be Christmassy berries.

Depending on how big your planter is I suppose you could put a couple of bricks in the bottom if its standing on paving, or maybe some sort of pole throught the drainage hole into the ground to anchor it if its over a flower bed.

Thanks everyone for your input ... I'm off to the garden centre first chance I get!

Me too!! Thanks everyone x
brewery bill

New to this garden hobby as well. I was going to ask the same question as Noob, so your answers all help. One other I have upright fuschia in pot will It die back over the winter then bloom again next year.


The fuchsia-it depends on whether it is a hardy variety or not-if this is its first year-I would take cuttings now as insurance just in case if it doesn't re-appear.

brewery bill

Thanks for your reply. I think the fuschia is the hardy variety, but will take cutting anyway. I remember up untill march this year the only hardy in variety i knew of was oliver hardy. Funny how gardening gets to you. I only have a small four tier plastic greenhouse can I put the cutting in there before frost date.



If you are unsure about cuttings etc-they root fairly easily just in water on a windowsill pot up at the first sign of roots and yes-protect from frost-until then fine in a greenhouse



brewery bill

Cheers sotongeoff, i will do that this weekend.

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