Planting a Winter Container Garden

I love everything about the cold and cloudy months. From lighting the first fall-scented candles and carving pumpkins to exchanging presents and watching the snow accumulate outside my window, these weeks are a delight. My favorite seasons are filled with traditions, holidays, visits with family, and of course, decorations and gardens. As the calendar flips deeper into autumn, I am already starting to plan out my winter container gardens. Have you started to think about your own winter container gardens yet? No matter where you are in the process, I have a few tips and tricks to share for your next winter garden.

Winter Plants

When it comes to choosing plants for the winter container garden, there are two distinct options. Some gardeners like to save living plants for their spring and summer gardens and instead “plant” faux winter plants in the winter container garden, filling them with faux evergreen trees, lifelike ground covers, and plenty of faux snow. Faux winter plants are an attractive and convenient choice for the gardener whose life gets busy during the holiday season. No need to water or weed this winter container garden! It looks good on the dining table, on the mantle, or even on the patio.

Other gardeners prefer to grow and care for living winter plants. In milder regions, such as Zones 7 to 10, it might be possible to keep a winter container garden outdoors over the colder months, provided the temperature does not dip too low. Winter flowering plants like violas and pansies, cold-hardy perennials like Ajuga, and ornamental cabbages are all smart choices for the winter container garden.

Planning a holiday dinner? Consider winter plants of the edible variety! Mustard greens, arugula, spinach, leaf lettuces, cabbage, kale, and swiss chard add fabulous color and texture to the winter container garden. For a winter herb garden, consider thyme, parsley, oregano, and lavender.

Winter Miniature Accessories

Choosing winter plants for the container garden is half the fun. The other half? Choosing miniature accessories, fairy houses, and landscaping materials, of course! Once you start looking online and in your local garden shops, you will find an entire world full of winter and holiday-themed miniature accessories.

For a holiday-focused winter container garden, I would choose a fairy cottage as a centerpiece. They can be found in fun holiday shapes like Santa hats, Christmas trees, and ice-skating cabins. You could even repurpose an all-season fairy cottage. Just sprinkle some faux snow on top, add some twinkling lights, and make a DIY sign that says “Ice Skating Cabin,” “Hot Cocoa Cottage,” or “Santa’s Workshop.” Just like that, your winter container garden has a holiday focal point fit for fairy fun.

As a final, finishing touch for your winter container garden, add a few miniature accessories and fairies that fit the winter season. A snow shovel can lean up against the fairy cottage, while a sled might be half-buried in the snow. Bright red accessories add a hint of cheer, so consider tying a red ribbon around one of your winter container plants, or “plant” some candy canes in the soil along a pathway. Tiny wrapped gifts complete the scene.

I cannot wait to come up with additional ideas for my winter container gardens. When it comes to holiday gardens and winter plants, the options are endless. Stay tuned for more.


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