Planning to create a fall container garden? How about using a combination of live plants, cut branches, colorful berries, and interesting evergreen foliage to establish a seasonal focal point to enjoy as the leaves drop and the trees become bare. Create your garden early enough for your plants to acclimate to their new pots before freezing temperatures arrive, and be ready to bring them inside to protect from the weather if necessary. If certain plants start to turn brown or the container becomes overgrown, selectively remove weak plants to add hardier ones. Here are some of the best fall container gardening ideas to help you get started:
Container Garden Materials
The best weather-resistant container materials for cooler winter climates are fiberglass, lead, iron, heavy plastic, and stone. Repeated freezing and thawing will make Terra-cotta crack due to expansion and contraction. Each container material has advantages and disadvantages, select the one you find attractive, that fits your budget, style and design. Here’s a list of popular materials:
Concrete: Concrete garden containers come in many sizes, and colors; and are heavy enough to remain stable in inclement windy weather.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass garden containers offer numerous advantages—they are lightweight, affordable and made in a variety of designs to simulate different materials.
Stone: Stone garden containers are highly weather-resistant, stable in windy climates, and offer an attractive and high quality alternative to concrete.
Hardy Plants for the Winter Container Garden
The best strategy for having a garden that lasts through the winter is to use plants that have a hardiness rating to at least two zones colder than your USDA Hardiness Zone. Fine Gardening lists the following as hardy plants: ‘Elegantissima’ redtwig dogwood (Zones 2–8), ‘Ivory Tower’ Japanese holly (Zones 5–7), ‘Golden Sword’ yucca (Zones 4–11), Japanese pieris (Zones 6–8), ‘Bressingham Ruby’ bergenia (Zones 4–8), and ‘Caramel’ heuchera (Zones 3–8).
- Evergreens and annuals combined
- Stair step pots
- Hanging plants
- Raised urns
- Pots of alternating colors
- Built-in containers on a deck
- Large shallow pot
- Deep & narrow pots
Fall Container Gardening Design
How do the garden experts create those great container arrangements you see in the magazines? By using basic principles of composition, such as an eye -catching arrangement of an odd number of pots grouped into a triangle with a larger central pot flanked by smaller containers.
Fine Gardening notes, “A container grouping will quickly fall into place if the tallest element is placed at the rear of the composition with the other pots on either side. Plant the tall container with something appropriately commanding so it will dominate the grouping.” Selecting an ornately styled container as a focal point that can be moved, redesigned or rearranged is one primary advantage that containers have over in ground gardens.
The Main Line landscape design, maintenance and installation firm of Aardweg Landscaping offers professional landscaping design services in Philadelphia. Aardweg Landscaping has been serving customers in Main Line communities for over 35 years.