Create a container for the Autumn garden

I think the autumn is my favourite season – there are such beautiful colours in the garden and it’s a time to reflect on the growing season and a time to celebrate our gardening successes.

We’ve recently taken the Potting Shed stage to two autumn flower shows and as always been amazed by the plants and produce on display there. From pumpkins to leeks and dahlias to ferns there’s something for everyone in the Autumn months.

With this in mind I created some Autumn containers to share with our lovely audiences. Although there are no flowers in them there’s certainly no lack of colour with gorgeous greens and russet reds in a terracotta container and silver, black and green in a more contemporary galvanised tub.

I’ve had several requests for a planting list so I hope you find this helpful

In my more traditional terracotta container I used –

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  • Hakenochloa – an elegant mound forming green grass
  • Heuchera ‘Alfie’ – lovely rich chocolate, slightly ruffled foliage
  • Calluna vulgaris – traditional heather with pinky red flowers
  • Dryopteris erythrosora – Autumn fern with coppery red fronds
  • Heuchera ‘Redstone falls’ – Coppery red foliage with a trailing habit
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens (Black Grass) – clump forming evergreen dark purple grass which has purple flowers then fruit in the summer

For my more contemporary galvanised container I used –

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  • Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Elizabeth’ – An evergreen shrub with dark stems and grey green ruffled leaves with a pink tinge
  • Calacephalus brownii – a small evergreen shrub (not fully hardy) with silver stems and tiny leaves (we found these selling very cheaply in a DIY store along with the winter bedding!)
  • Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens (Black Grass) – clump forming evergreen dark purple grass which has purple flowers then fruit in the summer

Tips for planting and care –

  • Make sure to crock the bottom of the pot and if it’s large use some recycled polystyrene in the base to save on compost
  • I used a peat free compost that I’m trialling from Plantgrow, a company based in Norfolk
  • If like me you’ll be using your plants in your borders then leave them in their pots and plunge them into the compost.
  • Don’t overfill the container. You can always add more compost at the end
  • Decide whether you’ll be looking at the container all the way round or just from the front and place your plants accordingly
  • Don’t bother adding any fertiliser into the compost. The plants won’t grow much over the winter so save it for the spring
  • Water the plants in but don’t over water over the next few weeks – use your finger to test if the pot needs watering
  • Use pot feet or a Potmate to lift your pot off the ground a little. It will help with air flow to the base of the pot and allow water to drain. It will also help to keep green circles at bay on your patio

If you want to watch me create an Autumn container then have a look at our Pots & Trowels channel on YouTube or facebook