Well today we enter tier 2 in my local area. Though this doesn’t really change anything as we haven’t had anyone else in the house for a while and we have a small child and no child care so going out to bars with other people wasn’t a big part of our life. But we’ve still had plenty of fun this week with our snail and the whale adventure, tree planting with the promise, and a Halloween trail at Burton Agnes. So at least we’ve got out before we have our options slightly restricted.
I saw a few weeks ago that Mr Plant Geek AKA Michael Perry was running a competition to create an autumn planter. I thought it would make a nice little weekend project with Alice. We had a big empty pot ready and I had a vague idea of plants I wanted. We had a good wander of the garden centre to find suitable plants deciding on our choices together. Then a decent slab of carrot cake for me and brownie for Alice before returning to get to work.
Amy had wanted a callicarpa last year but I resisted as it is a pretty boring plant for much of the year. The leaves are nothing to shout about. The flowers are alright but not exactly a show stopper. Where they excel is the autumn berries. As you can see they are like nothing else. Masses of small purple berries cover the plant in autumn. On there own it’s a pretty boring plant so it needs really companions to provide interest the rest of the year or to be used as a temporary display.
I wanted something evergreen with a bright leaf to provide interest through autumn and winter. This one fitted the bill. The wider leave provides a contrast in shape and colour to the callicarpa and the grass. I was looking for a brighter red one but they didn’t have any currently.
The veining isn’t as striking as some but will be more prominent at other times of the year.
This is a nice short grass. I have a pot of carex ice dance which has stayed reliably evergreen through the winter. The short thin spikes contrasting with the other elements of the pot.
4. Trailing pansy
Alice wanted a few of these pansies. We put one in her bee pot from a few weeks ago and dotted a few around the edge of this planter. I’m not a massive fan of this sort of bedding plant but it will add some nice bursts of colour to the pot as they spill over the edge. The colour she selected is working well with the other plants and I think it will improve as the autumn goes on and they fill out.
I topped the pot with pebbles to stop splashback on the wall if it needs watering and to keep it all looking neat. It acts as a mulch keeping some moisture in reducing the need to water, not that this matters currently.
6. The overall look
I think we selected plants that look attractive together. It should stay looking good through the darker months and be a nice sight out of the back door. They are complementing each other nicely.
And here are the two of us looking proud next to our work. Alice really wants to win the cushion for the first prize so we’ll see how it goes. Whether we win or not it was nice planting it up together and talking through the plants with Alice and selecting options together at the garden centre. You can also see Alice’s bee pot she filled with tulips a few weeks back. She agreed to put a pansy in so it doesn’t have to sit looking like an empty pot for half the year.
We had a good time making our planter together and Alice stayed out to help me with other garden jobs after. We got a few more things planted and she helped sweep the patio and give the windows a clean after all the dust from the builders. A good productive afternoon. Fingers crossed we win as she is very excited by the cushion to a point where I will have to buy her a cushion if we don’t win. But even if we don’t we can take pleasure in our planter over the darker months of the year.