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Bedding inspiration for autumn and winter

The end of summer doesn’t have to spell the end of fun and colour in your garden…

In late September, you’ll probably be packing away the shorts and sandals that have seen you through summer, and getting out your favourite chunky knits and practical boots ready for the big chill. Is there anything more cosy and satisfying? And it’s not just our clothes that change in the autumn…

Just like us, our gardens prefer to sport different fashions during the cooler months. While it’s true that we spend less time outdoors enjoying our gardens in the winter, having something attractive to look out upon can go a long way towards lifting your spirits when the weather is dull. All it takes is a little planning…

Don’t let your garden spend another winter looking bleak and uninspiring. As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, we have plenty of inspiration to keep your space looking beautiful right through until spring.

Caring for your winter blooms

If you haven’t already, remove any old bedding plants and compost them. Then replace your compost (your summer plants will likely have absorbed all of its nutrients) and add a good feed before arranging your winter flowering plants in their final flowering position.

It goes without saying that winter flowering plants don’t need watering as often as those that flower in the dry heat of summer, but it’s still a good idea to check in on them on a regular basis. If your garden goes a week or so without rain, give plants a little water and feed - being sure not to overwater, as this can lead to rot. Deadhead as normal to encourage fresh blooms.

Most important of all, make sure you choose varieties known to do well in autumn and winter. The choice of colours and shapes might just surprise you! We recommend:


Tough and easy to grow, pansies work in containers, beds and borders - and come in a stunning range of colours, their little faces guaranteed to cheer you up even on the darkest days. They require a fairly sunny spot, as well as proper draining in good soil in order to do their best work. Look after them and they will dress up your garden from November to spring. Smaller-flowered varieties are hardier and easier to combine with other plants than those with big flowers.


Lovely in hanging baskets, pots and containers, forget-me-nots self seed, so you can enjoy them season after season. Plant them now and they will be out in full force to delight you at the first signs of spring.


Bright, colourful, and gorgeously abundant, polyanthus are also tough little plants and are a fabulous way to keep an injection of colour in your garden all winter long. Their pretty rosette forms make them ideal for containers, and they can be replanted in the ground when the time comes.

Wild Primroses

Loved by gardeners and pollinators alike, wild primroses are a mainstay of the British garden - and are best enjoyed in early spring. In fact, all primroses are great for adding some drama to your winter displays - delicately scented, these statuesque blooms also grow up to 20cm in size! Double primroses can generally be bought in the autumn and there are some good hardy seed forms such as Belarina. They are soft-stemmed so examine the roots for vine weevil when you buy - avoid plants with visible gaps in the root structure.


With hardy and less hardy varieties available, cyclamen do best where they are shielded from harsh weather conditions. Keep them in a sheltered outdoor position where possible and fleece them with heavy duty material on cold nights. Your efforts are sure to pay off - when they are looked over, cyclamen can produce hundreds of beautiful flowers - and their snowflake-like foliage is just gorgeous.

Winter-flowering violas

Winter-flowering violas are hardier than winter pansies, with a beautiful scent and a more wild appearance than many pansy varieties.

Double daisies

Double daisies make excellent bedding plants, and look particularly good when mixed with dramatic red blooms and dark-coloured foliage.

Winter-flowering heathers

Although many need acid-soil to thrive in the garden long term, winter-flowering heathers can survive a single winter provided you use loam-based compost and a good feed.

And why not…

Experiment with herbs, shrubs and even vegetables to keep your garden looking gorgeous? Ornamental cabbages give a long-lasting display and are available in an enormous range of colours and leaf shapes. Their coloration changes as the weather cools, presenting an ever-changing spectacle. They also combine well with fine-textured plants such as grasses

Plants need more than just water and nutrients, they need a regular supply of plant-sourced amino acids and peptides to grow, yield and last their best. Our Imperium Organics plant stimulant supplies all the amino acids and peptides your plants need to revive, survive and thrive the natural way.

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