The beautiful new containers on your deck or patio or in your garden were a sight to behold this summer. Overflowing with brightly colored flowers, they brought you pleasure all season. But now that the colder weather is setting in, do you need to unplant them and store them out of sight where no one can enjoy them? I say: “The answer is no with a qualification”.
They can really make a statement when they’re brought indoors but where you place the containers is crucial. Will there be enough light to keep the plants in them growing well? If not, either remove them or replace them with lower-light plants before bringing the containers inside. That will save lots of clean up time.
After washing, you could bring your light-weight or terra cotta containers indoors to use as accent pieces during the holidays and winter months. Terra cotta containers will freeze and crack if left outside so enjoy them inside instead of toting them to the garage. I recommend inserting a plastic saucer under the container, thus preventing leaks when watering.
Leave the heavy, frost-proof containers outside but either put pot feet under them to assure drainage (actually, you should have done that anyway for the growing season) or tip them on their sides if they are not in a prominent spot. However, cast stone or concrete urns, especially with a weathered mossy patina make wonderful and atmospheric indoor decorations. To move them, all you really need is a dolly and someone with great strength.
If the containers were left unplanted and used instead as focal points, you should leave them in the garden. I love my glazed turquoise pot that is much more prominent during the winter.
For lower maintenance, instead of actually planting the containers, dried flowers, interesting branches or topiary shapes made of moss, grapevine, shells or even shiny Christmas balls can be arranged in the urns or containers and for added interest can be changed seasonally.
Small white or colored lights can be added for a festive nighttime look. Even unplanted, an urn, especially if raised on a pedestal or placed on a table, can be a dramatic sculptural focal point.
Statuary, finials or small fountains and birdbaths can also be enjoyed indoors during the colder months but don’t try to bring in the ones from outside. Invest in ones that can remain indoors all year round. Create a conservatory look for the winter by nestling it among potted plants in a corner of a room. A fountain used indoors will provide much needed humidity during the winter and the sound will be a delightful reminder of summer.