Winter planters may look like any ordinary potted plant, but they excel at one thing: the pots used aren’t your usual terracotta.
Clay is a type of expansive soil, swelling and shrinking depending on water content. Clay pots are one of the most affordable containers around, their porosity allowing them to breathe and provide air to the soil. Under a rainy winter, however, clay will be susceptible to cracking as a result of constant freeze-thaw cycles.
Winter planters from qualified Hamilton landscaping companies like Green Collar Landscaping are made from composites like plastic and fiberglass, as well as harder stones. These materials aren’t as absorbent as clay, helping them resist harsh weather. They stand out amidst the snow-blanketed landscape, especially when placed at your front door.
However, the container is just half the story. A good winter planter must bring the right flair to any landscape with the right composition of foliage, but not just any foliage. These species of plants must be tough enough to weather the winter cold and, if possible, last through the spring. This is where the plant hardiness zone comes in.
The Great Lakes area in Ontario, according to Natural Resources Canada’s hardiness map, is ideal for plants with a hardiness of at least 6b. This means any plant above 6b, from 0a to 6a, is fair game for that area. This is good news because it means you have plenty of plants to choose from, unlike farther north around Hudson Bay where only 0a and 0b plants are suitable.
Experts say Zone-6 areas are ideal for gardening enthusiasts because of the wide range of plants they can plant all-year round. Zone-6 plants include—but are not limited to—purple clematis, variegated hosta, persimmon trees, cypress trees, and hydrangeas. A lot of these plants can be used to comprise your winter containers.
If you don’t want to go through the long list of Zone-6 plants, it’s okay to consider native plants, which many landscapers in Hamilton use for their winter containers. Some examples include evening primrose, Canada wild rye, buffaloberry, black walnut tree, Virginia creeper, and prairie dock.
Going native offers a series of benefits. As they grow around these parts, they require little care, helping cut landscaping costs. They also prevent invasive species from populating the local flora and fauna, which can be detrimental in the long run.
(Source: “Wonderful Winter Containers,” Fine Gardening)