My 2013 winter container in progress

At $26 a bunch, the coral-coloured winterberry (Ilex) was my most expensive buy. Worth every berry.

Today, I began to assemble our winter containers – or winter container, singular. Have you noticed that it’s cold out there? The soil in my two smaller containers was frozen rock solid, making the fall stuff impossible to extract, and the winter stuff impossible to insert. Let that be a lesson to me. They’re now defrosting in my front hall. Watch where you step.

But thanks to sheer dumb luck, I’d lazily sunken a plastic pot of mums into the larger container. It pulled out easily, leaving a frozen depression that I filled with loose soil. Hey, presto! Neat trick.

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