Amongst the first bulbs to open are baby reticulata irises and snowdrops, soon followed by daffodils, crocuses and grape hyacinths, whilst winter flowering pansies and primulas just keep going throughout. Containers, with their huge variety of materials, sizes and shapes, are infinitely adaptable, and easily planted up to create spot colour and a succession of seasonal displays that can be interchanged as each passes its best. Garden steps form a good platform for collections of pots which, provided there are drainage holes, need not be restricted to traditional terracotta — consider also old tins, woven baskets, enamel basins, galvanised metal troughs or wooden wine boxes.
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