Summer flowers linger last week in Imogene's pots--

My first Christmas gift is already delivered.  Last week, I drove  to my hometown in Alamance County and re-planted my friend Imogene’s pots. 

Imogene's pots planted for winter-spring color

Snapdragons, Dianthus and violas will bring months of blooms to her patio garden.  In spring (for her birthday) I’ll pull out these winter annuals and replant for spring, summer and fall.  

Dianthus in bloom. The snapdragons will fill in and bring height and color for early spring--

Imogene has been my special friend  since I was 13. She helped me celebrate my  marriage, my first home, my first garden.     When I was a beginning gardener, she was an important teacher.  Many of my first plants came from her.  

Giving back makes me feel good, and honors our long, long friendship.  The patio garden is something she enjoys everyday. 

Make sure your winter garden is easy to see from the house--

So if you know an older gardener who doesn’t get around as well as they used to, consider a well-placed pot display.  It’s a gift that lasts and last. 

Imogene's patio is a great place for a winter pot garden. The brick and concrete hold the sun's heat--

There are 12 pots of all sizes in Imogene’s patio garden.  Every other year, I change the potting mix.  I use slow-release fertilizer and a combination of 4-5 different plant varieties–about a flat and half or two flats of annuals.    For fun, I change the color scheme every season. 

Tall spiky plants do well in the elevated end pots.  This is a large evergreen Carex–a great find from the Campbell Road Nursery perennial sale.  I bought my hardy annuals there as well.  They have a good selection of healthy plants for NC gardens.  I know they’ll do well for my old, old friend.