Pursuit of MTPots

Many years ago I discovered that potted plants, left in a certain sheltered location outside, will survive the winter.  In fact, they can survive several winters.  And so, over the years, I became inundated with plants in pots.

It goes something like this…

A friend shares a plant and I don’t know where to plant it, so I pot it up.

I need to move a plant out of a garden, so I pot it up.

I start cuttings or grow from seed creating more potted plants.

I had accumulated so many pots full of plants this summer, I had to challenge myself to empty as many pots as I could. This may sound simple, but it can be quite a process.  I take two steps forward and one step back as I proceed.

It goes something like this…

Find a great location for some plants, but have to pot up one that’s in the way.

Extra plants are given away to those who will give them a new home, but several potted plants designated for other gardeners are not yet taken.

Many of my collection went to a plant swap in June.  It felt good to move em out!  Anise Hyssop, Rose Campion, Forsythia, Bush Cherry, Echinacea, Daylilies, Yucca, Catnip, Spirea and more.  Of course I also found many treasures there.

I got some perennials for shade; Wild Ginger, Astilbe, Hosta, Heuchera and Soloman’s Seal.

I got some annuals; Coleus. Draconia, and more.  I also scored some herbs and sunny perennials; Iris, Feverfew, Red Bee Balm, Comfrey, Thyme, Lupine, Columbine, Tickseed, Lambs Ears and Sedum.

As I planted the swapped plants, I also grabbed plants from my stash.  Armed with wheelbarrow, shovel and compost, I was determined to put a real dent in them.  This was more than a one day project.

Sometimes the perfect place for a plant is simply ‘in the ground.’

After all, it can always be moved later, if it’s not invasive that is.

Sometimes the perfect place is a bigger pot.

Some annuals went into planters, which works great as a perfect location since the entire container can be moved to sun or shade as needed.

Zinnias started out slowly from seed, but turned out to be a success… note to self: Plant Zinnias again next year.

I am still in pursuit of the illusive MTPots.  The full pots sit like a stack of papers “to be filed.” Some I don’t know exactly where they belong.  Some I know where they will go, but they will require more preparation than I am willing to do right now.  Often, I keep weak plants in pots so I can give them extra TLC.  They can go in the ground when their roots are healthy.  Many are still in pots.

There is always something to plant and it would seem strange if there wasn’t.

Meanwhile, I splash them with water every day and they continue to survive.


Are your pots empty?


I am linking up with Mary from Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.



This entry was posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at 4:09 PM and is filed under Annuals, Observations, Perennials, Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Lavender Cottage says:

    I’ve overwintered plants for our spring sale in pots too. I just place them against the south side of the house and make sure they get snow coverage.
    I like the idea of potted ribbon grass in the pond – one could be put on the ledge.
    Yes, I have lots of empty pots but they get filled up in spring as I divide and share plants.

    ... on August 6th, 2012
  2. judy says:

    I know this is way out of season, but this is the very question I was searching for, can I overwinter outdoor plants safely in pots? And yes, I can.
    I love your photos and the sense of what goes where.

    ... on October 17th, 2012