Ta da! This photo does not do the arrangement justice. It is very cheery and when the maroon pansy comes out and grows foilageand the ivy mixes with the grass, it will be real boost as I step out of the front door in the snowy months. It may have been even more beautiful in a brown or cream pot, as below but the ivy looks good against the green of the container.
This was my inspiration, well, where I copied it from you could say! I'm always searching for arrangements that will last the year round and especially ones that will be cheerful in the winter. I so hate the cold weather and all the bare trees, I'm a real summer person.
I found this beautiful composition in an excellent book that was a gift: 'Container Gardening Through The Seasons' by Jim Keeling with beautiful photos by Andrew Lawson. The book in fact is about the Whichford pottery in Oxfordshire and the book shows some exquisite pots, including the creamy coloured one above. The chapters take you through the pot making process and there are many many arrangements to copy or take ideas from for all the seasons. A true inspiration if you are limited to pot arrangements for your gardening.
I found this arrangement in the winter section and the author writes that they are able to leave the Cordylines (the red plant with long floppy leaves) outside because they use a method of protecting the inner growing point by binding the leaves into a bundle using dogwood (thick twine would do the trick also). So, I'm hoping to use the same trick, which will add a casual and slightly less structured feel to the pot, and crossing my fingers that it'll last the winter. If it's next to the door, it should be quite sheltered too and maybe slightly warmer.
I'll do a proper post about the book, but here it is on Amazon just in case you're desparate to get some ideas. it's only £4.39! What a small price for so much inspiration!