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Hanging baskets for autumn and winter

 

If you thought that once summer was over, your hanging baskets would be too – think again! Here’s some suggestions for adding a welcome splash of colour to your hanging baskets for the autumn, winter and spring months!

Your basket

For colder months we recommend that you use a closed bottom basket than an open-work one.  For example, the rustic-style Willow basket pictured here is one of our best sellers.  During the colder months,  this type of basket will give the plants some extra protection against the elements.
Prepare it in much the same way as you would the summer basket with adequate drainage holes and a good quality compost.

 

Choosing your plants

This is slightly different to the ‘Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers’ approach we use in summer where we’d choose height in the centre, fill around for volume, and finish off with trailing plants.
With windy, cold Scottish winters in mind, it’s important to use hardy varieties and aim for slightly less height and length.
The baskets in the image are simple to create, featuring a mass of colourful winter-flowering Violas.
We’ve suggested some plants below that work well in autumn/winter baskets and there’s lots more in-store.

 

Caring for your basket

Caring for your basket in the colder months is very different to what’s required in summer.  It’s important to keep the compost moist – particularly if it is windy – but too much water can kill your plants, especially if it becomes frosty.
If you’ve used a good compost, you probably won’t need to feed again over winter – too much feed produces fast, soft growth which is susceptible to frost damage.
Although the plants we suggest will tolerate most winter conditions, it is a good idea to move the basket into a sheltered place if we have particularly strong winds or low temperatures.

Calocephalus brownii

interesting grey foliage for contrast with Dianthus at the rear

Gaultheria

grown for its highly vibrant  berries

Cineraria maritima

its grey foliage is a perfect background to the pansies

Stipa

also known as Ponytail Grass ‘waves’ in the breeze

Cyclamen

with variegated trailing ivy in front

Brassicas

Shown here with heather background

Ajuga

lovely foliage, good trailing plants

Hebe

can be used afterwards in the border

Looking after your hanging basket

Unlike summer, getting the watering level just right can be tricky.  Check that your compost is nicely damp after watering, and although we don’t expect much sun to dry out the basket, don’t forget how drying the wind can be!
If you’ve used a good compost, you probably won’t need to feed again over winter – too much feed will produce faster, softer growth which is more susceptible to frost damage.  Although the plants you’ll use will tolerate most winter conditions, it is a good idea to move the basket into a sheltered place if we have particularly strong winds or low temperatures.
Dead-head as required and remove any dead foliage to keep the basket clean and free from disease.

And that’s about it!  As ever, if you have any questions or need advice that we’ve not covered here, our plant team are always more than happy to help.

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