Summer might be reaching its end, but there’s still time to experiment with flowers and decorate your outdoor area for the autumn/winter period. Hanging baskets can liven up the facade of your house or balcony, and are an easy way of maintaining and presenting your favourite florals.
There are plants that can grow all year round, just make sure you opt for frost hardy ones. Winter pansies, heathers, trailing ivy and primulas are a good choice, as well as tough evergreens.
Plant the winter hanging baskets between September and October, and make sure you water the baskets enough to keep the compost moist. Every 3 days or so should be enough. Although the climate isn’t as hot during wintertime and it takes longer for the baskets to dry out, they still require water and regular check-ups. Remove spent flowers to allow new flowers to grow.
Winter hanging baskets thrive in a sheltered, sunny spot. If the spot is exposed, the basket might need a bit of protection. Also, make sure they’re well hung, in case the autumn winds are particularly strong.
Use multi purpose compost (a mix of slow release granular fertiliser and water retaining crystals), line the basket with fibrous fleece, wet newspaper and moss for frost protection. Some recommend lining the basket with sphagnum moss, but since this isn’t the most sustainable option, you can use moss from your lawn. The optimal eco-friendly alternative lining however is using old woolly jumpers. A small saucer can be placed in the base of the basket to act as a reservoir.
Stick to a colour scheme and don’t plant random flowers that will make your basket look messy. Pansy, viola and cyclamen are great for colour, while conifer plants, crysanthemum and coloured heather can make up the centre. To think ahead, plant spring bulbs between your chosen winter plants and flowers, and your winter hanging baskets will keep on growing as the sunny rays of spring touches the soil.
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