Winter hanging baskets
Never done a winter hanging basket before and would like some advice, is it too late to sow seeds for this years basket to flower? If I'm too late what can I do?
I'm interested in winter pansy's, cyclamen and spring bulbs. How hardy is trailing ivy?
What combinations look good?
Living in the north east it can get very cold, but I would love some brightness in the garden. My garden faces south and the baskets would be on the south facing wall, any tips or avice.
Many thanks, Tina
I would go for violas, the smaller petals cope better with bad weather, mine flowered in containers, all through winter.The ones I sowed by seed last summer came in to flower in March and have just finished flowering. I am sowing seeds now but never seem to get the timing quite right and end up buying in at the last minute.
Combinations are quite difficult as bulbs can over dominate or produce lots of leaves and few flowers, you are often better off doing a basket of just one plant.
Trailing Ivy is hardy, but when it was windy the baskets got knocked around more so it depends how sheltered they will be.
i put couple pansies, heuchera ,dianthus, cyclamen, cinaria, colored heather and ivy looks lovely. sandra
How about some Ajuga or Thyme for trailing interest or maybe some grasses such Acorus gramineus to give a bit.of height. There are lots of fairly tough and colourful foliage plants around
I agree with Kate1123 about violas: much better than pansies for coping with ghastly weather and seem to produce more petal surface per plant compared to pansies.
If you are going to put in some bulbs use dwarf late flowering species to perk the basket up if the pansies etc start to look a bit tired (perhaps a dwarf tulip)
I've been using Panolas for winter pots etc for the past two years - they're a cross between pansies and violas and flower their socks off all winter and are very pretty, they're a bit smaller than pansies but not as small as violas and cope with winter weather really well, holding their faces up even in the snow. I got them from Notcutts.
One of my favourites is Beaconsfield http://www.gardenworldimages.com/Details.aspx?ID=33572&TypeID=1
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
I would suggest trailing violas which will flower all winter long and although you can deadhead occasionally will generally look after themselves. put a small bright green conifer in the middle. My winter baskets last year lasted from when I planted them in October until May of this year and even then I reluctantly replaced the plants. An alternative is a small hebe in the middle, trailing ivy and heathers or other small ever green shrubs you can find in collections in the supermarkets, garden centre or on your local market. Good luck!
I've just bought some tiny violas in pretty bi-colours and will re-use the ivy that was there in the summer baskets; and I shall transplant some self-sown alpine strawberries for the middle which will trail down a bit when they get going.
Hi Kat1123 we had the same wind conditions this year, in the end i used short cutain wires and hooks ,hooked into the bottom of the baskets and hooked onto the shed where we hang them, the ivy grew along it so not too abvious, it did save the baskets from getting damaged cheers.
To give hanging basket lovers peace of mind, there is a little gadget that is now available that helps to stop your hanging baskets being blown of in high winds. it has a vice like grip. it is called the Baskit Geni.
Hope this helps