Winter Hanging Baskets

It is believed that the hanging basket was originally designed to remind a princess of home, some also believe the idea came from the hanging gardens of Babylon, it is with the wonderful versatility of this idea that we can design our own little piece of heaven from our doorstep right through to our garden. However, casting our minds back to the long, cold winter we experienced not so long ago it is probable that most of us may be reluctant to consider planning how to add warmth to our otherwise dreary doorways and garden during the late season. Despite this, in order to avoid even the slightest, sparse period it is vital to plan ahead when it comes to complimenting any garden displays throughout the seasons. When it comes to winter hanging baskets a mixture of upright and tumbling plants can have the best effect. Shrubs like Box,  heathers and carex (ornamental grass) can provide height while trailing plants like ivy not only add warmth but can also hide the edges of the basket. Bedding plants such as primroses, violas, cyclamen and polyanthus will contribute colour with winter pansies great for filling in any gaps and can be grown from seeds.

Regardless of space or the size of your doorway, choose no smaller than a 14-inch basket. Cover the inside of the basket with a coconut fibre liner, followed by a plastic disc to use as a saucer in the bottom of the hanging basket to help retain water. Using soil based compost, particularly if growing shrubs put a one-inch layer into the base of the basket. Make three small cuts across the sides of the liner or fibre. These small holes can be used to secure the plants in place, preventing damage to the root ball of each plant. Add another layer of compost followed by more plants. Once everything has been added fill the basket with compost but leave an approximate two-inch gap from the top. Pack the compost and the plants in tightly, filling any gaps with smaller flowers and compost.

During the winter months, the rugged flowers of heather are superb at filling out an arrangement and surrounding them with trailing plants such as ivy or creeping thyme will soften the edges. With preparation remaining key, why not add a few dwarf daffodil, narcissus, tulips or iris bulbs to extend the display well into spring. Once quality plants and shrubs are chosen, maintain your winter hanging basket by not letting it dry out and dead heading flowers as soon as they show any signs of fading. If weather conditions become harsh, boost your plants with a weekly liquid feed.


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