‘Not just for the summer!’ Alan Titchmarsh shares how to plant a winter hanging basket

Alan Titchmarsh makes a winter hanging basket in 2013

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As the summer comes to a close, many gardeners will be thinking ahead to the coming months. Autumn is an important time of year for gardeners because the ground is still warm enough to plant things that will bloom in spring. It’s also a great time to replace summer flowering hanging baskets with winter hanging baskets.

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Gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh has shared his advice for planting winter hanging baskets in a video for Waitrose for a “dramatic” display of flowers right through the year.

Alan said hanging baskets are not just for summer but for winter too.

He said: “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that hanging baskets are just for summer.

“The big bedding plant-filled ones are but you can make winter hanging baskets too.

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“This one here has got a lining made of coir.

“I’ve made holes in it to push through things like ivy and winter-flowering pansies.

“Now, the great thing about winter baskets is they don’t grow at a rate of knots like summer ones do.

“So you can stuff them right from the start.

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“And provided they’re hung in a sheltered spot that isn’t wind-blown the whole time, you’ll have a jolly winter.”

The gardening expert advised planting ivies and winter pansies.

He also suggested planting hebes which have variegated leaves.

They will later produce small flowers with can be used as a “centrepiece” in the middle of the basket.

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He continued: “Around the edge here, [get] loads and loads of heucheras now that keep their leaves right the way through the winter.

“Some of them are bronze, some of them are yellow-tinged with pink.

“They’re quite dramatic, even at this time of year.

“They can go in with ordinary peat-free multi-purpose compost.

“You can push those right around the edge and by the time you get to the end of your basket you’ll find you’ve got something outside the house which is better-looking than those dead bedding plants sitting there right the way through the year.”

Winter hanging baskets should be planted between September and October.

All the plants going into the hanging basket should be hardy so they can survive frosts.

Other plants that can be put in winter hanging baskets include cyclamens, hellebores, snowdrops, ferns and violas.

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