How to make a colourful autumn hanging basket

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If you thought hanging baskets were only for summer gardens, think again. This little beauty can be planted in just a couple of hours, and will sparkle with colour from now till next April. Hang it beside your front door to welcome guests or use it to brighten up a dull wall or fence in the back garden. And remember to check out ACHICA promotions for great deals on baskets and garden items this autumn. Then, just follow these simple steps…

You will need:

Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Silver Mist’ or Carex ‘Ice Dance’

Dryopteris affinis

Violas

Dwarf daffodil bulbs, such as Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête'

Variegated ivy

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1. Choose a large basket, which will hold lots of pretty plants, and place it on a big pot or bucket to keep it stable. Snip holes in the plastic liner for drainage – do not forget this step or your plants will rot. Ensure you place the chains under the basket before you start planting, and decide which side will be the front so you can plant so that the chains are on either side of the front of the hanging basket.

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2. Add a layer of multi-purpose compost to the bottom of the basket. Then add the larger plants, such as the heuchera and fern, towards the back, with the grassy plant at the front. Set out a few dwarf daffodil bulbs between these plants and cover them with a little compost.

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3. Add your violas and ivy on top on the bulbs – the little daffodils will squeeze through the other flowers next spring. Then fill in around all the plants with more compost and firm gently.

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Caring for your basket

Water your basket after planting, and during dry spells in autumn. You will need to water it more regularly in spring when the violas and daffodils will be in full bloom. Remove the dead daffodil flowers after they have faded, and in late April or May, if the violas are starting to flag, add a weekly dose of tomato fertilizer to pep them up.

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[Images: Brian North]

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Zia Allaway, Garden Expert

View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert