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Summer 2007
 
John Cushnie On...
 

WINTER WINDOW BOXES
10 September 2007

Now is a good time to visit garden centres and nurseries looking for suitable plants to replace the summer bedding in containers and hanging baskets. By the end of September they will be looking tired with few flowers. When you are there pick up some multi purpose compost to replace the existing which will be exhausted.


When it comes time to replant put the chopped up plants and the old compost into the compost heap.

PotsWith the right selection of plants you will have colourful containers from late autumn through to spring. If you are going to use winter bedding such as polyanthus and pansies they will need the same attention to dead heading as the summer flowering plants.


Snowdrop The show can be strengthened by including dwarf bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops, winter aconites, miniature daffodils and dwarf tulips. They will flower from early in the year through until spring. Inserting crocus bulbs through the side of a hanging basket will brighten the display.


Plants should be hardy and capable of withstanding rain and frost. Heathers are ideal and there are hundreds of late autumn, winter and early spring flowering varieties many of them with attractively coloured foliage. Varieties such as Erica ‘Springwood White’ and E. ‘Springwood Pink’ will trail down the side with each stem plastered with tiny flowers.
They will be available in the spring for planting out in the garden for continued flower in future years.


Hedera helix ‘Glacier’Small leafed ivies such as Hedera helix ‘Glacier’ may be planted around the edge of the container to trail down. Again they have a life after the basket is emptied in spring.
Gaultheria procumbens has small, red tinged, evergreen leaves with bright red berries during winter.

It is possible to use small plants of large shrubs. Skimmia with its deep red berries and pieris with young red leaves are usually available for container growing. At the end of the winter they may be planted out in the garden bearing in mind that they will eventually become large plants.


sage - Salvia Officinalis If you want to be different plant a basket with edible plants. Thyme and parsley are attractive and a small plant of sage will prove useful around Christmas.



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