Gardening Magazine

A Hanging Basket for Spring

By Ozhene @papaver

As the winter solstice turns and the days have reached their shortest, there is on the horizon the prospect of spring. We have winter to get through yet and I have no intention of wishing my life away, but planting for spring is always a joy.

This past year I have been rather enamored with hanging baskets. I made one earlier this year and it gave me a great amount of pleasure watching it grow and develop. I currently have a ready-planting basket of primroses hanging by the front door, but a few weeks ago I bought a couple of empty baskets to plant up. I had an idea in my mind what I wanted to do and a bit of bulb buying later and I was set to go.

A hanging basket for spring

Late November I set to work. I purposely bought these baskets as they can be re-used, I will just need new coir liners. I poked holes in the sides and planted some snowdrops: Galanthus nivalis elwesii, into the holes. I immediately realised my first mistake, it would have been easier if I had cut the holes before I put the compost in. Next time, I noted to myself, next time.....

Then I placed some more Elwesii and some Tulipa saxatilis bulbs into the main body of the basket. I topped up with more compost and finally sowed some hardy seeds on the top.

A hanging basket for spring

Within a week I was rewarded by an optimistic snowdrop, so happy to be planted at last it burst into life.

A hanging basket for spring

A week further on and this little love was poking its head out.


A hanging basket for spring

The seeds were starting to germinate as well. This I did not expect just yet but it has been quite mild.

A hanging basket for spring

As I write this it is four weeks since the basket was planted up. You can see the fuzz of green of the seeds germinating which is very exciting yet also a little worrying. I am not protecting this basket at all, I am purposefully letting it look after itself. It has managed well with a couple of lightish frosts, but January is the month of more cold, frost and usually snow. If I never mention the basket again you will know it has headed for the compost heap, but hopefully I will report back positively. For the hanging basket the sign of success will be if it makes it to the front door; its a bit like staying in Strictly until Blackpool, something to aim for.

Hang on a minute I hear you say, you have not said what the seeds are: no I haven't, I'm trying to create an atmosphere of mystery and wonder. I might be overplaying that bit .......

Hang on another minute I hear you say whilst tapping me urgently on the shoulder: did you not talk in the plural earlier? Was it not baskets?

Yes it is, yes there are plans for the other basket, but patience my dears is a virtue and I will say more in the new year.

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