AUTUMN BASKETS AND TUBS
Although my primary job here at the garden centre is houseplant care, I have also been very busy on the autumn/winter hanging baskets and tubs for outdoor use. There are lots of plants that can be used to brighten up the garden as we drift into the cooler months and if your summer containers are now beginning to look a little sad then why not give them a face lift with a fresh planting.
For colour there is a huge selection to choose from in the pansy and viola range and these plants do equally well in hanging baskets and tubs as well as in the garden borders. Also look out for bellis, the little daisy, that comes in white pink or red to add colour to your containers. Cyclamen are always a firm favourite as the colours are very striking and they add height to a group planting.
Foliage plants play a major part in autumn containers and you can really make an impact by mixing colours and textures here. I love to use alpine plants, mainly because they are hardy and there is a wide range of foliage types with which to create good contrast alongside the flowering plants. Sedums are a good choice here.
Some herbs are suitable for autumn containers and in particular, the thyme range. There is some lovely foliage in this range and with the added bonus of flowers and scent they shouldn’t be overlooked. If they become a little leggy simply trim them back and they will produce new growth. As a centre plant, sage will perform very well, as will lavender.
Other foliage suitable to use is Ajuga, Lamium, Veronica Georgia Blue, Ivy, Calocephalum and Artemisia. Small conifers or euonymous are excellent for the centre of baskets or tubs.
Finally, remember that spring-flowering bulbs can be under planted into autumn containers and will provide an extra splash of colour early next year.