It can be hard to inject colour into your garden in winter, particularly if you have a small garden, so try this high-flying idea for pails of plants on an empty washing line…
- Collect together some sturdy clothes pegs, peat-free compost and vermiculite, and three or four tin buckets (discount stores and hardware shops normally have a good selection) and decorate them with paints and ribbons.
- Choose plants for your buckets that will be happy outdoors in winter, or with a little protection, such as herbs i.e sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and chives. Salad leaves such as rocket, spinach, mizuna, red mustard, tatsoi and Claytonia (also known as winter purslane) will also cope, or you could add edible flowers such as primroses.
- You don’t want your hanging buckets to be too heavy so bang holes into the bottoms using a hammer and nail in order to improve drainage, and mix the soil half and half with vermiculite to give a light, open texture and good water retention (essential in such small containers).
- Fill each bucket half way with soil then add your plants and back fill with more soil, firm in with your fingers. Water well.
- Hang the pails on your washing line and if frost threatens, protect with individual cloches made from the tops of plastic bottles.