Creating Hanging Baskets
Hanging baskets can make a real impact to any boring wall or fence. Properly cared for and thoughtfully planted they can give you stunning displays throughout the year. They are not necessarily just a feature for your garden in the summer as they are a great way of adding interest in the winter too.
Plant up your summer baskets from May onward, once the risk of frost has passed. You can swap to winter baskets from September onward.
Before you can get excited about choosing which plants to use in your basket, you need to get prepared. The first step is to line the basket. Most hanging baskets are traditionally made from wire so they need to be lined with a fibrous material. These can normally be found in garden centres. Once your basket is lined half fill it with compost. This is so you an arrange the plants in the basket before backfilling the areas around the rootballs with more compost.
When it comes to planting, consider using one central plant that will create impact and then position other plants around the edge. Don’t forget that the basket is likely to be above eye level so ideally don’t use a low growing plant in the centre as there is a risk of it becoming lost. Salvia works as a great statement plant for summer baskets, as do geraniums. For winter baskets, consider using crocus, Iris or winter pansies.
Trailing plants are ideally suited for the edge of the basket as they will grow down the side and hide any wire framework. In the summer trailing plants can give you a mass of flowers that will make a really great impact. Lobelia is a particularly good choice for this. In winter, ivy will give you the same structure and there is a choice of leaf colours to choose, from different greens to reds and yellows. Whilst the structure of your plants is a key consideration, it is equally important to choose plants with colours that work well together
Summer hanging baskets are prone to drying out. The baskets do not hold water well so will very quickly dry up in hot weather. The plants will rely on you to ensure the compost stays moist. Don’t be tempted to over water though, as water logging will also cause problems. In winter, try and make sure the basket is in a sheltered spot. When flowers die back don’t forget to dead head them. This will encourage even more flowers and keep your basket looking attractive for longer.
With a little bit of care and planning hanging baskets can be a great benefit to your garden. They are something you can have fun with and are a great opportunity to experiment using different styles and colours.