Hanging baskets are a wonderful way of adding colour to your garden, particularly if you have a paved garden or yard.
Hanging baskets also add height and make the most of the smallest of spaces.
Annual flowers are ideal for most baskets but perennials such as ivy, hebe or grasses add another dimension. Most garden centres sell Hanging Basket Selections which takes the guesswork out of choosing the ideal plants for your basket. Pack your basket with lots of plants to make the best display.
Why not try growing tomatoes in a hanging basket? Use a tumbing variety such as Tomato Tumbler or Tomato Tumbling Yellow; follow the guidelines for a flowering basket.
Follow the following easy steps to making your own hanging basket:
- Choose your basket – there are many different sized and shaped baskets available; just have a browse around your local garden centre.
- Choose your liner – again, there are lots of liners available in garden centres but you can also use a sheet of thick plastic with a few holes to allow for drainage.
- Line the basket – place the basket in the top of a large pot or bucket to keep it level. Fit your liner and press into the shape of the basket cutting off any excess. If you want to plant around the sides of the basket, cut some holes in the liner where you want to plant.
- Fill the basket – mix a slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining granules into a multi-purpose compost and fill the basket up to the planting holes in the sides.
- Add the side plants – carefully guide each plant into the sides of the basket, pushing gently from the outside. It works best if these plants are tumbling varieties such as trailing petunias, lobelia or fuchsia. Fill the basket with more compost.
- Add the top plants – Plant more tumbling plants around the edge of the basket, set off from the plants in the sides. Add an upright plant such as peranium or a small conifer, into the centre of the compost and firm in well.
- Finish your basket – water the basket thoroughly and let it settle before hanging in your desired spot.
- Look after your basket – keep the basket well watered and dead-head regularly to keep the flowers coming.
In the autumn empty the basket and compost the annual plants, the perennials can be used again next year if looked after during the winter. For a winter/early spring display replace the compost and add plants such as hellebores, polyanthus and winter flowering pansies.