Baskets will provide you with wonderful eye-level colour, provided you water them copiously. Hang singly or in, and pick traditional basket plants or branch out into more unusual varieties — even and vegetables.
Types of containers
Wire baskets are traditional. These need to be lined with moss, lawn turves (grass-side out), or polythene (preferably green). You can make holes in this to push plants through so that ills unobtrusive. All these will help contain the water and prevent the baskets from drying out.
Plastic containers usually have a saucer attached. There are half-circle wall baskets too.
Terracotta bowls specially designed for hanging are fitted with chains and a ring. These are attractive but add to the weight of soil and plants. You can use a rope holder and any pretty bowl, but the rope will eventually rot, so keep a close watch on it.
Apart from using the traditional trailing plants that flower constantly and look effective in a basket— Lobelia,-leafed Geraniums, Petunias and Nasturtiums — you can extend the basket season by planting it with bulbs in the autumn, to flower in late winter and early spring. Position some to poke out of the basket sides. A single basket, or a group of them, can be used to grow a selection of your favourite herbs; even vegetables like runner beans and tomatoes can be grown successfully in baskets.
It is very important that hanging baskets are watered regularly, so bear this in mind when you are planning where to put them. Wire hanging baskets are best removed forand immersed overnight in a bucket, so make sure you them within easy reach. Baskets that are either too heavy or too difficult to remove can be watered from a pair of steps; or a simpler and much safer way is to use a special long-nozzled bottle.
Metal brackets are usually the best way of suspending hanging baskets. Make sure they are secure by using large size screws and wall plugs, as planted baskets can be surprisingly heavy.
Hang a group of two or three at different levels against a bare wall or one either side a doorway or window. An overhanging roof with beams provides a support for large screw hooks from which you can hang a row of baskets.
Ordinary plasticcan be attached at varying levels to a drainpipe using special pipe clamps. Add colour and interest to a bare wall by hanging rows of baskets along its length.
Colour scheme suggestions
White flowering for summer baskets:
- Ivy-leafed Geranium Convolvulus
- Arabis Lobelia
Grey and silver-leafed:
White varieties are available in, , and Grape Blue and pink
- Petunia (blue and pink)
- Lobelia (blue and pink) Fuchsia (pink and )
- (pink and )
- (blue and pink)
- Statice (pink and blue)
- Campanula (blue)
- (pink and blue)
- Grape (blue)
- Scilla (blue)
- Hyacinth (pink and blue)
- Crocus (pink and blue)
- (blue) Yellow and red
- Geranium (salmon and red)
- Nasturtium (yellow, orange, red)
- Petunia (red)
- Begonia (scarlet, orange, red and yellow)
- Black-eyed Susan (yellow)
- Helianthemum (yellow and red)
- Tulips (red, orange, yellow)
- Crocus (yellow)
- Iris (yellow)