A well-planned outdoor hanging basket will give months of pleasure. Ensure success by carefully choosing compatible plants and regularlyand . Hanging baskets are one of the most effective ways of providing colour in a tiny outdoor space. Plants need to be picked to suit each other and the spot chosen but can be swapped as the seasons change so that you will always have a cheerful throughout the year.
Most summer-suitable for a basket will thrive in a sunny spot, provided they are frequently watered. Twice a day may be necessary in very hot weather. However, there are also that will survive in light shade, such as Lobelia, Fuchsia and , and Creeping Jenny. In a more shady spot it is possible to create a basket from green plants such as ferns, Tradescantia, Hostas and . You could even include Catmint, Busy Lizzie and Night-Scented Stock, all of which will tolerate shade.
Creating the shape
A flowering globe always looks attractive. The best way to create this effect is to insert plants in three layers, one close to the bottom of the, one about two-thirds of the way up in spaces between the first circle, with larger plants positioned in the top of the basket.
Securing the container
Hanging baskets can be suspended from brackets screwed to the wall or hung from a beam or porch roof (screw hooks into joists, not into plaster). Half baskets can be screwed to a wall by using wall plugs. When filled withand plants, a basket is heavy so securely where they can be easily reached and where they won’t pose a hazard.
Round the year interest
With careful planning baskets can remain colourful throughout the year. Remove summerand store Geraniums before the first frosts. Replant with winter and spring such as Primroses, , or miniature Wallflowers. You can also add some variegated Ivies or include a few small bulb plants like , Miniature , Grape and . At the end of the winter season place bulbs and plants in the garden and replant with summer flowering varieties.
In very hot summers the basket will need to be watered every day, so easy access to it is important. Water it until you see water dripping from the sphagnum moss. When you take the basket down to do this, it is a good opportunity to inspect the plants to see if they have been affected by pests or disease. Also, remove any dead flowerheads andand pinch out shoots to promote bushier growth.
Food and water
- Feed plants regularly every two weeks with a standard liquid fertilizer, or use food sticks which should be placed in the compost when first planting up the basket. These will gradually release the nutrients the plants need through the season.
- Use a hose, spraying very gently, to water the basket and be sure that you water the sides as well as the top. A long-nozzled plastic watering bottle makes watering easy but mist the basket sides as well.
- Alternatively, remove the hanging basket from its position and gently place it in a bucket of water for approximately half an hour. If the basket dries out for any reason this is the hest way to restore it.
Lining a wall basket
- Position a sheet of polythene and make some holes for at the front and sides. Trim, allowing 5cm (2 inches) overlap.
- Line the wall basket with compost, be sure of hiding the polythene liner that will hold compost and plants in place.