Ideas for Different Types of Hanging Baskets
With hanging baskets, it pays to think big. The larger the basket,
the more moisture it will retain, keeping your planting masterpiece in
better condition than a small one, so buy the biggest you can find.
Here are some hanging basket ideas.
1. Scent of summer
This first basket is a double delight – full of flowers and, more
importantly, full of fragrance. Heliotrope is one of the best scented
plants for a warm spot in the garden, fully justifying its common name
of cherry pie, and it works well in a hanging basket. With the French
lavender and nemesia, it'll attract a good range of pollinating insects,
Remember to pinch out the growing tips of the young plants to encourage
bushy growth, then hang the finished basket in a sheltered but sunny
place, preferably by a window or near a terrace door or French window so
that you can enjoy the scent as it drifts into the house.
5 Heliotropium arborescens 'Butterfly Blue'
4 Nemesia caerulea (from large garden centres) or use Nemesia 'Blue
4 French lavender, Lavandula stoechas
Basket (used for all 3 examples)
15in plastic-coated wire basket
Basket lining - wool, moss
Choose fairly small plants – they're easier to fit into the basket and,
as long as they're looked after, they'll soon grow.
How to make a hanging basket
1 Place a layer of the wool or moss in the bottom of the basket as a
liner and bring it up the sides. You'll need quite a thick layer to
provide the support the plants need. Give all the plants a good watering
2 Cut a circle from a compost bag for the basket bottom, to help retain
water. Add slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel to the
compost and mix well. Fill the bottom of the basket with compost.
3 Start with a begonia and two Pelargonium tomentosum. Push their
rootballs through the wires, placing plants low down the basket for a
well-covered effect. Tuck lining around plants to keep compost in.
4 Plant the helichrysum, plus the remaining begonias and Pelargonium
tomentosum next, adding more lining and compost as you fill the basket.
Firm the compost around the rootballs as you go.
5 Add more lining material up to the rim of the basket, but leave the
compost 25mm below it, making a dip in the centre. Plant the upright
Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth' in the middle with the five sutera around it
6 Firm the compost down well. Tidy up any damaged plants and water the
basket thoroughly. Check the compost regularly to make sure it doesn't
dry out and take off any browning leaves or spent blooms.
2. Play it cool
The second basket shows that planting combinations don't have to be loud
to be full of impact. Sometimes it's useful to tone down the colours and
create a more subtle arrangement that lets you use the hanging basket in
many different situations.
This arrangement features several different foliage textures and shapes
on long trailing stems, with highlights of large double begonia flowers
and the tiny white stars of sutera. The basket can be hung from a tree
or garden structure away from the house, where the calmer colours and
blend of different leaves don't immediately jump out, but offer a more
gentle surprise as you come across them in the garden.
1 Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth'
3 Begonia 'Illumination White'
4 Helichrysum petiolare (widely available in garden centres) or try
4 Pelargonium tomentosum (Fibrex Nurseries)
5 Sutera cordata 'Snowflake', also sold as Bacopa, or water hyssop
Hanging baskets are like miniature gardens and should be treated as
such, with regular trimming and tidying to keep them looking their best.
3. Falling leaves
Where else, other than in a hanging basket, can you let your plants
trail so effectively, 3ft long, and take such advantage of the gentle
summer breezes? And what better than to use two very different but easy
trailing houseplants, along with a trouble-free patio plant, to provide
those long hanging tails?
This third planting indulges my passion for foliage to the full –
there's no sign of a flower, but plenty of visual excitement provided by
the varied mix of textures, shapes and leaf colours. As a bonus, you can
give the velvety pelargonium leaves a gentle rub and enjoy the strong
3 Pelargonium tomentosum
4 Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Variegated Mintleaf'
3 Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii
3 Senecio rowleyanus
Don't put your hanging basket outside too early, because cold winds can
check the growth. Wait for the weather to warm up and plants will grow