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Friday, 7 May 2010

Making Summer Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets, pretty summer pots bright colours, soft shades, whats new, old favourites. I am talking about those beautiful bedding plants we celebrate summer with every year.

Should you be looking for good trailing plants to fill summer baskets there are some fabulous colours available this season.

What Should I Put In My Hanging Basket?

I like to put a tall geranium in the center of a basket. I can recommend my favourite which is, called Blue Wonder, a soft lilac shade. I then surround the rim with exciting trailers. Always include Verbena. It is so reliable and provides a mass of flowers. There are so many great colours, but this year I am admiring a variety called Donalena Lavender Grace. The flowers have a lavender trim and a white center. Plant this with a rich purple Calibrachoa to really bring out the subtle tones. These are dainty trailing petunias An alternative the to the large headed Sufinias we all know and adore. They have a profusion of little flowers but are extremely prolific. I find a little bit of white is a relief amongst lots of colour. You can not go wrong with Bacopa Snowflake. Its has an abundance of dainty white flowers which trail like a magnificent wedding veil. There is nothing better to compliment a Bacopa then good old Nepeta. Its variegated silver foliage simply pours from the basket like a magnificent water fall. One more trailer will probably be suffice in a 12” basket. Perhaps a trailing Geranium like Sybil Blue to match the Blue Wonder .

A Brachycome Blue daisy flower would look lovely or you could pop in a Torenia Rose or Purple Moon. They are a little bit different, providing lots of tubular flowers a little similar to the shape of a fox glove. Any little gaps can be filled with bedding Petunia ,Bissie Lizzies or upright Lobelia.

Plant this basket using a rich basket compost. They are very greedy plants. Anything that grows so vigorously is going to be extremely hungry and thirsty. Feed well. Either feed a very week feed daily as you water or once a week with the usual Phostrogen or Miracle grow.

If you want to have a go a making your own hanging baskets with a little supervision and a huge choice at your finger tips, I am running my usual workshops on Tue 11th May and Thursday the 13th May at lunch time and in the evening. You do need to book in advance.

How do we decide what to plant and where?

Often in the bright south facing aspects of our garden bright Caribbean colours work really well. Where it is not quite so hot, soft shades can often look brighter and the hot colours a little gaudy. It is worth perhaps considering this when choosing the colours for baskets and pots.

In shadier positions try Regal Pelargoniums, Fuchsias and Bissie Lizzies. Fiesta Impatiens (double Bissie Lizziess) can look very showy. I am growing a beautiful two toned lilac shade called Lavender Orchid.

In hot places geraniums are always great. alternatively Begonias with their huge rose heads of primary colours are quite happy to dry out prior to watering.

By the front door it is wonderful to plant Sweet Scented Pelargoniums in pots. The lemon orange and rose fragrances can really lift your spirits. Alternatively plant some tall spired of creamy Nicotiana Sylvstris in the border. This is renowned for its beautiful evening fragrance.

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