Discover the Beauty of Hanging Flower Baskets – Container Gardening

Container Gardening – Beautiful Hanging Flower Baskets

Think of a hanging flower basket, and I expect you think at once, as indeed most of us do, of an open mesh wire basket of blue lobelia, red or pink geranium, and fuchsia, high in the air. These wire baskets are bought in their thousands every spring by gardeners keen to start container gardening early, and are seen everywhere, with their displays of … blue lobelia, red or pink geranium, and fuchsia.

hanging flower basket In both town and country, local authorities hang them to swing lightheartedly outside the town hall, the swimming baths, the public library, and from the Victorian bandstand in the park, trailing lobelia, geranium, fuchsia. From all the lamp standards in the main streets and along the pedestrian precincts enlightened councils arrange for frivolous riots of … blue lobelia, geranium and fuchsia, to decorate the summer days. Recognising a good thing when we see it, we tend to copy the lavish, beautifully grown local authority baskets and plant up similar schemes to hang outside our homes.

And so in our sun rooms and outside the little cafe in the High Street and on the old hook above the solicitors’ office, as well as outside the brand new office block, there are our familiar and well-loved lobelia, geranium, and fuchsia cascading from the baskets. All so pretty, so very reliable, so showy, but perhaps – dare I say it? – a tiny bit boring.

Couldn’t we try a new scheme for our container gardening and hanging flower baskets – plan a fresh planting, maybe a different mixture, or even be very brave and work out a basket effect, or get a crazy idea for spring?

As you are reading this website, I expect you are all the way with me in my longing to see more hanging flower baskets around the place, but to see more that are created to be airy delights each with its own particular individuality.

To begin with, you will obviously need something reliable to hold your flowers aloft nicely, and the sturdy galvanised wire baskets so readily available, sometimes with the wire covered in plastic, really do take some beating and last for years. These won’t rust. They can be spray painted, if you like, green, pale blue, or any colour to match your proposed planting scheme or the colour of the house. I use spray-on car body paints (from motor accessory shops) as they are quick to use and cover the wire mesh speedily and easily. A wide range of quick-drying colours is available. However, the basket’s growing content should quickly cover all the visible mesh so you may feel it is unnecessary to pay extra for plastic-covered ones or to the trouble of painting.

These hanging flower baskets normally come in three sizes, from 6 inches to big 18-inch ones. If you fancy a really enormous affair you could use one of those big galvanised mesh ‘umbrellas’ over which are grown standard weeping roses, turning it upside down and hanging it from three strong chains. I have even seen old wire litter baskets, and basked sold for blanching vegetables, used in this way.

Before deciding on the maxim ‘biggest is best’, consideration should be given to the weight of the basket when filled with a potting medium plus plants and – something easily forgotten – weight of water. The added weight in a large quantity of freshly-watered compost can be considerable. Then, too, as plants grow away strongly they weigh a great deal more than they did as youngsters.

Certainly anything off-beat and unusual is attention-seeking and interesting in its own right. The occasional Victorian or Edwardian hanging flower basket can possibly be found, recognisable by the very attractive decorative shape. Country people have always adapted whatever happened to be handy; I have seen an old log basket, and a wine bottle decanter basket, used to hold a potted plant, also a plastic garden sieve and even half a coconut shell hung up with plants growing directly in them.

01. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Hanging Baskets | Tags: , | Comments Off on Discover the Beauty of Hanging Flower Baskets – Container Gardening

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