They were once the height of gardening glamour, but hanging baskets have now fallen from their elevated position and are a fading glory, experts say. Suspended wicker baskets have been replaced in the nation's affections by heavy terracotta patio pots.
Phil Clayton, who compiles the Royal Horticultural Society journal, The Garden, said: 'They are going out of fashion purely because of the high maintenance involved in looking after them. They require watering two or three times a day and feeding once a week.
'They can look fantastic and it can be a quick fix for the garden and a good way of showing off bedding plants. But if there's hot weather and you forget to water them, they've had it.'
According to Jessica Gould, the senior horticulturist at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, hanging baskets are 'definitely a bit naff'.
But the issue of to hang or not hang is dividing RHS experts. Guy Barter, its head of horticultural advice services, said: 'Maintenance is a problem but I think hanging baskets will always be popular.
'We run competitions for hanging baskets and I am not aware of any falling off in terms of either the number of entrants or the standard. They may be under siege at the moment because of garden makeover programmes, but new technology like automatic watering systems may see them live to fight another day.' And, according to Mr Barter, size does matter. 'Most people have …