Hanging Basket Magic

By Swezey, Lauren Bonar | Sunset, April 1999 | Go to article overview

Hanging Basket Magic


Swezey, Lauren Bonar, Sunset


No room for a garden? Grow your flowers and foliage in baskets, designed to hang

Magic is in the air this spring. Enchanting combinations of flowers and foliage are pairing with offbeat containers to put a fresh spin on the art of hanging baskets. Imagine an exotic rattan basket, filled with tropical plants, suspended from a beam over your patio. Or a shower of petunia blossoms tumbling from a wire basket outside an arbor. Both are delightful surprises at eye level. And, like the other unique hanging baskets pictured on the following pages, they can transform a patio or entryway from ordinary to magical. With the right plants and a few simple tips (see page 137), you can create these one-of-a-kind hanging baskets to dress up your garden.

Six steps to a great hanging basket

* CHOOSE A CONTAINER

Almost anything that will hold soil can become a hanging planters - wire or rattan baskets, metal pitchers, terra-cotta urns, and wood containers all work well. Hang them with chains, sisal, or wire, and keep in mind that heavier pots need stronger hangers. Use swivel hooks (available at nurseries) atop the hangers; that way, you can rotate the pot occasionally so the plants receive light on all sides.

* SELECT PLANTS

Choose a style or a theme - all perennials, annuals, succulents, or tropicals, for instance. Next, select your color scheme; use contrasting or complementary colors together, or shades of a single color. Avoid mixing too many colors, which can give a container planting a confetti look. Choose both upright and trailing plants. Make sure the ultimate height of the upright plants will be in scale with the pot. Use six-pack-size plants for tucking into the sides of wire baskets.

* LINE WIRE BASKETS

Use a preformed, moss-covered sponge liner (MossCraft by Mapco, 800/598-9084 or 562/598-9084) or a coco fiber liner (from Kinsman Company, 800/733-4146). You can also use sphagnum moss, but it's much more time-consuming to install. …

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