Tag Archives: Hanging Basket

Foliage Fountain

A bold and impressive array of plants spills out of this eye-catching terracotta hanger like a fountain in full flow – the striking purple, pink and blue colour scheme is not for the faint-hearted!

Plant in late spring or early summer for a display that will last throughout summer. Planting will take an hour or so.

Foliage Fountain from Seasonal Garden IdeasPlants required
Large black Mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’).
Sedge (Carex hachijoensis ‘Evergold’).
Coral flower (Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ or ‘Licorice’).
Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’).
Two deep pink busy Lizzies (Impatiens).
Fairy fan flower (Scaevola aemula ‘Blue Wonder’).

Equipment
Large conical terracotta hanging container (or any other container of your choice), with hanging rods and hook and drainage holes in the bottom.
Broken crocks for drainage.
Potting compost with added sharp sand or grit.
Trowel.

1 Water all plants thoroughly the day before planting. If your pot is cone-shaped like the one shown here, prop it up securely while you plant it.

2 Line the bottom of the cone with broken crocks for drainage. Fill three-quarters full with the compost mixture.

3 Plant the black Mondo grass first, placing it at the back. Firm in well. Place the busy Lizzies next, one each side of the black Mondo grass. Firm in.

4 Adjust the level of compost as needed, then plant the coral flower directly in front of the black Mondo grass.

5 Now deal with the front planting. Adjust the level of the compost again as necessary. Position the fairy fan flower to the left, the sedge in the centre and the morning glory to the right. Firm in, then top up with more compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim of the container. Insert a slow-release fertiliser spike.

6 Hang the container securely in its permanent position, in full sun or light shade. Ensure all hooks and fixings are strong enough to take the full weight of the pot and its plants. Water thoroughly.

Tip
A hanging container like this must have good drainage holes. If the pot you have chosen hasn’t got any, use an electric drill to make some in the bottom.

Notes
The fairy fan flower (Scaevola), flowering on the extreme left here, is a fairly new plant to become available in garden centres. It hails from Australia and is tender. The morning glory shown here on the right will come in to flower in late summer, bearing deep blue blooms that each last only one day, but are followed by more all the time.

Aftercare
Water well, especially in hot weather. Deadhead the flowers as they fade.

Project taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas now available from the Dairy Diary store.

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Pretty in Pink

Pretty-in-Pink

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Pretty in Pink

Make a pretty basket of pink hyacinths special by adding hoops of pussy willow twigs with the soft grey catkins just bursting out – a lovely display that should last for several weeks.

Pussy willow twigs are available in early spring, either in hedgerows or from florists. Pot-grown hyacinths can be found in garden centres from January through to May or even later.

Planting up a basket takes about an hour.

Plants required
Ten to twelve pink Dutch hyacinths just coming into flower.
Six to eight pussy willow twigs each about 45cm (18in) long.

Equipment required
Rustic-weave basket.
Hanging-basket liner (plastic, hessian, felt or moulded paper).
Bulb compost to fill.
Several handfuls of moss to tuck around the base of the hyacinths.
Trowel.

1 Place the liner you have chosen in the bottom of the basket, pricking holes through for drainage if needed. Fill the basket two-thirds full with bulb compost.

2 Carefully remove each hyacinth, one at a time, from their pots and plant in the basket, adding more compost and setting each one to the same depth as it was in its pot. Place them as close together as you can, so the heavy flowerheads will support each other, and firm in well.

3 Tuck moss loosely around the base of the hyacinths to cover the soil completely. Water lightly.

4 Wedge the bottom end of a pussy willow twig into the basket weave then bend it over to form a hoop. Tuck the tip of the twig securely into the basket, then repeat with the other twigs all round the basket, overlapping the twigs slightly as you go.

5 Position your basket in a sunny spot for best display. The furry grey catkins will eventually turn bright yellow as they open.

Tips
Take great care not to knock the pussy willow catkins off the twigs as you handle them – they are quite fragile. If the hyacinth stems start bending over, insert thin bamboo canes into the compost and tie the stems to them as discreetly as possible with soft string. Bring under shelter if heavy rain is threatened.

Note
Reuse your rustic basket for a summer display by planting with nasturtiums or begonias.

Aftercare
By its very nature this is a temporary display. When the hyacinth flowers have withered, stop watering and allow the foliage to turn brown. Then remove the bulbs from the basket, clean them carefully and store in a dry, dark place until autumn, when you can plant them out in the garden. Discard the pussy willow twigs when the catkins have flowered.

Project taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas

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Celebrate the start of spring

We have been blessed with some glorious sunny days recently and hurray, it was the official start of spring on Saturday.

It’s always a cause for celebration with the days getting longer, the weather warming up – very welcome after such a harsh winter – and lambs frolicking in the fields. Herald the start of spring with a splash of colour next to your front door. Not only will it cheer you every time you get home but it will please those who pass by or come to visit too.

Pansy and Tulip Basket

Elegant apricot yellow tulips, early flowering mixed pansies and dramatic trailing variegated ivy make a stylish combination in this unusual – and delightful – late spring hanging basket.

Pansy and Tulip BasketPlant in early spring for mid to late spring flowering.
Can be completed in about an hour.

Plants you need
20 bulbs of Tulipa batalinii ‘Apricot Jewel’ in pots.
Mixed pansies – here there are six different coloured varieties.
Four pots of trailing variegated ivy (Hedera helix).

Equipment you need
Hanging basket with hook and chain.
Hanging basket liner (plastic, hessian, felt or moulded paper).
Potting compost.
Trowel.

1 Line your hanging basket to prevent the compost falling out, then add a layer of compost at the bottom.

2 Position the four ivy plants first, setting them at equal distances around the edge of the basket, firming them into the compost at the bottom and feeding the foliage through the holes in the side. Add more compost around and on top of the ivy.

3 Next position the tulip bulbs, spacing them as evenly as possible but setting them in at least two distinct layers around the basket, adding more compost and firming in as you go.

4 Finally put in the pansies. Tuck these in as close together as possible, pushing the foliage through the side holes and firming the soil all around the rootballs. Finish by planting pansies across the top and centre of the basket covering all the bare compost – but leaving the centre slightly lower than the sides to make watering easier.

5 Water thoroughly with a fine rose. Then hang the basket in its final position, making sure that the hanging bracket or eye is secure and can take the considerable weight of the basket.

Tips
To maintain the good appearance of the display and to keep the plants flowering as long as possible, deadhead frequently. This will encourage new flowers to form. Don’t allow the pansies to set seed. Regularly remove any dead or discoloured leaves from the ivy.

Note
Leaving at least 2.5-5cm (1-2in) of space above the compost in the basket assists with water retention.

Aftercare
Hanging baskets and window boxes contain a lot of plants for the amount of soil in their container, so feed regularly throughout the growing/flowering season with a liquid fertiliser or with fertiliser spikes inserted into the compost at planting time. Water frequently to ensure the plants don’t dry out – especially, if the basket is hanging in a sheltered position where rain can’t reach too easily.

Tulip and Pansy Basket is taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas.

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