Tag Archives: Spring in the garden

Spring gardening ideas | Summer baskets

Baskets that flower throughout the summer

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Baskets that will flower throughout the summer

Bursting out all over in a profusion of blooms, this huge blue and yellow themed hanging basket contains no fewer than ten different kinds of plant – they come into flower at different times, so providing a long-lasting display.

Plant in spring for flowering throughout the summer. There are a lot of plants here, so allow an afternoon for the job.

Plants

  • Buy all the plants needed for this basket as small container-grown plantlets.
  • Three plants are included for their foliage: Helichrysum petiolare; creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia); and Swedish ivy (Plectranthus coleoides ‘Variegatus’).
  • Seven are chosen for their flowers: purple heliotrope ‘Marine’; petunia; trailing verbena; lobelia; nemesia; French marigold; tradescantia. Note: in the picture, not all plants are in flower.

Equipment

  • Large hanging basket with chains and hook.
  • Hanging basket liner (plastic, hessian, felt or moulded paper).
  • Potting compost.
  • Trowel.
  • Slow-release fertiliser spike.

Planting

1 Water all the plants thoroughly the day before you plan to plant them.

2 Insert the liner into the basket – prick small drainage holes through if necessary.

3 Planting such a large and varied basket requires a careful building up of layers of plants. Spread a sheet of newspaper or plastic on the ground, then take all your plants out of their original little pots and arrange them in size order on the sheet. Each should be placed in the basket according to the size of its rootball – bigger ones deeper in, smaller ones nearer the top.

4 Put a layer of compost into the bottom of the basket. Start planting, spacing the different plants around the basket, firming in, then topping up with more compost. Plant another layer and repeat the procedure. Note that the three foliage plants – the helichrysum, creeping Jenny and Swedish ivy – are all placed at the front so they can trail downwards, while the double-flowered petunia is placed centrally. Deep blue lobelias have been positioned all round the edges.

5 When the planting is complete, top up the compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the top of the basket and insert a slow-release fertiliser spike. Hang it up in its designated position, making sure the hook and fixings are strong enough to take the considerable weight. Water thoroughly.

Tip
Invest in a long-handled, pump-action watering can to make watering your hanging basket easier – and to save you taking it down every day or climbing up a ladder to reach it.

Note
Many, but not all, of these plants are annuals and will not survive the winter. However, even those that are hardy and evergreen, such as the Swedish ivy, will be exhausted by the end of summer – so it’s best to discard the whole lot when flowering stops and plant anew in spring.

Aftercare
Water regularly – at least once a day in hot weather. Deadhead withered and faded blooms to prolong flowering and remove any damaged or discoloured foliage.

Project taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas. Available now.

 

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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