Hanging basketsHaving hanging baskets outside your house or place of work really makes an enormous difference. Even the drabbest building can be brightened up with an array of colourful flowers in the summer months.

It would be a bit of a fib if I were to say that managing such projects is easy; there are some chores to take on – planting and regular watering, dead heading, etc, but the return is very high.

I am currently in the process of selling my cottage – this year I am going to smoother the outside of the building with hanging baskets. I strongly believe that this will significantly increase my chance of a quick sale – even in this current climate. The positive effect a well kept flowery display can have on people goes without saying.

Selecting the right plants for your hanging basket is crucial in maintaining continuity in a display. You don’t want to add plants that grow too high, swamp other varieties or require so much care and attention that your soon lose all enthusiasm. You can be inventive as you like – I sometimes like to grow strawberries in my hanging baskets – a few foot of ground level, slugs are not a problem.

When constructing your hanging basket, don’t forget to use plenty of fresh compost (peat free if you can get it). You will need to line your basket first with hair, moisture retentive moss, card or perforated polythene.

It is highly advisable to add water retentive gem to your compost mix. I also like to include a slow release organic fertilising before planting to get the most out of my flowers.

Buying enough plug-plants for a good display can be expensive, so here is another, far cheaper option.

Hanging Basket Seeds to try

  • Ivy Geranium
  • Nasturtium
  • Sweet Pea
  • Viola
  • Bacopa
  • Lobelia