This past week we’ve been busy making hanging baskets for our customers. Although garden centres are now open to the public, there are long queues and for various reasons people are still finding it difficult to be able to buy what they want. So we stepped in to help brighten up our customer’s gardens.
We bought metal baskets and coconut fibre liners from our supplier. Coconut is more sustainable compared to moss. There are a variety of liners out there to choose from, such as wool moss (made from merino wool), foam rubber and plastic. There are pros and cons for all of them, so choose which you feel is right for you, but go sustainable if you can.
We bought a variety of upright and trailing plants – hanging basket staples such as geraniums (pelargoniums), verbena, petunia, small varieties of dahlia, fuschia, lobelia, nemesia, ivy, argyranthemum, thyme, and succulents with a trailing, spreading nature that are drought tolerant.
Hanging baskets are thirsty things, so using plants such as succulents are a good idea, just in case you forget to water one day!
First off I cut crosses into the liners using a stanley knife and a pair of scissors. Coconut fibre is tough stuff and this is the most time consuming part of the process, but once they are made you feel a great sense of satisfaction.
I used an upturned basket to sit the one that I was working on, so as not to crush the plants in the bottom layer.
I mixed multi-purpose compost with perlite, which helps to aerate the soil and retains water. You could also add water storing gel balls to your mixture. We also added bonemeal which is good for flowering plants as it contains phosphorous.
It is great fun choosing different plants for hanging baskets, think about the size of leaves, shape and colour. I particularly love variegated plants as the light bounces off the light parts and gives definition against darker shades of green.
We are making hanging baskets with flowers in colours that our customers choose, as well as creating colour combinations of our choosing. I paired a bright red geranium with coral and lime coloured succulents for a striking appearance, and also softer combinations of white, pinks and purples in other baskets.
What about making an indoor hanging basket with a variety of trailing succulents? I might make this my next challenge. I love house plants, particularly during our grey winters; they really give you a boost when you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day.
Or instead of a summer hanging basket you could make one for the winter/spring, planting mini daffodil’s, cyclamen, violas, pansies, dwarf irises, and primroses.
Have fun making your hanging basket. Getting creative during this period of lockdown and uncertainty really gives a lift to our spirits. If you’d like us to make some for your garden, please don’t hesitate to contact us.