Guest blog from Alasdair Urquhart, plant advisor at Haskins Garden Centres
“A well thought out hanging basket will lift any outdoor area, especially in spring. Here are some tips for creating one yourself and getting the best from it.” Alasdair Urquhart
1) Choose your basket.
Baskets come in all shapes and sizes, some even have a flat back that would be perfect for a wall mount. Choose one that suits your style. When hanging your basket, brackets and supports can be located on walls or sturdy garden frames, such as a pergola. Remember to position them so they are not a hazard to passing foot-traffic.
2) Fill a third with potting compost.
Add enough compost to allow your plants to stand at the right height for arranging.
3) Select your plants, considering their height, colour and shape.
Stick to an odd number of species as this creates a balanced look. Good plants for this time of year include miniature daffodils, primulas, primlets, heathers, pansies, polythanus and the grass carex evergold.
4) Create interest by adding some evergreen plants.
Adding a trailing ivy will soften the edges of the basket whilst small starter shrubs and dwarf conifers are great for height and structure.
5) Arrange your display.
Position your plants until you are happy with the effect, then top up with compost, working it into the gaps. Feed your basket with a general purpose slow release fertiliser for great results.
Water your basket regularly, especially during dry weather. Some people opt for an automatic irrigation system that they can hook up to an outside tap.
Dead-heading the old flowers will keep displays going, extending the show into the following season if the weather is favourable.
Remember that you can hook out old plants and replace them with new to keep your basket looking good.
Haskins Garden Centres are located in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex. For more information, visit www.haskins.co.uk
If you would like to read more gardening tips from Haskins we have lots more in Gardening Tips.