Get your garden looking ready for summer with our step-by-step guide to making the perfect hanging basket. Check out these top tips from Haskins Garden Centres' plant advisor, Alasdair Urquhart.
Choose your basket
Baskets come in a range of shapes and sizes, one option is a design with a flat back that would be perfect for a wall mount. Make sure you choose one that suits your style of your garden. When hanging your basket, brackets and supports can be located on walls or sturdy garden frames. It is important to think about the position of them so they are not a hazard to passing foot-traffic.
Fill a third with potting compost
Once you have chosen your hanging basket, begin to fill it with compost. Make sure that you add enough compost to allow your plants to stand at the right height for arranging.
Select your plants, considering their height, colour and shape
When choosing plants for your basket, 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, polyanthus and the grass Carex evergold.
Create interest by adding some evergreen plants
Adding a trailing ivy will soften the edges of the basket while small starter shrubs and dwarf conifers are great for height and structure.
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.
Make sure you 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.
Information courtesy of Haskins Garden Centres. For more information please visit www.haskins.co.uk