Make your own hanging baskets

We have a wide selection of ready-made hanging baskets in a variety of styles for instant colour that will give pleasure all Summer long. However, making your own does enable you to choose your own colour mixtures and containers to suit your planting schemes.

Planting a basket is not difficult and there is no end of possibilities for innovative plant combinations. Why not try your own colour palette? Plant hot colours for a sunny position – a mass of trailing geraniums in bright reds or oranges looks super. Or perhaps cooler colours – an all-white mixture of begonias, busy-lizzies and ivies will ‘lift’ a shady wall. A mixture of herbs, or even a basket full of dwarf tomatoes or luscious strawberries are all possibilities for the kitchen garden. As with cooking, where the best ingredients give the best results – choosing top quality plants and compost will give you a brighter and more long-lasting display – and we have all you need here at Dunscar. Just follow these easy steps to create your own bright and beautiful basket.

First choose a container. A traditional wire basket will allow you to plant through the sides, whilst solid-sided containers hold the moisture well.

  • Choose a liner for a wire basket from the range available in our garden shop – you can use moisture retentive pre-cut liners, or traditional sphagnum moss (our sphagnum moss is collected from managed forests in Wales and not taken from unlicensed sources).
  • Place the liner in the basket or make a ‘bird’s nest’ with the moss – a square of black plastic over the moss in the bottom of the baskets helps to retain the moisture.
  • Half fill your container with good quality compost such as Levington’s Multi-Purpose or a tub and basket compost. This is perfect, as it contains water retaining gel and longlasting feed for your plants to give them a good start. If you are using multi-purpose compost you can buy the gel and feed separately and mix them into your compost.
  • Now for the interesting part – planting up! You can push trailing plants gently through the sides of a wire basket by making holes in your liner or sphagnum moss. A selection of 5 or 7 plants is about right for a medium basket. The roots should be comfortably on the soil and the liner or moss fitting snugly around the neck of the plant to prevent the soil from washing out. Lobelias, trailing petunias, ivies, nepeta, fuchsias, bacopa and felicias are all ideal for side planting – in fact any small trailing plant will work well.
  • Now fill up the compost to almost the top of your basket, and plant more trailers around the edge. Remember to fill the centre of your basket with plants too as these will grow up and tumble over to give a full and sumptuous look to your display. Make sure the plants are gently firmed into the compost.
  • Once planted, water and then leave in a greenhouse, conservatory or a sheltered spot in the garden to “settle in” before hanging up once all danger of frost is over.

After Care
Your basket will dry out quickly especially in hot and breezy weather, as you have a number of plants reliant on a relatively small amount of compost. Daily checking is essential. If your basket becomes very dry, soaking in a bucket of water is the best way to get the moisture back in. In windy weather, it is worth taking your basket down to protect the trailing stems. Dead-heading and regular feeding pays dividends, as this encourages a continuous display of vibrant flowers. Phostrogen and Miracle-Gro are ideal and economical and easy to use.