Kildare Post Gardening Column – A Hanging Garden of Colour
Can you beat a good hanging basket to add great colour to a garden? I think not. I am a big fan of them in my garden and think they can be used in many great ways to add a bit of interest and colour. An edited version of this article appeared in the Kildare Post on 1 July 2014.
A Hanging Garden of Colour By David Corscadden
Colour, pretty flowers, colour, low maintenance and did I mention colour? These are the main things gardeners are after when they think about hanging baskets. Be it luscious summer hanging baskets or window boxes full of flowers, the principles for both are generally the same, colour and interest. They can be an extremely effective way of adding emphasis to an entrance or a simple means of breaking up a blank uninteresting wall or fence.
While many gardeners around Kildare are currently tending to rather impressive hanging baskets already, all is not lost for those who haven’t got around to doing up their baskets yet. A trip to the local garden centre, to pick up some summer bedding plants and trailing beauties, is all that is needed.
When it comes to plant selection the choice is really endless. Some of the most popular hanging basket plants would be Fuchsia, Pelargonium (geraniums), Lobelia, Viola (pansies) and of course what would a hanging basket be without a Petunia or five. I am a fan of putting the odd unusual plant in my baskets too just to catch people off guard when they visit. Last year I had a very successful display of cornflowers in my baskets which erupted above all the other flowers like a fireworks display.
For planting up hanging baskets, I find multipurpose compost is perfectly good to use. With hanging baskets there are two types of people who have them. Those who like to plant them using colour schemes, keeping everything in similar or complimentary colour shades, and those who don’t. I am the latter! I prefer mine to be a riot of colour and the rules all go out the window. I find this way to be much more fun and it gives something more interesting to look at.
Retaining moisture is always the biggest challenge and I am a fan of placing a layer of newspaper in the basket and I find it helps to retain some water for me. This year I discovered a very inventive way of doing this job on Facebook. Placing a nappy in the bottom of the basket is meant to be great at keeping moisture in.
Once your baskets are planted there are just three things to concern yourself with. First is watering you never want your basket to dry out but you don’t want it to be soggy either. It is all about reaching the equilibrium where the plants are happy. The second task is feeding. I like to feed once a week using a good quality tomato feed. The final task is the most important, dead head. It is important to keep dead heading to ensure you prolong the floral display.
Do you have tips for successfully hanging baskets? Tweet @davidcorscadden or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also comment below and I will be sure to share them!
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