How to plant a spring hanging basket
PUBLISHED: 13:20 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 03 April 2019
Brighten your doorway or garden this spring by creating a beautiful hanging basket with the help of Ruth Goudy at Kiln Farm Nursery.
Spring has been very unpredictable this year. In February we were working on the nursery in our polo shirts but here we are at the beginning of April and I have my fleece and coat back on! As we still want the colour on our doorsteps and patios to brighten our days, we need to have hardy plants that cope with any weather. Why not plant a spring hanging basket to welcome in the new season and brighten your doorway
Firstly, choose a hanging basket. You can choose a basket of any size in the spring as there is not too much risk of your basket drying out. However, don’t forget that you still need to water occasionally. There are bags of tub and basket compost but I tend to use multipurpose and mix in some fertiliser granules to keep feeding the plants, helping them to survive longer and bloom better.
Next you need some fabulous plants. You cannot go wrong with pansies and violas; they are bright and cheery and will flower whether in sun or shade. Now you need to think about whether you want to have some trailing plants around the edge of the basket. Some people love ivy and others hate it! Ivy is very reliable and, being evergreen, will survive any frosts well. I prefer to use a variegated variety so that the white edging to the leaves gives a bit of a lift and lightness to the basket. If you want more colour, rather than a foliage plant you can use trailing violas. They will not trail as far as ivy but they can follow your colour scheme.
Under usual circumstances I would have suggested planting some miniature daffodils in the centre of the basket to give height and that spring like feel! This year though, we are finding that many plants in the garden are flowering early and the spring bulbs are no exception. Many of our daffodils are going over so would be very short lived and might spoil the arrangement. I always like to have a centre piece in a basket to give an overall shape and to be seen well if the basket is hung quite high. I suggest that good seasonal plants would be a perennial wallflower (Erysimum), such as the purple Bowles Mauve or yellow Goldstaub. You might want to consider a pink (Dianthus) or perhaps a cowslip.
Layout wise you need to plant the perennial in the centre, and then you can place the ivy – one, two or three – around the edge (depending on the size of your basket). Then it is simply a matter of filling the spaces with the pansies or violas. For me a spring basket should have lots of yellow and I like to see the pale blue or mauve flowers, and perhaps a touch of white. Once you have finished, give the basket a good water, stand back and admire your handiwork!
Ruth Goudy and her husband Paul run Kiln Farm Nursery in Kesgrave. Ruth also writes a blog all about flowers, their meanings and messages. If you wish to learn more about violas, search for her post titled ‘Viola – the Cheerful Companion’.