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How to create the most beautiful hanging basket for summer

With summer in full swing and all eyes on suntraps, chances are you’re looking to add a riot of colour to spruce up your patio, bijou balcony or front entrance.

Best of all, hanging baskets are easy to maintain and won’t take up any precious floor space… leaving room for a wrought iron chair and table when the sun has got its hat on and it’s happy hour.

Here, Julian Palphramand, head of plants at British Garden Centres shares his step-by-step guide to creating a showy hanging basket that will thrive through the summer…

Choosing your summer plants

When prepping, it’s essential to choose the right plants…

Seek expert advice on selecting vibrant and colourful flowers that are well-suited for hanging baskets, advises Palphramand.

“Some excellent choices include petunias, fuchsias, lobelia, and geraniums, which are known for their ability to thrive in the sunny summer weather – and will add a delightful burst of colour to your outdoor space.

“All you need is a wall, or fence to hang from!”

Filling

When creating an eye-catching hanging basket, it’s important to consider using a mix of trailing, upright, and filler plants…

This method is commonly referred to as the Thriller, Filler and Spiller technique, explains Palphramand.

“Trailing plants, such as trailing petunias or bacopa, can elegantly cascade over the edges, adding a graceful touch to the arrangement.

“Upright plants, like geraniums or fuchsias, not only provide height, but also contribute to the overall structure of the basket.”

To achieve a lush and full look, Palphramand says it’s advisable to fill any gaps with filler plants such as lobelia or verbena. “This combination results in a visually appealing and well-balanced hanging basket display that will wow in your garden.”

Planting

Remember to line the basket if necessary, and fill it with high-quality, multi-purpose compost…

“You can add water-retaining granules to help maintain moisture, which is crucial for hanging baskets that tend to dry out quickly,” notes Palphramand.

“It’s also a good idea to mix in a slow-release plant food to provide consistent nutrients to your plants over the season.”

He continues: “Start by placing the thriller plants in the centre of the basket. Then, add filler plants around the central ones. Finally, position the spiller plants near the edges, so they can cascade down.”

When planting, Palphramand says to make sure to firm the compost around the roots and water thoroughly to settle the plants in place.

Designing

Creating a visually stunning garden involves more than just planting your favourite flowers…

“A well-thought-out colour scheme is essential for a cohesive look,” highlights Palphramand.

“You might opt for complementary colours like purple and yellow for a vibrant contrast, or soft colours such as pink, purple, and blue to evoke a sense of calm.”

He says texture and form are equally important. “Incorporating plants with varied leaf textures and unique flower shapes can add layers of visual interest.

“Additionally, the arrangement of your plants can significantly impact the garden’s overall feel – symmetrical designs lend a formal, structured appearance, while asymmetrical layouts offer a more natural and relaxed vibe.”

Maintaining

To keep your hanging basket looking beautiful all summer long, it’s important to maintain it properly…

“Regular watering is crucial, especially during hot spells as containers tend to dry out quicker,” warns Palphramand.

“Removing dead flowers and any wilted or yellow leaves will help the plants to keep blooming. Also, remember to feed your plants every few weeks to ensure they have the nutrients they need for healthy growth.”

Positioning

Select a suitable location for your plants based on their specific light requirements…

“It’s important to note that while most summer flowering plants thrive in full sun, some may prefer partial shade, but your local garden centre team will be able to assist with this,” says Palphramand.

“Ensure the hanging basket is securely fastened using appropriate hooks or brackets to withstand potential strong summer breezes,” he adds.

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