When we are looking to buy a hanging basket in the spring we often head to the local box store where most hanging baskets can be purchased planted solely with a single colour of petunia or geraniums providing basic visual interest in the garden. In this article we will discuss how to design a hanging basket that is: Visual, Fragrant, Easy to Care For, Provides Cut Floral Material and is also Edible.
This Hanging Basket in the picture above contains a simple and versatile recipe of easy to grow plants, which is something we all want, is it not? Below is a list of plants in the basket, what their individual uses are and what their purpose is, in this display. Fillers fill up most of the space in the basket, the climber climbs up the chains and the trailers cascade and spill over the edge of the basket creating a natural and free flowing appeal.
Lathyrus odoratus/Sweet Pea - In this basket the dwarf cultivar 'Bijou' was used to add height to the center of the basket as well as amazing fragrance. It also provides excellent cut flower material if you wish to bring some beauty indoors. (Climber)
Tropaeolum majus/Nasturtium - The types used here were 'Copper Sunset' which is a deep and vivid open faced red bloom. And the 'Jewel Mix', these seeds were picked up at the local dollar store, which helps make planting the basket easier on the pocketbook. The Nasturtiums provide more than vivid beauty though, they attract humming birds, the leaves can be used in salads (for a great recipe click HERE) and they also make great cut flowers! Simply cut lengths of stem with lots of unopened buds and enjoy them for a week or more in the vase. The cuttings will also often root in water providing colourful pot plants for a sunny winter windowsill. (Visualy anchors the eye/Filler)
Lobularia maritima/Alyssum - The variety used as a trailer in this basket is 'Carpet of Snow', an older type that flowers continually from spring to frost. Only in late summer did it begin to tire. Not only does this diminutive bloomer act as a frothy spiller but it also gives a sweet honey aroma, reseeds politely and can be used as a filler in table top floral displays. Alyssum can also be seeded in late fall to provide mid winter and spring blooms in a sunny window. (Trailer)
Petunia - Petunias are a classic summer staple, filling borders and window boxes around the globe. The strains used in this display are a variety simply called 'Burgundy' and an 'Old Fashioned Vining Petunia' which dates to the early 1900's. The 'Burgundy' Petunias were purchased whereas the seeds for the Heirloom ones were ordered from a small seed house in Northern Ontario called The Cottage Gardener. The flowers of the Heirloom Petunias are not as big and showy as the modern ones from the garden centre, but they more then make up for it with the heady spicy aroma they exude in the evening as it drifts across your yard and into an open window. (Filler/Trailer)
Talinum paniculatum/Jewels of Opar - Last but not least is Jewels of Opar which add airy grace and height to the centre of the display. The cultivar used here is 'Limon' with bright golden foliage. The foliage of this plant is mostly obscured in the above photo but the pink airy seed panicles can be either cut or dried and enjoyed over the entire winter as a reminder of the summer past. (Draws the eye into the display/Filler)
Now, the plants mentioned in this article are just suggestions and ideas to get your creative thoughts flowing. Whether you use these same plants or plan your own design, why don't you get creative with your floral design and plant a beautiful multi-purpose hanging basket this summer?