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What are you growing in your hanging baskets this year?

hanging baskets

It’s Easter, spring has almost sprung, and that can only mean one thing: a trip to the garden centre. So what grand designs do you have for your garden and your hanging baskets or pots this year?

Easter weekend, and besides making my way through a mountain of chocolate and gorging on my mum’s roasted spring lamb and all the trimmings, I’ll inevitably be making my first visit of the year to a garden centre.

I’ve already booked a turfing company to sort out the area of mud that I once called a lawn, and I have grand designs to move several plants and then add a mulch to my borders, so my focus is now on my pots and hanging baskets.

With it still being so early in the season, it’s a little too soon to actually buy the summer bedding plants I intend to grow (sadly, I don’t have a greenhouse to protect them from late frosts). Instead, I’ll be buying new pots and baskets to replace those that haven’t made it through winter, and picking up a few bags of compost and controlled-release fertiliser in preparation.

Basket case

In the main, though, I’ll be looking for inspiration. And with the garden centres chock-full of new stock, I’m sure I’ll find plenty.

In recent years, my pots and hanging baskets have been heavy on pelargoniums. Belonging to a gardening club where you can pick up five pelargonium plants for a fiver, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, they flower for most of the summer and tend to overwinter well in my garden.

But with the Beast from the East seeing off every single last one of them, I’m wondering if it’s time for a change this year.

Trixi mixes

Last summer, Which? Gardening trialled different plants and mixes of plants, specifically sold as being good for hanging baskets.

Among the Best Buy and Recommended varieties were a few Trixi plugs, available by mail order. These combine three plants in a single plug, are colour-coordinated and are designed to give you a perfectly balanced display.

Effectively, they do all the guesswork for you and, aside from planting them and watering regularly, are pretty hassle-free. I’ll definitely be using the long weekend to order some of these before they sell out: ‘Caribbean Crush’ – a combination of yellow osteospermum, pink verbena and purple petunia – sounds particularly colourful.

Then I’m thinking of trying out a few summer bulbs in the remaining pots and, more excitingly, experimenting with edibles in the other hanging baskets. These would include herbs, and fruit and veg specifically designed for growing in hanging baskets, such as Tomato ‘Tumbler’ (a member trial plant) and climbing strawberries.

There won’t be a pelargonium in sight. Well, perhaps just a few…

Are you planning to hit the garden centre this Easter? What will you be growing in your hanging baskets and pots this year?

Comments

Well, there’s snow falling as we speak, so that’s why I’m the first to contribute to this convo even if it was launched a few days ago? 🙂

I’ve got newly installed Juliet balconies on my windows and I will have a mixture of terracotta troughs and plastic pots. I was all for buying a few bags of Lidl all-purpose compost until I realised it isn’t peat-free. Digging out peat is like cutting bits out of your lungs, why we do it, I don’t know. (Don’t tell me. It has to do with money…) So I’ve ordered the same environmentally-friendly compost as Trees For Life use: https://www.organiccatalogue.com/feeding-soil-care/making-compost/compost-ingredients/moorland-gold-40-litre.htm

For plants I will try lavender, thyme, sage, alpines, ivy, catmint and bugle, plus one non-native plant I’ve forgotten the name of right now (from South-Africa – there go my environmental credentials), all of which should be able to withstand exposure to sun, rain, snow, hail, tropical and arctic winds, Siberian storms, tails of hurricanes – don’t you love our British weather. I will also sow a few seeds of dandelion because I love them and they are much maligned, so there. 🙂