The ease and versatility of hanging baskets are not to be overlooked. As gardeners, we all crave a well-designed landscape full of lasting perennials, trees, and shrubs––but hanging baskets overflowing with vibrant annuals add an extra level of design that many gardens are missing. Plus, they allow us to experiment with trendy design principles––without the long-term commitment. If you’re looking for a quick shot of color, or you’re simply looking to add some spice to your garden life, here’s how:
How to Make the Perfect Hanging Basket Design
When you break it down into simple terms, a hanging basket is simply a container garden that has been hung up. Just like plants potted in containers, the same design principles apply. Here are the key design techniques to consider before you get ahead of yourself and dive into the dirt:
- Pick plants that go well together. While we tend to focus solely on aesthetics, it’s imperative to choose plants that get along well with each other. You don’t want to put a sun-loving succulent in the same basket as a shade-hungry fern. Choose a variety of plants for your hanging basket design that share similar light, water, and fertilizer requirements.
- Consider container size. A compact hanging basket may only suit one plant, such as a singular coleus or bright begonia. In contrast, larger baskets allow for a few extra design options and plant varieties that share the space well together. Either way, small or big, they add a well-rounded design to your garden landscape.
- A good design requires balance and contrast. The basic container design principle to follow is “thriller, spiller, and filler.” Essentially, this means you want to consider adding plants with height to ‘thrill,’ plants that trail and ‘spill’ over the sides, and extra plants to ‘fill’ the space. Don’t get too stuck on this ‘rule’ as it can kill creativity—there’s no law against combining one filler with two spillers! In general, your hanging basket design should have a nice balance of textures, heights, and color contrast. If plant design isn’t your forte, look to our Annual Planter Recipes for inspiration! We are well-known for our ready-to-go and make-and-take basket designs.
- Consider all sides of the hanging basket design. It can be easy to solely consider curb appeal and forget that you may view your hanging basket from more than one angle. Before placing your plants, ensure you are creating a design that is appealing from all angles. This may mean you need to add a few ‘spillers’ around the circumference of your basket or perhaps multiple levels of height, ensuring its aesthetic appeal from every viewpoint.
- Consider house color and other landscape features. Your hanging basket design, as unique as it is, should reflect surrounding design principles. Before choosing plants, consider the colors you already have in your landscape, ensuring a cohesive look. Also, if your yard is feeling a bit blah, then now’s a great time to add a pop of color with bright florals in your hanging basket. Also, consider the basket itself as a design feature. We carry a vast array of basket design choices in-store to suit your needs.
- Leave room for growth. You’re ready to get planting, but don’t forget to leave room in the basket for growth. It’s early yet, and the plants are young; they will grow quickly over the next few summer months, so don’t worry if your hanging basket design looks a little sparse at first. Overcrowding is not kind to plants and limits their resources––leave space for your plants to come into their own.
- Don’t skimp on the potting mix or fertilizer. While you’re at the garden center choosing your hanging basket(s) and plants, don’t forget to purchase high-quality potting soil and fertilizer (we recommend Jack’s Petunia Feed). Hanging baskets are small and require daily watering, causing nutrients to leach out of the soil much faster. It’s imperative that you choose a nutrient-rich potting soil to keep your plants happy all summer long. Our garden center has plenty of options, so come visit us!
How to Hang Your Hanging Basket
Your hanging basket design is done and ready to hang! They can get quite heavy when laden with water, soil, and growing plants, so you want to ensure your hanging mechanism is sturdy. Consider a strong-yet-decorative wrought-iron hook drilled into wood or brick columns, making a permanent place to hang baskets every year. If permanency is not for you, then try a sturdy shepherd’s hook for your hanging basket designs; these hooks look great when placed in multiple groupings for that extra “wow factor.” Come ‘hang’ around our store to discover all of our hanging options.
A Final Thought for the Busy Gardener
While designing your own hanging basket is fun and creative, there’s nothing wrong with taking the easy approach. If all of this seems like too much work, consider buying a pre-planted container. It’s not cheating when it saves you time! Plantings that are all ready to go can easily be hung with one of our hangers, also sold separately at our retail location. Why stop there? Make it even easier and more cohesive by dropping one of our pre-made containers into your favorite outdoor pottery for added curb appeal. We put the ‘ease in easy!
For more ideas, visit our garden center in La Porte! We always have creations to share.