Porch season calls for beautiful, easy-to-care-for cascading baskets.

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Sweet Potato Vine Hanging Container Basket
Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lydia Pursell

A bountiful container is just as essential to a Southern porch as a good rocking chair. And what could be more iconic of breezy front porches than a hanging basket? Keep company in the shade with this classic basket.

This particular arrangement is based on old favorites like creeping Jenny and sweet potato vine, which both provide luscious long layers that spill over the side. In the center, lantana and geranium bring some unbeatable summery color. Lantana is a notoriously long-lasting tropical American native that will provide bright color all season long. Not only that, but lantana are irresistible to butterflies, so plant them en masse to attract winged beauties.

To build this basket: start with a metal hanging basket frame, and remove the plastic liner. We noticed ours was painted a harsh black, and so we decided to lighten it up with some green hues. Rust-Oleum spray paint in Moss Green disguises the metal hanging basket.

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Then, line the frame using sheet moss, with the green side facing out. Trim the plastic liner to fit, and place it on top of the moss. Using scissors, poke holes through the moss and liner for proper drainage. All of these plants require good drainage, so make sure there are enough holes for the soil to fully drain. Then, fill the basket with potting soil, and add the plants so the creeping Jenny and sweet potato vine spill over the sides while the lantana and geranium peek out from the top.

Be sure to hang the container where the lantana can get full sun, and water regularly to keep the geranium happy. An easy way to keep high-up hanging baskets hydrated is to place ice cubs in the basket, which will water the roots as they melt.