Look at the hanging container as a potential garden--just as you would a flowerbed.
Hanging Container with Pulley
© 2012 Roger Foley All Rights Reserved

Suspending plants from porches and porticos is a part of the gardening ritual. Fabulous ferns and masses of brilliant impatiens, dripping over the edges of hanging baskets, have long been a way to place color in difficult spaces.

This year, look at the hanging container as a potential garden--just as you would a flowerbed. A variety of colors, textures, and shapes will become a focal point, sure to enhance your landscape.

Selecting Baskets
Have fun shopping for your hanging container. Only one of our planters was designed for that purpose. The others, a small miner's basket and an old, cone-shaped fire bucket, were found at a flea market and antiques shop, then put to garden use. Choose a container that can be suspended easily and is strong enough to hold the weight of soil and plants.

When deciding on the basket, think about the plants to go in it as well. If the container does not hold a lot of soil, like the miner's basket, the plants need to be shallow-rooted to flourish. Consider this when choosing the basket and purchase the most appropriate one for the plant requirements.

Planting and Placement
Plan color and texture carefully for your hanging garden. If you prefer a single flower color, vary the shades for interest. Instead of planting all pink impatiens in our shady basket, we added a few light blush and a few deeper rose-hued plants for depth.

Variegated spider plants contribute a long, lance-shaped leaf to the mix. Angel-wing begonias have large leaves with colorful markings, as well as cascading blooms. Ferns and ivy, which thrive outdoors, also bring texture.

Our miner's basket, designed for full sun, is planted with sculptural succulents. Their water needs aren't demanding, and they adapt easily to the shallow container. Hens and chicks provide a round flowerlike shape, and creeping sedums offer several different leaf shapes. This tiny garden, without a flower, illustrates how effective green can be.

The conical fire bucket is planted for dappled light--a little sun and a little shade. A cascading red ivy-leaf geranium highlights the bucket's lettering and white petunias add lush blossoms for contrast and brightness.

Place your hanging garden where you would love color, but can't find a way to get it there. Loop chain or rope around a sturdy tree limb, placing an old piece of hose between them to prevent damage. Hang the garden, ensuring the branch can support the weight.

Turn your hanging baskets into something special with a creative container and a garden approach to planting. You will enjoy hanging them around.