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Hanging baskets provide a fantastic way to inject colour into your outdoor space all year round, no matter how much room you have to play with. It can’t be denied, however, that it’s in the spring and summer seasons where you’re likely to get the biggest, most dramatic blooms.

With a £100 Wilko voucher up for grabs for the winner of Best Hanging Basket, and the potential to go home with an extra £250 if you win Best Amateur Gardener of the Year as a result, there’s a lot up for grabs here! To give you a helping hand, we’ve got some tips on how to make the most of your hanging basket, advice on what plants are best suited to this type of growing as well as some inspiration as to how you can stand out from the crowd.

How to choose a hanging basket

First thing’s first. Getting the right hanging basket is essential for not only ensuring it looks beautiful in your space, but also that it will help support the healthy growth of your plants. Both wire and wicker baskets are ideal for most types of plants but both should be wide and deep, and ideally curved at the bottom. If you do opt for a wire hanging basket, you’ll need a good-quality hanging basket liner to help retain moisture for your plants. To create a real feature, how about displaying several different styles of hanging basket on one wall or fence?

If you’re short of wall/fence space but have a bare drainpipe, there’s still no excuse to not get your gardening gloves out! With our Clever Pots Drainpipe Pot Holders, it’s easy to transform an unloved corner into one of beauty.

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Perfect plants for hanging baskets

Trailing plants

What we love about hanging baskets is how they can very quickly change the feel and mood of a garden. They’re perfect for injecting colour and bringing another layer into your garden. If you’re a keen gardener but do have a particularly small garden, hanging baskets are ideal for utilising every inch of the space that you do have.

Vertical growing has become increasingly popular as a result of people wanting to join in with gardening and make the most of whatever outdoor space they have. We love the idea of using plants that will trail down from your basket for dramatic impact, like morning glory or ivy. Depending on whether you’re looking for colour or foliage, both can make a beautiful impression. Morning glory will create a big enough display by itself, but if you opt for a leafy plant like ivy, plant some bright blooms in the centre of the basket for a truly spectacular finish.

For big impact that’s relatively easy to accomplish, choose begonia. As it drapes over the edges of your hanging baskets you’ll get a gorgeous focal point for your garden – you’ll need roughly five plants per 30cm hanging basket for full effect.

Contrasting colours

Hanging baskets provide an easy way to inject a wealth of colour into your garden but it can often be tricky knowing what plants will look good together. Here’s a couple of tried-and-tested combinations to help get your creative juices flowing;

Red geranium, draping ivy and lobelia
Trailing Geranium, fuchsia and petunia

We also love sweet william, dahlia, salvia and sweet pea for injecting fresh colour into a hanging basket.

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Fruit and veggie baskets

Hanging baskets aren’t just for flowers! If you’re more of a veggie gardener and want your hard work in the garden to give you something back in return, you can grow lots of our much-loved fruit and veg in baskets. Strawberry and tomato plants are a firm favourite for hanging baskets. But how about trying your hand at courgette, small peppers, lettuce or even cabbage? Planted alongside colourful flowers such as French marigolds (which are also believed to keep pesky bugs at bay) fruit and veg can look stunning in hanging baskets.

Herbs will also thrive in baskets as long as you keep on top of the watering, and they’ll look stunning when flowering. Herbs and shrubs in hanging baskets also have the added benefit of providing a long-lasting display.

Small hanging baskets

Small hanging baskets can be just as effective as big ones, but it’s even more essential with smaller baskets to choose your plants carefully. A top tip here is to either have variety in the type of plant you choose or in the colour, rather than both. Flowers such as petunia or pansies are ideal for smaller baskets as they come in such a variety of beautiful colours.

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Plants for shady gardens

If you’ve got a spot that doesn’t get much sun, these shade-loving plants are ideal;

Begonias
Fuchsias
Busy Lizzies
Impatiens

Unique hanging baskets

When you’re looking for something even more unique, why not try upcycling an unloved item, such as an old teapot or bird cage and making it into a new hanging basket full of character? If you’re looking for more unusual plants, try your hand at succulents or clematis.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with! For full details on our competition, including how to enter, click here.

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