Gardening: How to create the ultimate hanging basket showpiece – expert tips

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For a winter display, a hanging basket can be prepared at some point between September and October. The Royal Horticultural Society has shared some top tips to help gardeners create their own eye-catching hanging baskets.

Wire hanging baskets require lining before anything is added. The RHS said gardeners can purchase readymade liners, but suggested an alternative option of using moss from the lawn to create the lining.

The gardening charity warned against using sphagnum moss as it may not have been sustainably sourced.

The lining should be around one and half centimetres thick.

To ensure hanging baskets receive a sufficient amount of water, the RHS suggested placing a circular piece of plastic at the base of the hanging basket, before the soil is added, to prevent too much water from draining through the bottom.

This should be placed inside the hanging basket before any compost is added.

Another technique to ensure a hanging basket receives sufficient water is to place a flowerpot in the centre, before filling it up with water.

This method prevents the water from draining too quickly.

When choosing which compost to use, the RHS advised on a peat-free multipurpose compost. 

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When deciding on where to place plants in a hanging basket, it is best to start at the centre.

By starting at the centre, the RHS said the design technique helped to “create structure”. 

However, if gardeners choose to water their hanging baskets by placing an empty hanging basket in the centre, the pot should be left empty.

Trailing plants can be positioned around the central pot.

Flowering plants can look effective when paired with trailing plants. 

The RHS advised choosing colours which complement each other to provide a vibrant display.

The gardening charity suggested choosing winter flowering plants such as Petunias, Geraniums and Pansies.

After positioning all the plants in the basket, additional compost should be added.

Compost should be placed around the plant root balls. Avoid leaving large gaps.

The plants will then require a good watering.  

Hanging baskets tend to dry out less during the winter months, but the soil should remain moist.

The RHS advised on placing winter hanging baskets in a sheltered and sunny place.

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