Hanging baskets add a splash of colour
REGULAR readers of my column will know I’m a fan of container gardening, which is highly suitable for condo and apartment dwellers and offers both functionality and practicality.
It’s functional because you can grow many plants in relatively few containers. It’s practical because of its ease to create, maintain and decorate with the planted containers.
A question I’m frequently asked is how to group containers or what plants go with other plants. One of my favourite information sources for putting together containers is Proven Winners, a creative company whose plants are always healthy.
Every spring I head off to enjoy a long look at the Proven Winners website — provenwinners. com — to view some new container ideas. In the past, we have looked at several of the Proven Winners formulas for building your own containers, but we have never talked about hanging baskets. So listed below are my picks for some of Proven Winners’ best hanging basket combinations.
I have chosen smaller pot sizes for these examples because I’m always aware of space restrictions for most balconies and decks. If you want a larger container arrangement, either choose larger plants or double their number.
I don’t know which nurseries or greenhouses will be carrying the varieties described here. You may have to search for the plants, but believe me they’re worth the effort. Alysheba: This combination gets a boost of colour from a Sedona coleus. Surrounding the coleus are purple Osteospermum, Violet Rose Nemesia and yellow Bidens. Pot size is 40 centimetres (16 inches) and works well as a hanging basket or in a window box. Sunny exposure. Formula: 1 Soprano Purple Osteospermum; 1 Color Blaze Sedona Coleus; 1 Safari Violet Rose Nemesia; 2 Solaire Yellow Bidens. Tequila Bay: Another great grouping of flowers, creating a very unique container. What I like most about the Proven Winners ideas are colour combinations that are outside the box, but look fantastic. In this grouping, orangey-red and yellow Calibrachoas are combined with blue purple Nemesia and melon-coloured Osteospermum. Pot size is 30 cm (12 inches) and is designed as a hanging basket, window box or upright container. Sunny exposure. Formula: 1 Superbells (Calibrachoa) Tequila Sunrise; 1 Nemesia Bluebird; 1 Osteospermum Melon Symphony Taste of the Tropics: I also love the way Proven Winners names their creations. Take a Taste of the Tropics. This combination features brilliant colours and is another personal favourite. Pink Superbells are planted with orangey-red and yellow Calibrachoas, yellow straw flowers and bright-red Surfinia petunias. The col- our combination is so striking it will instantly be a conversation piece on your balcony or deck. Only four plants make up this container combination, making it a great cost-efficient planting as well. Pot size is 30 centimetres (12 inches) and is meant as a hanging basket. Sunny exposure. Formula: 1 Superbells (Calibrachoa) pink; 1 Superbells (Calibrachoa) Tequila Sunrise; 1 Strawflower (Chrysocephalum) Flambe yellow; 1 Surfinia Petunia Baby red. Spring Basket Another favourite. Oh, who am I trying to kid!? They are ALL my favourites, but this one is another eye-catcher. It combines lemon yellow Osteospermum, red Supertunia and dark blue Verbenas. Pot size is 30 cm (12 inches) and is meant as a hanging basket. Sunny exposure. Formula: 3 Osteospermum Lemon Symphonys; 1 Supertunia Red; 3 Superbena (Verbena). Rio Grande I could not make such a list of fa- vourites without including one for those gardeners with a shady deck or balcony. Rio Grande fits that bill very adequately. A combination of Sky Blue Lobelia, chartreuse creeping Jenny and Midnight Blue Torenia makes for a stunning hanging basket meant for the shade. While the colour scheme could be described as monochromatic, it just works in the shade. It has a sense of coolness that will be welcomed on those hot summer days. Pot size 30 cm (12 inches). Designed as a hanging basket. Formula: 3 Laguna Lobelia Sky Blue; 3 Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny) Goldilocks; 3 Catalina Torenia (Wishbone Flower).