I’m never quite sure about hanging baskets. Something about them smacks of municipal lampposts and pub gardens.
Any flowers are better than no flowers. But predictable petunias poking out of something resembling a picnic hamper, is just a bit, well, uninspiring. Perhaps it’s the visual confirmation that this really is suburbia (in bloom.)
1. They’re cheaper.
2. They need less watering – good news in a hosepipe ban.
3. They might look a bit less twee.
And rather than lobelia, impatiens and the rest of the garden centre stalwarts, I’m going for strawberries, Chinese lanterns (the ones you eat, not the ones you set fire to) and some kind of genetically modified tomato that promises to keep us in passata until 2015.
There are lots of hanging bags on the market. Mine are called Flower Drops and are made by Gardman. You can get them from the Garden Superstore or just type the name into Google.
Made from a tough poly sack, Flower Drops have side slots for planting through and hold nine litres of compost. The instructions were easy to follow. You simply fill with compost to the first slots, plant whatever takes your fancy, fill to the next slots, and so on, until you reach the top.
So far, so good. But when I came to hang the thing up, the weight of the compost dragged the plants inside the bag and I had to elongate the slots to prize them out – hopefully not severing the roots in the process.
It’s not exactly garden chic. It looks more like I’ve stuck a bin liner on the wall and filled it with earth. But hopefully by summer it’ll be cascading with juicy berries and lush foliage.
If not, I’ll be eating my words and reverting to petunias in baskets. Better than pansies in ornamental wishing wells I guess.