Summer hanging basket display planted with petunia, nemesia and verbena flowers

Petunia, verbena and nemesia display

Do it:

May

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

This stylish display is created using flowers of just two colours: pink and purple. Here, the different sizes, shapes and textures of the flowers bring the two colours alive, creating a simple, but striking look.

By using simple water-retaining techniques like lining the basket with plastic, adding water-retaining gel and directing water straight to the roots, you can keep the basket moist and ensure your display lasts until September.

You will need

Hot-pink trailing petunia x 2
Purple trailing petunia ‘Surfinia Blue’ x 4
Purple trailing verbena ‘Aztec Violet’ x 3
Lilac ivy-leaf pelargonium ‘Blue Blizzard’ x 3
Purple nemesia ‘Aromatica Royal’ x 3

35cm metal basket
Synthetic liner
Old compost sack
Container compost
Water-retaining crystals
Slow-release fertiliser
500ml plastic water bottle

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Stand your basket on a pot for stability and fit your liner. Don't worry if the liner flops over the sides, you can trim it to size later.

Place a large piece of plastic on top of the liner – an old compost sack is ideal – and cut it to fit just inside the basket. Add a few drainage holes to ensure the basket doesn't become waterlogged.

Half fill your basket with compost and add water-retaining crystals and slow-release fertiliser. (Refer to the packet instructions for details of how much to add.)

Cut seven evenly spaced holes through the liner and plastic, just above the level of the compost. Then, carefully feed a plant, root ball first, through each hole. Choose plants randomly. Add more compost, water-retaining crystals and fertiliser to the basket.

Cut off the end of a plastic bottle and bury it, top-end down, in the centre of the compost. This creates a funnel, so when watering the basket later in the year, you can direct water straight to the plants' roots.

Place the remaining plants evenly around the top of the basket, in random order. Place one in the centre (near the bottle) and tilt the rest of the plants over the side. Fill in with compost and firm down.

Cut the liner to size so it's slightly bigger than the basket. Water the basket well and keep it protected until all risk of frost has passed.

Water the basket every day and never let the compost dry out. After six weeks, use a diluted tomato feed once a week, to ensure there are sufficient nutrients available to sustain flowering. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage further flowering.

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