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in : Pots & containers: Hanging baskets
This arrangement features several different foliage textures and shapes on long trailing stems, with highlights of large double begonia flowers and tiny white stars of sutera. The basket can be hung from a tree or garden structure away from the house, where the calmer colours and blend of different leaves don't immediately jump out, but offer a more gentle surprise as you come across them in the garden.
Place a layer of wool in the bottom of the basket as a liner and bring it up the sides. You'll need quite a thick layer to provide the support the plants need. Give all the plants a good watering before starting.
Cut a circle from a compost bag for the bottom of the basket, to help retain water. Add slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel to the compost and mix well. Fill the bottom of the basket with compost.
Start with a begonia and two Pelargonium tomentosum. Push their rootballs through the wires, placing plants low down the basket for a well-covered effect. Tuck lining around plants to keep compost in.
Plant the helichrysum, plus the remaining begonias and Pelargonium tomentosum next, adding more lining and compost as you fill the basket. Firm the compost around the rootballs as you go.
Add more lining material up to the rim of the basket, but leave the compost 2.5cm below it, making a dip in the centre. Plant the upright Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth' in the middle, with the five sutera around it.
Firm the compost down well. Tidy up any damaged plants and water the basket thoroughly. Check the compost regularly to make sure it doesn't dry out and take off any browning leaves or spent blooms.