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Petunia, verbena and nemesia display

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


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.

Plant it: May
At its best: June to September
Takes just: 30 minutes to plant the basket

How to do it:

Adding synthetic liner to the hanging basket


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.

Cutting the compost sack to fit

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.

Adding slow-release fertiliser to the hanging basket

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.)

Adding plants to the hanging basket

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.

Adding the plastic bottle to the hanging 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.

Adding plants to the hanging basket

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.

Trimming the liner to fit

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.

Deadheading the flowers

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.

Discuss this pot & container

Talkback: Petunia, verbena and nemesia display
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Jean Webster 17/05/2012 at 18:51

wow !

Jean Webster 17/05/2012 at 18:52

stunning ! Will have a go myself ....

LMR Dumbarton 17/05/2012 at 19:16

When making hanging baskets, I have found it easier to fill them if they are suspended from a corner of my rotary clothes drier! You can then put a plant at the very bottom of the basket. Also if you quarter the pages of a magazine and wrap them carefully around the top of the plants you can then push them through the holes instead of the way shown above - it is much easier, and the holes do not need to be so big to accommodate the base of the plants. Love my baskets, but the weather in Scotland at the moment is making it very difficult to plant anything at all.

TazmanAlun 17/05/2012 at 19:57

Hi why not use Easy-Fill Hanging-Basket's.Instead off having to cut holes in liners,Easy-Fill use a gate system, which makes it easier to work with,and no damage to the rot system.And They look realy good.

Good Luck And Happy Gardening.

Tazmanalun. :-)