A well-placed container or hanging basket, filled with leafy perennials, can bring a verdant, lush feel to cool spots in the garden.
This hanging basket for shade is actually planted up in a slatted wooden basket, usually used to display orchids in greenhouses. We’ve planted it up with shade-loving perennials to create a long-lasting display. After a few years, some of the plants will need to be lifted and divided, with one half of each plant returned to the container in fresh compost. You can use the other halves to plant in the garden or give to friends.
Follow the easy steps in this guide to plant your own hanging basket for shade.
You Will Need
- Dwarf hosta, We used 'Blue Mouse Ears'
- Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
- Hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)
- Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra)
- Multi-purpose compost
- Orchid basket
- Moss, From the garden
- A liner
Line the basket with landscape fabric or part of an old compost bag. Fix it in place using a staple gun or drawing pins and puncture holes in the base for drainage.
Half-fill the basket with multi-purpose compost, then start positioning your plants. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, top up the compost and firm it in to get rid of any air pockets.
Place a generous layer of garden moss on the surface of the compost. This sets off the plants nicely and helps to lock in moisture.
Use more of the moss to fill the gaps between the wooden slats, hiding the liner. Pack it in firmly so it won’t fall out.
Trim off the loose moss using small shears or scissors to get a tidy finish around all the sides.
Give the compost a thorough soaking to settle in the plants. Water the moss too. Then be sure to water it regularly, as it will drain very readily – try to ensure the compost never dries out.
Keep this hanging basket looking good by watering regularly, and feeding the plants growing within regularly throughout the growing season, with a feed like liquid seaweed.