The first recorded container gardening dates back 3,000 years to the famous hanging gardens of Babylon and since then people have thought up many different ways to bring the outdoors closer to home.
One of these techniques, hanging baskets, originated in the Victorian age and is an excellent way to frame entrances, doorways and walkways.
The baskets also have the added benefit of bringing plants up to eye level for better viewing and appreciation of their flowers and aromas.
Here at Busch Gardens we use hanging baskets that are between 18 and 24 inches in diameter and can live for several years depending on plant type. Here are a few of my favorites:
A fully grown basket of this size can weigh between 75 and 100 lbs!
This size is probably too much for a home gardener, but you can use any size basket to make your own for your house.
Here are some tips to make your own hanging basket at home:
- Start with a galvanized wire bowl-shaped frame.
- Stuff the outside of frame with sphagnum moss or inlay with coco fiber shell to hold soil in place while allowing excess water to drain and good air penetration
- Use a soil mix composed primarily of pearlite and peat moss which holds the plants, soil moisture and soil nutrients
- Think big! When selecting your plants and combine bright annuals, foliage, succulents, herbs and trailing plants
- Start planting your lowest row of plants on the sidewalls near the bottom then add a layer of soil
- Plant your next higher row of plants staggered vertically from your first row.
- Repeat until you fill your entire basket. Some of our large begonia baskets here at the park may have 20 or more plants in them
- Water baskets daily and fertilize weekly with a liquid fertilizer.
- Here at Busch Gardens, we typically allow plants to grow in the baskets and shape them for a couple of months before they’re ready for display in the park.
Check out our hanging baskets all over the park highlighting walkways, framing entrances to buildings and brightening up patios. Which one pictured here is your favorite?