Amazing Hanging Baskets

This month we turn our attention to hanging baskets. Many of us would like a hanging basket but don’t always feel confident enough to plant one. By following the guidelines below you can create a spectacle of summer colour to be proud of.


Firstly you need to think about the type of basket you would like. There are a number of different types available, the most popular ones being wire baskets, wicker baskets and wrought iron baskets. Each type of basket has its pros and cons but in the end it will come down to the type of basket that you personally prefer. It is important to note that, if planted correctly, when your basket is fully grown you won’t be able to see the basket itself.

Each type of basket is available in different sizes. In general it is always best to go for the largest basket that you can accommodate. A larger basket holds more compost, which in turn holds more water. This means that your basket won’t dry out quite so quickly. Also bear in mind that some plants can grow quite a way out from the basket itself. This is important when placing baskets next to a door as, when fully grown, they could make it difficult to get through the door!

Compost is also important when planning your basket. This is where your plants will get all their water and nutrition from so it is important to make the right choice. Generally, a good quality multi-purpose compost will be adequate, with the addition of a couple of ingredients.

basketsFirstly, it is a good idea to add a general purpose slow release feed. This releases feed to your plants over time each time you water your basket. It is also a good idea to add water retaining gel to your compost. This helps your compost to hold onto water for as long as possible. Always follow the instructions on the packet for the correct quantity to add to your compost. Do not be tempted to add more. Also, it is not a substitute for regular watering. If you prefer, you can now buy compost specifically for containers and hanging baskets with these ingredients already added.

You can now think about what plants you would like to use. To achieve a good looking basket it is best to limit yourself to two or, at the most, three colours. Always place an upright plant in the middle of your basket and trailing plants around the side and, if applicable, underneath.

We have put together some ‘recipes’ below to show you how a good looking basket can be achieved. You do not need to alter the number of plants for different sizes of baskets. The plants will grow to fill the space allotted to them.

Red and yellow basket.

This colour combination is hot and vibrant and will bring a warm & lively feel to garden.


You will need:

  • 1 x wire basket
  • 1 x basket liner
  • 1 x red upright Geranium
  • 3 x red Calibrachoa (sometimes referred to as Million Bells)
  • 3 x golden Lysimachia
  • 3 x red trailing (or ivy leaved) Geraniums
  • 3 x yellow Bidens
  • 6 x French Marigolds

Plant the 3 red Calibrachoa and 3 golden Lysimachia alternately in the spaces in your liner underneath your basket. Put the upright red Geranium in the middle and then put the 3 red trailing Geraniums and 3 yellow Bidens alternately around the edge. Finally fill in the gaps between the upright geranium and the trailing plants around the edge with the French Marigolds.


Blue and orange basket:

Sometimes you want a colour combination that will attract people’s attention and this combination will certainly do that!

You will need:

  • 1 x wicker basket
  • 1 x orange Osteospermum
  • 3 x blue Waterfall Lobelia
  • 3 x orange Calibrachoa
  • 6 x blue upright Petunias

In this basket you can’t plant anything underneath so all the plants go in the top. Place the orange Osteospermum in the middle and then put the 3 blue Waterfall Lobelia and the 3 orange Calibrachoa alternately around the edge of your basket. Finally fill in the gaps between the Osteospermum and the trailing plants around the edge using the 6 blue upright Petunias.

Blue and white basket:

This colour combination has a cooling and calming effect and is perfect for helping you relax on those hot summer afternoons.


You will need:

  • 1 x wrought iron basket
  • 1 x white Osteospermum
  • 3 x blue Calibrachoa
  • 3 x white Bacopa
  • 6 x blue upright Petunias

In this basket you will only need to put plants in the top. Plant the white Osteospermum in the middle, then put the 3 blue Calibrachoa and 3 white Bacopa alternately around the edge. Then fill in the gaps between the Osteospermum and the trailing plants with the 6 blue upright Petunias.

When you have planted your basket, place it somewhere where it is protected from strong winds and allow it to settle in before moving it to its final position. Also protect it from frost if necessary. Remember to water and feed your basket regularly and you will be rewarded with an excellent display right through summer and autumn up to the first frosts.

2010 – 2014 & 2016 Award Winners

The Garden Centre Association have this year awarded Simpsons Garden Centre awards for… cup - Simpsons consistently wins awards!

  • Scotland’s Best Garden Centre
  • Garden Centre of Excellence
  • Best Garden Centre Restaurant
  • Scotland’s Best Plant Area
  • Scotland’s Best Staff Award.

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