The ‘best flowers’ to plant in a hanging basket for a ‘pretty’ bee-friendly display

How To… Plant a Hanging Basket

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Hanging basket season is upon us now that the risk of frost has passed in most parts of the UK. These hanging displays make for a “versatile” garden addition, according to Jonathan Pearce, head gardener at Pensthorpe Natural Park, a nature reserve and gardens in Fakenham, Norfolk.

However, gardeners can pick specific flowers to plant in their hanging basket depending on their garden’s needs.

Mr Pearce told “The beauty of hanging baskets is that they’re extremely versatile and you can grow a variety of plants in them, depending on the colours and types you enjoy.

“If you’ve got lots of time to give, you may want to start with seedlings and some more high-maintenance plants, or if you’ve not got lots of time but still want a pretty display, you can use dry plants that don’t need a lot of water or attention.”

Fuchsias are a popular option for hanging baskets and can provide a returning annual display provided they are overwintered in a frost-free place.

Mr Pearce also recommended petunias, which can offer a delicious scent, as well as lush foliage in contrast with their bright petals.

When choosing the flowers for your hanging basket, however, it is important to take into account how much sunlight blooms will get.

Mr Pearce said: “There are no strict rules on where you should place a hanging basket, but you’ll need to determine the best spot based on the plants you have in the display.

“For example, if you plant petunias, they should be in full sunlight, whereas fuchsias prefer partial sunlight.”

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Mr Pearce added: “When preparing your hanging basket, try to group the flowers based on their sunlight needs, to give them the best opportunity to thrive.”

There is also an opportunity to recycle plants from other parts of your garden as part of a hanging basket display.

Mr Pearce said: “For those seeking a natural look to their hanging baskets, try including some moss in amongst the plants – simply pull out from your lawn and reutilise.”

When choosing flowers for your garden, it’s also a good idea to consider their impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Many gardeners are opting for plants which attract pollinators, in turn benefitting the planet.

Pollinators allow plants to fruit, set seed and breed, which provides food and habitat for a range of other creatures.

According to Friends of The Earth UK: “The health of our natural ecosystems is fundamentally linked to the health of our bees and other pollinators. “Maintaining our native flora also depends on healthy pollinator populations.”

Mr Pearce explained: “It’s essential that our gardens help biodiversity and wildlife.

“Ensure your hanging baskets are attractive to bees and other pollinators, with flowers that they can extract nutrients from – this includes lavender, marigolds, and honeysuckle. “

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