A Garden Grows Down? Behold: the Hanging Basket

hanging basket

Are you a crafty gardener? Working in small spaces, repurposing old anything into cute and functional planters? Perhaps you’re growing indoors and outdoors, and that little space in between. You’ve got food growing in pots, flowers in beds and are eying that space between the street and sidewalk….congratulations. But are you missing another golden gardening opportunity? What could that be, you ask? Why, the hanging basket, of course.

The suspended hanging basket is a natural extension of your container pots around the yard. They can even break up tall spaces that can feel too open and empty, adding depth to a yard or indoors.

Functionally, they work about just the same as garden pots, requiring the same filling of loam, dirt, etc. The real magic comes in where you hang them, of course.

Here are a few tips:

  • The container: You don’t need to go for an “official” hanging basket. Any basket with sufficient drainage should work. Fun shapes can make a really nice hanging basket such as cone or square. You DIY-ers can attach ropes, chains and hooks, easily instead of purchasing hanging baskets.
  • What to plant: Plants that grow straight up might be other than ideal for a hanging platform. Pothos might be a better choice, or a spider plant. Herbs can do well in a hanging pot as well. Flowers are good too like impatiens, dahlias, vine portulaca—but don’t hang those too high so you can see their bright colors!
  • Where to hang them: Hanging pots can decorate a porch, border windows, enhance drab wall space in the garden, and liven up any standing structures you can fashion a hanging pot onto…even a tree. Take into consideration sunlight and shade when hanging your baskets. Also consider if they’re at head-height and in danger of being bumped.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: saeru

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.