This is just the month to think about those hanging baskets and patio planters. You can obviously replant those you already have or pop to the shops and buy new ones. There are many kinds to choose from. Wire baskets still remain the most popular and can be lined with traditional moss if you wish ; that does not mean going out to the hedgerow and collecting it (which is illegal). You can buy it at garden centres, but I prefer wool moss liners. They come in sizes to suit the range of baskets.
Plants to use are quite endless but most would opt for a central geranium, fuchsia or non-stop begonia. Surrounded by a choice from surfinias (trailing petunias), trailing fuchsias, pendula begonias, trailing verbena, impatiens (busy lizzies), bidens, brachycombe (Swan River daisies) , calibrachoa (Million Bells),bacopa, lobelia (but choose the large flowered varieties which cost more, but you don’t need many.) I always push young plugs into the side gaps in the basket and through the liner which probably has holes already cut for the purpose. In a 14 “ basket I would use 6 plants in the sides.
Around the central plant look to plant as least 9 other plants in 3s. That’s around 16 plants, plus possibly begonia semperflorens to fill any gaps. This year the plant producers from whom I obtain my plugs are doing a new idea called ‘Trio Plugs’ and it’s just what it says on the tin! 3 plants of different types in a single plug, selected to grow together and uniformly.
If you need more information and advice why not come along to Bideford Gardeners’ Club. Our next meeting is on 8th May, at Bideford Methodist Church Hall, entrance off Honestone Street car park. at 7.30pm, with Derek Burdett, who formerly ran Fairhaven Nursery. Check out our website www.bidefordgardenersclub.co.uk for our complete programme.
Mike Avis ; Secretary, Bideford Gardeners’ Club.