It has taken us a while to get an assortment of images together which show the various types and sizes of baskets we have used over the past few years.We have used baskets ranging from the typical plastic ones you buy your hanging plants in at the nursery, to wire and moss, to wicker and moss, and fancy plastic ones. This picture of a Geranium basket, going back to 2000 I believe, is one that Waita loves to drag out in the summer months and remind our neighbour Darlene of how massive it was. This was a 'French Geranium' we overwintered from the previous year, it got an early outdoor start and just kept on growing.....
The plastic baskets of the early days were replaced by wicker baskets. These were so-called laundry baskets we purchased at 'Michael's' and were lined with the woven style seed bag material and topped off with plenty of moss. They looked great the first year, but the second year they had started to weather and become quite brittle, plus the constant pressure from hanging started to deform them, so they went from their original ovoid shape to much rounder; they started to sag in the middle.
As baskets they were cheap enough, think we didn't pay more than about $3.50 for each of them 'cause we bought them on sale. Most went through 3 seasons, so that's pretty good value for money I'd say:)
This one here's from the last year we used them, 2003. One of the problems with them was their size. If you take a closer look at the aluminum bracket attached to the left-hand side of the post, near the top, it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that these baskets were too wide to hang from those brackets and clear the post. That made turning them on those brackets a real S.O.B. so on those brackets we used wire and moss baskets.
This laundry style basket was done away with and we ended up with a mixture of wire and solid plastic pots, most wo which are still in use today, particularly the plastic ones. We have them hanging at the same relative level from two sides of each of the pergola's posts and after many years of doing our baskets with the usual suspects -Fuchsia, Pelargonium, Petunia, Geranium, Lobelia etc., all the typical annual fare- for 2009 we have gone to using vitually nothing but perennials in our hanging baskets. You'll see some examples a little further down below.
In typical recycling spirit, Waita threw a couple of baskets/planters together in 2003 out of old fence boards. Can't really call them baskets if you don't hang them I suppose, but no matter, she made 2 of them and we used one for flowers, the other for herbs. This one sat on the barrier of the southwestern bed, and the other sat on the table between the reclining chairs on the patio. They required a lot of watering though and were ultimately disposed of as being not too practical in the end.
The last weekend in April '09 we attended a workshop at one of the local nurseries that focused on using perennials in hanging baskets, an idea we'd already been toying with ourselves. Both of us attended the workshop to get some more ideas and some input on how to go about it all, each brought one of our plastic baskets, though we only planted up one of them during the workshop as it quickly became to clear to us we had many plants growing at home that are very suitable for this purpose. We did bring home a slew of 4 and 5 inch pots of perennials to help us do a total of about a dozen different baskets and containers with a variety of perennials, including Hosta, Heuchera, Sedum, Sempervivum and many more. This basket here is the one we completed at the workshop, since it contained all succulents, none of which we were growing in our garden at that point. It seen here still sitting in the 10 gallon nursery pot used to transport it. The focal point is a Lewisia cotyledon hybrid and might perhaps be considered by some to be a bit of an odd choice for the center of the basket, but, it works for us and that's what matters. The others include Sedum spathulifolium and Sedum rupestre.