After a dreary wet winter and a tough year for many of us, the sun is finally starting to shine both literally and metaphorically – sending many of us out into our gardens.
After all the usual weeding, feeding and planting jobs that need doing post-winter, your attention might well turn to brightening up any dull corners of the garden that need a little colour and shine. After all, we’re hoping for a long summer to make up for a little too much time indoors, right?
One way to add a splash of colour and cheer to a shady spot is by purchasing plants that do well in the shade – but your choices here are always a bit limited. This is where artificial hanging baskets and flowers really come into their own – you can place them anywhere in the garden without worrying whether they need full sun or partial shade, and they’ll always look amazing.
Artificial hanging baskets come in a very wide range of styles – you can have a traditional basket shape or a cone; a single type of flowers such as pansies or a fully planted mixed display; flowers only or lush greenery and much more. You can choose a traditional design where the flowers flow out of the top of the basket or, my favourite, a ball of colourful cheery blooms mixed in with realistic greenery.
On the subject of realism, the quality of artificial flowers these days is absolutely amazing, and incomparable to the offerings of a few decades ago. Really, they are a wonderful replacement for the hassle of normal hanging baskets, which have to be planted up each season, ‘dead headed’, watered and fed on a regular basis. They last such a long time too, giving you colour in every season, year upon year, whatever the weather.
A fake hanging basket needs very little maintenance but it’s important to choose a good quality design. Baskets that don’t have UV protection will fade in the sun and won’t last as long as they should for the price. Basket chains should also be protected from the elements – e.g. galvanised, to reduce rusting.
Once you’ve chosen a good quality basket, expect its contents to arrive a little squashed! The flowers and greenery usually need a little bit of arranging to get them looking like they do on the product photos – but it’s not much effort.
Find the perfect spot for your basket – be it hanging either side of your front door, brightening a boring fence or adding some colour to a full shed – and hang it up on a bracket, just like you would a regular basket. Most artificial hanging baskets do come with chains attached, but they don’t tend to come with a bracket as well so you’ll need to buy this separate. However, they weigh far less than a regular basket so you don’t need to worry about purchasing anything heavy duty – a lightweight bracket will do just fine. Alternatively you could use a screw in hook, attached for example to the porch roof.
Although a good quality artificial basket will be sturdy and designed for protection from the elements, I like to bring my baskets inside during bad weather. For example, if it’s stormy, you can lose little bits off the flowers or greenery. Bringing them inside when the weather is really bad can just help your beautiful basket to last a little longer.