Thursday, May 9, 2013

My adolescent hanging baskets


I do love a pretty hanging flower pot.  Does your town have hanging baskets along its main streets in the summer?  Ours does and they are so beautiful.

I’ve shared before about the hanging pots I bought with holes for planting flower starts.  I confessed that I almost killed the first batch I inserted a few years ago because I crammed them into the holes roots-first.  I am much wiser now and carefully wrapped the part above the dirt in a paper cone, then inserted it through the hole from the inside.  I'd recommend that plan instead of the mashing technique.

When you make hanging baskets this way, you’re in for an ugly season until they fill out and cover the entire pot.  It's kind of like that awkward phase when I was 13, mortified about my freckles and the space between my front teeth.  Of course it didn't help that most of my best friends were teeny little things under 5' tall and I felt like the Jolly Green Giant walking down the hall of my junior high school.  A giant with freckles and that space.


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Poor thing.  You can try to tell it that one day this stage will pass and it will look radiant but it won't believe you.  It will be too self-absorbed and focused on those ugly spaces that don't have flowers in them because the gardener was too cheap to buy that many. (There are 29 holes in each pot... that's 58 plants if you filled each one!  Plus you won't even see these blank spots in a few weeks. There, now that I've explained myself I don't feel so cheap.)

I’m sure if you had a greenhouse and started them much earlier in the year, you could avoid this look.

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But since I don’t have a greenhouse and since I spent the money on these pots, we're hanging them on the back patio until they fluff out a little bit. Then I (by which of course I mean Jeff) will move them up onto the deck where we see them every day.

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I wanted to keep a list of the plants I used this year… this is more for me than for you because I’ll know right where to look at planting time next year.
  1. bidens – Aloha yellow
  2. calibrachoa – (Million Bells) double magenta
  3. helichrysum – (Licorice vine)
  4. brachyscome – (Rock daisy) blue-purple
  5. wave petunia – purple and pink
  6. bacopa – white trailing
  7. lobelia – blue trailing

These pictures were taken a week ago, right after the pots were planted.  The poor things are drooping and in shock at being wrapped in paper and shoved through a little hole.  

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You can see how my handy husband has a drip system for the pots.

After only a week, the plants have perked up and are turning their faces upward instead of hanging pitifully.

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With a little Miracle Gro and these warm spring temps, it won’t be long at all before…

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No more ugly!  No more comparisons to the other hanging pots.  No more worry about where to stand at the sock hop.

PS.  I am already trying to decide if I’ll do these next year.  If I factor in the soil and the number of plants I have to buy, I might be ahead in buying an already full and blooming hanging basket. 

I might be past the teen-aged mothering stage.

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