Create a Beautiful Hanging Basket – with Deborah (New Leaf) – 12th April 2022

Harborne Village WI Hanging Basket

Deborah studied RHS Gaden Planning and Design at Winterbourne House and Garden.

She completed her first show garden for BBC Gardener’s World in August last year, winning a Gold medal and Best Interpretation of a Theme.

She currently undertakes garden design and planting plans and floral art commissions.



Preparing a Hanging Basket Display


Containers filled with seasonal or permanent plants are extremely versatile. No matter what the purpose, they offer an opportunity to play with plant combinations to create a riot of colour. Yet life in containers can be tough for plants, so choose the right container, compost and plants and carry out regular maintenance to ensure you have a good show.


  • Aspect
  • Height or positioning
  • Maintenance
  • Colour: themes or mixed?
  • Time of year

Materials you will Need

  • Hanging Basket
  • Liner
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Plants
  1. Choose Your Hanging Basket

Hanging baskets come in many different shapes, sizes and materials, so choose one that is right for you and your garden. What is important is size. Consider where it is going to hang and ensure that when in full bloom, the basket will not obscure anything. Also size will dictate the number of plants. A general rule of thumb is that the number of plants should equal the diameter of the basket. So for a 12inch basket, select 12 plants.

  1. Insert a Liner

The lining of the basket is really important, as it will either help or hinder water retention in the soil. You can create your own lining with moss or insert a pre-cut cocoa liner. 

  1. Insert a Water Reservoir

Insert a water reservoir to ensure that your plants do not dry out (particularly important for summer baskets). An old saucer or piece of polythene laid across the bottom of the basket will create an adequate reservoir.

  1. Build a Base Layer of Potting Compost

Start with a base layer of good quality potting cost in the bottom of your basket. Press against the bottom and sides so that you have a firm background to cut against when making the slits for the first row of plants. The soil level should be about 4 – 6 inches above the bottom of the basket.

  1. Cut the Liner and Add Plants

Using a sharp object, make small incisions in the liner just below the current soil level and carefully poke the root balls of the plants through from the outside. Be careful not to make the holes too big as you don’t want to lose compost or water. 

  1. Continue Planting to the Top

Keep adding layers of compost, cutting slits, and inserting rows of plants in a staggered pattern until you reach the top of the basket. Top off your planting with a few upright annuals or perhaps some small grasses, to add height and movement. 

  1. Finishing Off

Trim the liner to about 1 – 3 inches above the final soil level so that a small amount peeks over the edge of the basket. This reduces the chance of potting soil being washed out during watering. 

  1. Soak

Use a ‘rose’ spray attachment to give the basket a good soaking. Hang and Enjoy!

  1. Maintenance

Water regularly and deadhead.


Harborne Village WI Hanging Basket Plants Used