An embarrassment of deadness.
I love hanging baskets. A porch is not a porch to me without beautiful, overflowing baskets hanging from the posts. Back in the olden days, I spent a pretty penny buying baskets every year. Since I started doing things like making my own homemade mixes and milking a cow, I pot up my own hanging baskets. This is my third year reusing these bird-nest-like baskets.
I like the kind of natural, organic, bird-nest-ish look to them. I actually originally bought them pre-potted.
The plants they came with didn’t really do that well (especially some kind of grassy thing that was in the middle of each one). I’ve seen since that you can buy these bird-nest-ish (what IS the right word??) hanging baskets without the plants. That’s what I’ll do when I need to replace these, which I will eventually.
The downside of using this type of hanging basket versus a plain plastic one is that the roots of the plants get all into the bird-nest-ish material. It’s really difficult to remove the old plants without tearing out some of the basket material, too, so they’re going to wear thin at some point. I make a huge mess cleaning them out, and it’s a little frustrating, which probably explains why I leave the abomination of deadness hanging there all winter and don’t clean them out until it’s time to repot them. Mid-May is the last freeze date here, so while some of you may have had hanging baskets out for a couple of months, it’s just now time here.
They clean out pretty good, after some effort. I felt a little disgusting, though, as every time I tugged real hard on a clod of rootbound goop, it would finally come free from the basket with that sudden burst that has you falling backward and dirt flying like the pot just exploded. I broomed myself off, too, then it was time to load in some fresh potting soil and get to the fun part!
It was worth all the dirt to get there. When I pot my own hanging baskets, I like to use a variety of vining, trailing stuff, with a punch of color in the middle–some kind of blooming something. Last year, I tried wave petunias. I waved at them all summer and they never once waved back, so no more of them. This year I have some regular petunias. They aren’t promising to wave or anything, so I shouldn’t be disappointed. Weston gave them to me for Mother’s Day, so I hope I don’t kill them.
There’s some salvia there, too, but that’s going in a regular pot with the leftover petunias. I like to pot all four of my front porch hanging baskets with the same plants. I like variety within the pots, but then I like uniformity across the four pots. (There’s a lot of contradiction in my personality.) For the vining, trailing plants, I like to mix up the colors and textures. I got some light green sweet potato vines.
This is “Emerald Lace” Swedish ivy.
It has darker, more rubbery leaves with tiny white flowers. For my third trailer, I got one of my favorites–vinca vine.
Vinca is dependable and familiar. I’ve tried sweet potato vine before, too–with success–but this is my first time trying Swedish ivy.
In each basket, I loaded in one of everything.
Of the viney stuff, that is. I’ll use two petunias to each pot.
For goodness sake, don’t forget to break up the pot-bound roots, SUZANNE!
The puppy helps as much as he can.
Which mostly involves running off with a petunia bloom.
Which makes me hurry up and–
–get the petunias in there and–
–get these baskets hanging where they’ll be safe!
Safe is perhaps a relative term…..