Heat-loving bloomers, hanging baskets good combination

June 16, 2010 at 1:16 a.m.

We gardeners know how brutal the summer heat can be. We realize that not all plants can handle the heat. We know we like color in our gardens and prefer easy-to-care-for plants.

There are many colorful bloomers, like like periwinkle, purslane, portulaca, bougainvillea and salvia, that can handle tough, summer conditions. Many of them actually thrive in the harsh conditions.

Having color in your landscape makes any yard more appealing.

One convenient way to have lots of heat-loving color in your yard is to use hanging baskets. Baskets full of heat-loving bloomers can easily add color to all areas of your landscape, plus they don't take up space. Apartment dwellers know how convenient hanging baskets can be. Hanging from balcony overhangs baskets can make the area seem larger. Baskets can also provide some privacy when hung in groups.

Hanging baskets can add lots of color and interest to bare walls or surfaces. What about an empty corner of your patio or yard? The basket could be suspended from a tree limb or hanging on a Shepherd's hook.

As a rule, baskets hung at different levels give an informal appearance. Baskets hung at the same level will create a more formal look. No matter where you might hang a basket, be sure to have it out of the way of any foot traffic. Being able to easily water the basket is another thing to keep in mind.

Hanging baskets can add color to the outside, as well as the inside, of windows. Baskets hung outside windows are a good idea for the home bound. A window view of a beautiful blooming basket of summer color could brighten anyone's day.

When planting your own basket creations, always make sure that the basket fits the plant. A good rule to follow is to use a basket that's 2 to 3 inches larger than the container that the plant came in. Baskets come in several forms of mediums; plastic, clay, wire and wood. Glazed clay and plastic baskets will retain water, and wire baskets, lined with sphagnum moss, will dry out faster, which means watering more often. Fertilize baskets at least monthly.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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