Hanging baskets provide an easy way for creative gardening even if you don't have a yard. You can fill a basket with one kind of plant---say, begonias in the shade or trailing snapdragons in the sun---or mix several plants for a colorful effect. Baskets lose moisture easily, so whatever you plant, be sure to check it often and water it thoroughly.
Coleus makes a pretty centerpiece for a hanging basket in medium to light shade. Its leaves are its calling card---they come in different shapes from notched to oval, and in a wide variety of colors from yellow to pink and red. Some may be solid, some feature contrasting edges and some have random spots of color.
Fuchsia is another stunning shade plant for hanging baskets. You can choose upright or trailing varieties in solid colors such as pink or orange, or in blazing color combinations such as red and white, or red and purple. Fuchsia blossoms come in various shapes, often resembling little bells or trumpets.
Creeping Jenny does well in sun or shade, lending lovely foliage color to hanging baskets. Its round leaves are a golden yellow when they get a lot of sun; in shadier conditions, they may turn lime green. Creeping Jenny trails over the sides of a container and complements the bright blooms of other plants.
You often see showy ivy geraniums flourishing in window boxes in Europe. You can plant one color by itself or enjoy a cheerful mix of pink, scarlet, white, lavender and salmon. Alpine ivy geraniums are particularly hardy, doing well and blooming like crazy in full or partial sun.
Plant trailing lobelia for a cascade of color in your hanging baskets. Flowers come in red, white, blue and purple and bloom through the fall in many areas. This easy-to-tend plant likes the sun or partial shade but will start wilting in extreme heat.
Petunias are an old standby for hanging containers, and for good reason: They're easy to grow, and they bloom prodigiously in the sun. These popular blossoms come variegated or solid in a wide variety of colors such as bright purple, pink and red. For baskets, plant the smaller multiflora and milliflora petunias.