Hanging baskets are perfect for gardeners who want to add a spot of color to a patio, porch or balcony. They add a cheery welcome note at the front door. As the baskets take up virtually no garden space, they are perfect for tight spaces. Small flowers that might be lost in a flowerbed are highlighted in a basket.
Patios and balconies often have a roof or overhang that provides a shady spot. Lots of flowers thrive in the shade. Tuberous begonias have 2-inch flowers that resemble flattened roses. The leaves are a dark, glossy green. Flowers come in white, orange, yellow and red. One begonia will fill an entire basket.
Impatiens are covered with small flowers in shades of white, pink and orange. The plants grow to 10 inches high and twice as wide. The leaves are small and grayish green. New Guinea impatiens have bright-colored blossoms about twice the size of other impatiens. The leaves are bigger and sometimes variegated.
Fuchsia has eye-popping contrasting colors on the same flower of red, purple and bright pink. Their flowers hang down from branches like bells.
Shade and Sun
Some cool season flowers bloom well in the spring with full sun--and then prefer to be in partial shade (at least in the afternoons) in early summer. English daisies are small--growing to 8 inches across. The flowers resemble daisies, with the yellow centers surrounded with many narrow petals. Combine purple pansies, yellow petunias and orange gerbera daisies for a brightly colored combination.
It's a good idea to check the soil in the baskets placed in the sun every day for water. They dry out quickly. The trailing habit of ivy geraniums is perfect for baskets. For a bright shock of color, you can try black-eyed Susan vine, apricot trailing petunia, and nasturtiums. Verbena in colors of white, pinks and purple look right at home in a basket and will quickly fill it with color.
If you want to try a red-white-and-blue combination for Fourth of July, you can plant blue lobelia with white geraniums and red petunias. You can also try white dwarf snapdragons, blue salvia and red Thumbelina zinnias.