Hanging baskets can make a big difference to the front of a house and look fabulous in the garden too. Here's our essential guide to getting the right mix...
Buy the basic
You'll need a coated-wire basket, a fibre basket liner, a circle of black plastic punctured with holes, multipurpose compost, fertiliser granules and water-retaining gel - all available from good garden centres. You'll also need a strong wall bracket that can take the weight of the basket and its watered contents.
Choose your flowers
Choose a mix of trailing and upright plants - geraniums, begonias, lobelias, sweet peas and petunias work well - keep baskets in a greenhouse or sheltered spot until any danger of late frosts has passed
Give it a good start
Help plants put all their energy into establishing roots by pinching off early flowers. Once the plants are larger you can let them bloom.
Water and feed regularly
With many roots in a small space, the plants will need help from Miracle-Gro All-purpose Plant Food,Homebase. If you plan to go away, plant baskets with a moisture-absorbing compost that retains twice as much