Why You Really Need an Artificial Hanging Basket
When you walk up to your front door at the height of summer there’s little better than seeing a froth of colourful flowers, accented by some trailing green tendrils. Picture gorgeous fuchsias, like little ballerinas in their bright skirts, dancing alongside trumpet-like petunias, flat-faced pansies, nodding daisies and cheerful nasturtiums, all complemented by shades of green and silver-grey leaves – ivy, nepeta, fern.
That’s the theory, anyway. The reality can be very different. Wilting flowers, brown leaves, and a mess of dead foliage on the ground beneath, all made so much worse because your green-fingered neighbour has a perfect example hanging up next door.
Hanging baskets can be stunningly beautiful, but when you’re juggling work commitments with running a household and looking after the kids – and often your parents, too – finding the time needed to tend to them can be difficult. Finding time for yourself is likely to be nearly impossible as it is!
Happily, it doesn’t have to be like that. With artificial hanging baskets, your displays can always look amazing.
Six benefits of artificial hanging baskets
1. You can hang them anywhere
If the perfect thing to brighten up a dull corner of the garden is a hanging basket, you may struggle to get the real thing to thrive. However, a basket full of artificial plants will look perfect all the time. Whether you want that bright splash of colour at the front of the house, cheering up a boring side wall, or brightening a back garden, you can go right ahead and hang your basket wherever you like. And they don’t just work outdoors, either – you can place artificial hanging baskets indoors, too.
2. You don’t need to be green-fingered
Some people seem as though they can make anything grow, in any spot. If you don’t have that knack, then an artificial hanging basket is the perfect solution. And it’s practically maintenance-free!
3. You don’t need to water them
Remembering to water your hanging baskets – and finding the time to do it – can be a challenge, and if you forget, that can be that. They don’t contain much compost so won’t stay damp for long, meaning your plants immediately suffer. Then there’s the risk of damaging the plants by overwatering, not to mention flooding the basket and washing out the plants and the compost. Artificial baskets do away with all of that.
4. They make fantastic gifts
If you’re struggling to come up with a novel idea for a housewarming or special occasion, artificial hanging baskets can come to the rescue. You’re giving a long-lasting present that looks good and doesn’t come with work attached!
5. You can buy ready-made or design your own
If you wish, you can get a stunning basket ready to hang. There are so many to choose from that you’re bound to be able to find something you love. However, if you are creative and want a basket made to your own design, you can do that, too.
6. You have a huge amount of choice
Whether buying ready-made or creating your own basket, you have a huge variety of plants and colours to choose from. Many of them are just what you would put in a hanging basket full of real plants. When it comes to flowers, your choices include pansies, fuchsias, begonias, daisies, petunias, geraniums and more, and you can team them with trailing ivies, soft ferns, or string of pearls plants, for a little contrast.
Choosing your colours
Whether you buy your basket ready-made or create your own – and there’s more on that option later – you need to consider what colours you want to include. Choosing your colours is likely to be influenced by where you intend to hang your basket. If it’s going on a wall or fence that’s painted or stained, you’ll probably want colours that help the basket to stand out. Blooms in shades of yellow and orange will look superb against a blue wall, whereas blue and purple flowers would be lost – save those for a stone-coloured or lemon background.
You might also want to consider what else is planted nearby, whether that’s live plants or other artificial ones. They don’t have to all match, but making sure plants can be seen against the background and complement their neighbours is a good idea.
If you’re unsure about what to opt for, a colour wheel can help you choose.
Where to hang your basket
You can hang it anywhere, outside or indoors.
Artificial hanging baskets designed for outdoor use will be pretty hardy, but even so there are things to take into consideration when you’re thinking about where to place them.
Check that the plants have UV protection to prevent them from fading in sunlight – but even if they do, try to avoid areas that enjoy full sun for most of the day.
Think about how the wind typically swirls and gusts in your garden – you don’t want your artificial hanging basket to batter off a wall or be blown about too much. Of course, if the weather’s really bad you can simply unhook the basket and bring it inside for as long as necessary.
You might also want to bring baskets inside over the winter. You can spruce them up, ready to go out bright and fresh in the spring, as the rest of the garden is coming back to life.
Baskets don’t just look good outside – you can bring a little of the outdoors, indoors.
An artificial hanging basket can really brighten up and add interest to an indoor space, perhaps in your porch or conservatory, or in front of your kitchen window, for example. It’ll brighten up the room and won’t attract wasps or other pests.
Positioning your basket
You can use a single basket as a statement piece, or place two or more at different heights, to add interest to a large, bare space.
If you have a patio with pots, then having a hanging basket to get different levels into your design can be very effective.
Artificial hanging baskets are perfect for verandas. With perhaps limited floor space, using the walls is a great idea. Complete the look with fake grass underfoot and a few attractive pots.
The plants in your artificial hanging basket will always look good, but might need a little help to keep them at their absolute best. If dirt accumulates, it can be removed with a damp cloth. If it’s just a bit dusty, clean it up using a soft brush – or give it a blast with the hairdryer!
Creating your own hanging basket
Many of us are creative rather than green-fingered, and we’re all living busy lives. Just because you’re pushed for time to spend in the garden doesn’t mean you don’t want to put your own personal stamp on your displays. One way you can do that is by making your own hanging baskets.
There are four basic steps to creating your own gorgeous designs:
- Choose your basket;
- Fill it with something that will hold your plants in place;
- Choose your flowers; and,
- Let your creativity run wild!
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Choose your basket
Available shapes include round and conical, there are flat-sided baskets for hanging against a wall, and if you prefer you can opt for a wire frame, allowing you to plant all around the structure to create a hanging ball of blooms and greenery.
2. Fill it with something that will hold your plants in place
That might be florists’ foam, clay, netting, sand or something else – just so long as you can position your plants and be confident they will stay where you’ve put them.
3. Choose your plants
You can opt for traditional plants, the kind you would expect to see in a real hanging basket, or try adding some exotic blooms to the mix. Alternatively, you might pack your basket with just one type of plant, e.g., pansies, or theme your design around a colour. It’s your design, have it your way!
There are four areas to consider when choosing your plants:
- Focal aspects: your key plants, which may be big, showy, bright, or unusual.
- Accents: the greenery and smaller blooms that fill the gaps and complete the coverage.
- Extras: things like spiky leaves or trailing foliage – the things that interrupt the basic shape and add interest.
- Accompaniments: consider adding a windmill to twirl in the breeze if you have little ones, or wired ribbon shapes, or lights to show off the plants at dusk. Solar or battery powered outdoor lamps should do the trick.
4. Let your creativity run wild!
Whether you keep shades similar or go for a riot of colour, use small to medium flowers or big bright blossoms, is entirely up to you. Similarly, you can leave some of the basket on display or go for full coverage so the container isn’t visible.
Assembling your basket
Unlike actual gardening, this doesn’t have to be done outside. It won’t make a huge mess, so you can do it after the kids are in bed, while watching the TV. Have fun with it! And of course, you can always get the kids involved – they can create a basket, too!
Baskets for special occasions
We tend to think of hanging baskets as principally being for spring and summer, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a special basket for events such as Halloween or Christmas, for example.
For a Christmas basket, you could use pine cones – decorate them with frost spray, or silver or gold paint – holly leaves and berries, and even a bit of mistletoe. Add dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks, pretty wired ribbons and anything else Christmassy you can think of. Lights always look good.
Hang your Christmas display outside – it could complement a wreath on your front door – or else in the porch or conservatory, for best visibility.
What about the planet?
Yes, real plants support bees, and are wholly biodegradable when you’re done with them, but artificial plants can still be good for the planet. They aren’t just single-use, they will last for a long time, and the various elements are often recyclable or biodegradable.
Getting the balance right
Everything in life is about balance. You might have time for some gardening, but need a hand with other aspects of it. In that case, you could combine fake plants with some low-maintenance real plants – artificial hanging baskets teamed with a raised bed, or some climbing plants and a trellis, or a stunning centrepiece such as a willow or an acer.
If you’ve got a small space, then sticking to artificial plants and flowers – and perhaps an artificial lawn, too – might be the solution. You could include a water feature for added interest.
If you are using artificial plants at ground level, an added benefit is that while some plants are poisonous to pets, fake plants are safe, so you can use whatever you like in your designs.
If you want a beautiful outdoor space with plants that always look at their best, but simply don’t have the time (or the inclination – not everyone enjoys gardening!) to keep on top of the work required for that, then artificial plants and grass are the answer. They require next to no upkeep and they always look bright and fresh.
When it comes to indoors, having greenery and blossoms inside has proven benefits, but again, we don’t all have the time or the inclination – or the ability – to maintain live plants. Again, artificial plants are the answer.
Whether it’s plants in pots or hanging baskets, with artificial plants you can let your creativity run riot. You can match the colours of your flowers to the rest of your décor, and put plants exactly where you want them, which might not be where a live plant would thrive, and be confident they will always look their best.
With such a glorious range of realistic options available to you, the choices are endless.