While garden space is becoming a luxury, hanging baskets can bring in that little bit of green. They don’t take too much space, they are easy to maintain, and you can fill them with whatever plants your heart desires. Here in Bangalore with our mild weather, one could plant everything, from a variegated money plant to simple begonias.
“Gardening is difficult when you live in an apartment but the concept of hanging baskets makes things easier. All one needs is a lightweight flower pot, some cord and a flowering plant and you are set. It does not take up too much space and can also add to the decor of a balcony,” says Ankita Sengupta. She says, “Hanging baskets are fun to make too. Old plastic bottles or containers can be used as baskets for seasonal plants. To add colour, ribbons can be used instead of wires or cords to suspend the basket.”
Caroline Radhakrishnan who lives in an apartment says, “I have a sunless balcony and I use hanging baskets that I bought at an exhibition at a throwaway price. I plant whatever is willing to grow in them, without direct sunlight. Thankfully quite a few plants are willing and also trail down the sides of the baskets. I have money plants, wandering Jews, the hardy Spider plant and even a few succulents.”Today, you can buy readymade plastic hanging baskets with the hook and suspension chords, from any nursery. One can even get just a decorative frame, into which you can pop your favourite pot and interchange the plants as you like.
Sridhar Pabbishetty says his mother, Ananthalakshmi, “would keep freshly-knit jasmine garlands in the evening in the hanging pots and when we took them out in the morning, they would be super fresh... In fact it was the early morning dew that would keep these buds hydrated and they would bloom overnight.”
Minette Ranjit who runs a plant centre says: “Balcony baskets with herbs growing in them, are an invitation to cook.” Mint, rosemary, coriander and Basil are some of the herbs that grow comfortably on balconies.
So go get yourself a basket or hanging pot from a nursery, and pick out your favourite plant from their variety on sale. At home, fill the basket with compost and put your plants in by gently tapping them out of their germinating pot.
Check to see that the holes to allow water draining out are clear of any blockage. Then, hang up your basket and you are ready to enjoy the beauty of your handiwork over the months ahead.