A basket can look extremely attractive hanging in a porch, on a balcony, or under a verandah. Like window-boxes and pot plants, they are a way of compensating for the lack of a garden, so do try to put them where you will enjoy them from indoors - not where they are only visible from outside the house.

You can have hanging baskets indoors, but line them with green plastic or buy special watertight baskets which have their own interior draining devices - otherwise you will have drips all over the floor each time you water.

The basket itself should be at least 9 inches in diameter, if it is smaller than this it will not really hold enough soil to keep many types of plant healthy. Ideally it should be 1-1.5 feet in diameter and have a depth of 6-9 inches.

Hanging baskets are planted at the beginning of summer, to be hung up outside when all danger of frost is past. Make sure you hang them from a strong support, they can get very heavy. Line them with moss, this will help to retain as much water as possible, and then fill them with a mixture of peat and potting soil. They must not be allowed to dry out and in the driest weather must be watered twice a day. If possible, it is better occasionally to take the basket down and immerse it in water rather than water it overhead. If you have very leafy plants, Zebrinas for example, clean
their leaves occasionally by spraying or wiping them.

Site the baskets carefully so that they do not cut out any light from the house. They must also be easy to water, but not so low that they thump unwary heads and not where they may drip on the innocent caller.

Plants which trail naturally are best: Ivies, Lobelias, pendant Begonias, Petunias, Zebrinas, Chlorophytum (Spider Plant) and Geraniums (particularly the ivy-leaved varieties), with Nasturtiums sown among them to roar away at the end of the summer. Trailing Fuschias can look lovely, too, but they need plenty of space in which to grow and dislike draughts.