What plants to choose? Since you will be seeing the basket from below, trailing ones are an obvious choice; plus some to climb up the chains. Very small flowers will scarcely show. Here are some suggested combinations:

  • For a vivid and conspicuous display, a group of Fuchsias (including trailing varieties) on their own or with Asparagus Fern; or Pelagorniums, both upright and trailing; an Impatiens (Busy Lizzie); or, in softer tones of pink and green, a Beloperone guttata (Shrimp Plant).
  • For a cool white and green scheme, Campanula isophylla alba showering down, a Philodendron twining up the chains, and a Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant). This will do well even where light is limited.
  • A Zygocactus (Christmas Cactus) looks good in a smaller container, by itself as it needs much less water than most plants except in winter.
  • A smaller, low-hanging container, perhaps in front of a blocked-in fireplace, could be filled with Saintpaulias (African violets); or (for the early part of the year only) indoor Primulas they could be replaced with Begonia semperflorens in summer.
  • A group of Cacti or other succulents, needing little watering, could also be used.
  • In a big basket it is best to leave the plants in their pots, surrounding these with peat or moss. This makes it easy to rearrange them occasionally.
  • In addition, some attractive plants which will trail either stems and leaves or offsets over the edge of the basket or container include:
  • Bryophyllum crenata (yellow) and B. uniflorum (pinkish).
  • Crassula nealeana (yellow), C. corallina (yellow), C. nemorosa (pink) and C. spatulata
  • Indoor Mesembryanthemums such as M.cooperi (magenta), uncinatum (pink), tortuosum (pale yellow), laeve (yellow) and turbinatum (red).
  • Sedums such as Ruby Glow (pink), album (white), reflexum (yellow), pulchelum (purple), hybridum (yellow) and sieboldii (pink).
  • Two varieties of Sempervivum: macedonicum (red/purple) and tectorum (various colours).
  • Kleinia pendula (red/orange). Additional suggestions for plants for hanging gardens and baskets include: A collection of Heathers, which have leaves varying in colour from silver and gold to deep green, some with drooping stems, and which, by careful selection, can give a show of flowers at intervals throughout the year. There are many varieties to choose from, but a good mixture could include varieties of Erica carnea, darleyensis and tetralix all giving flowers in a range of colours from white to pink to deep magenta. A compost without chalk is important for these plants, which like plenty of peat. Bulbs for winter and early spring: Crocus, Snowdrops and double Tulips (using bulb fibre).
  • A mixed perennial basket consisting of trailing plants such as Aubretia (many of red, blue and purple colours), Vinca minor (Periwinkle) with its small green and whitish leaves, Lysimachia nummularia (Loosestrife) (gold leaves), and Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer) (grey leaves and white flowers). All should be cut back with scissors or secateurs to keep them under control and to encourage free flowering and plenty of new, colourful leaf shoots.