Posts Tagged ‘hanging basket’

Another Bummer of a Hanging Basket

Our quest for a hanging basket began when we started our roof garden in the spring of 2009. Our first attempt fried before the Fourth of July. We bought three or four more beautiful hanging baskets that summer, but none of them lasted more than a few weeks.

Last summer, I was determined to do much better. I sunk some serious money into a special self-watering hanging basket and even special self-watering planter soil (sheesh, I was such a sucker!). I bought some expensive mail order plants — including purple lantana — to grow in the basket. Well, that basket was a fail too. The lantana never really took off. The Dichondra argentea Silver Falls looked like strands of dirty paper towel whipping in the wind.

Never shying away from a roof gardening challenge, we’re trying it again. This year, it’s an ivy geranium from Lowe’s. I read they are supposed to be especially suited for hanging baskets. I re-potted it into our special self-watering planter. But as you can see in this picture, so far it isn’t thriving. What do you think? Should we abandon the the hanging basket vision? But without a hanging basket, how else can we camouflage this ugly pole?



Creating a Full-Sun Hanging Basket for Our Brooklyn Roof Garden

The hanging basket on our roof garden faces some big challenges. The hanging basket has to be able to withstand strong gusts of wind and direct, drying sunlight for most of the day. Last summer we went through three different hanging baskets. The lantana performed the best, so we knew we’d make lantna the center of this summer’s hanging basket.

I ordered the three plants from White Flower Farm for our hanging basket last night, working from the thriller, filler, spiller model.

For the thriller I chose Phlox intensia in white. We try to put white flowers in almost every pot, since white flowers are visible late into the night, when we often visit our roof garden. “Even when the heat made other plants start to flag, this Phlox performed admirably. Lovely in window boxes against a dark background,” say the pros at White Flower Farm.

I don’t think the Lantana is precisely a filler; last summer our Lantana was thrilling with the flowers blazing, unwilling in the sun and wind while attracting butterflies. Still, I am counting on the Lantan to fill up this pot all summer long; so let’s call it a filler. I’ve usually seen yellow Lantana, often called “ham and eggs”, sold locally. I decided to try something a bit less common – this purple and white Lantana montevidensis Lavender Swirl. Lantna is one of the best roof garden plants we’ve tried.

Finally, the spiller. Our hanging basket is hung high up on an air vent pole, so I wanted a spiller that would thrive in full sun and grow Rapunzel style to hide the ugly pole. I picked Dichondra argentea Silver Falls because it grows fast and it “[e]njoys sun and drought. Unique.” I don’t think portulaca would trail this long.

We’re planting this in a self-watering hanging basket.

What do you think? Will this hanging basket survive the summer on our roof?

Images: White Flower Farm

One Plant at a Time


Plant by plant, our garden keeps growing. R* and I picked out this hanging basket at Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket on Saturday. Here’s R* walking it home.

We’d planned to hang it on an pipe that punches through the corner of our garden space, but quickly learned it is too windy and hot there. We hung it on the poll a few hours on Saturday and it wilted. A quick spray with the neighbor’s hose (shhh!) and it was good as new again, but we’re keeping it out of the direct sun for a while. This is the only mega-flowery plan we have. We need the color and don’t want to kill it!