These days, everyone loves a hanging basket. They’re no longer the kitsch cottage garden favourites of the 1980s – with so many styles available (think cones, spirals, multi-tiered and more), plus the huge number of hanging basket plant varieties that have (literally) sprung up in the past four decades, you’re definitely onto a win with hanging baskets.
The history of hanging baskets
Although some might still see hanging baskets as a bit ‘old hat’, these floral containers may have a history that stems back thousands of years. You’ve probably heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, right? It could be that this ancient wonder was the source of inspiration for the ‘mini gardens’ hanging outside our doors.
The UK is brimming with hanging basket goodness. You’ll see them outside pubs – London’s The Churchill Arms springs to mind – decorating town centres, and hanging either side of front doors across the nation. Due to our high population to land ratio, many gardeners see hanging baskets as a way of improving the appearance of a small garden without taking up too much space.
In 2021, hanging baskets can take on many different forms. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many types of basket to choose from, and a million ways to pack it out with floral fun – it would be a crime not to have one outside your home! Try the Begonia Illumination in your next hanging basket design for a real difference…
How to grow Begonia Illumination
Light: Part Shade to Shade
Blooming period: Planting To Frost
Hardiness zones: 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Water needs: Average
Soil: Average Soil
Trailing length: 24 Inches
Improved over 30 years
If there’s one plant that’s perfect for a hanging basket in any style of garden, it’s Begonia Illumination. In keeping with the timeframe, this plant was first introduced to the British public 30 years ago. Since then, its creators have been working at improving the plant to make it bigger and better than its previous versions.
This is a delightfully buxom plant with a trailing habit, so it’ll tumble over the sides of your baskets in a waterfall of beautiful Begonia flowers! It has actually been deemed as the best trailing Begonia from seed, which means you’re getting a horticulturalist-approved plant that’s not just pretty, but great quality too. It’s fun to grow, and gives better value when bought as a young plant.
Colours of the rainbow – including a UK favourite
The Begonia Illumination range features eight colours and one mix, brightening up shady corners of your garden in an instant! Coincidentally, this Begonia is available in the UK’s favourite flower colour, apricot, with millions sold each year. A shade in the orange colour spectrum, apricot signifies ‘energy, cheerfulness, activity, fire and warmth’, bringing a playful liveliness to baskets, containers and more.
Rain or shine
Have you got a north or east-facing garden, or perhaps you’re overlooked with little sunny patches for your favourite blooms? No problem. Begonia Illumination lights up even the shadiest of garden corners, flowering for five months of the year, rain or shine!
Shady gardens are often difficult to populate. I’ve listed a collection of plants that are perfect for shade, here.
Which colour in the Begonia Illumination series would you place in your hanging baskets? Let me know in the comments section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.