SUMMER BASKETS by the front door are the ones we are all familiar with. The multitude of colourful annuals, many especially bred for hanging baskets,  provide a concentrated splash of brilliant colours all summer long.

But for every beautiful basket there are several rather sorry poor relations with straggly, dead or dying plants.  As summer runs into August more and more baskets begin to fade and die.  This sorry state of affairs is at the core of problems with traditional hanging baskets.  The causes are poor water retention caused by a lack of a reservoir, porous sides and high rates of wind powered evaporation.  For most summer baskets watering every day and often twice a day becomes a real chore.   Failure to maintain this regime spells the end of the basket.    This, combined with the difficulty of successful side planting, having to use small immature plants many of which die because of root or stem damage in the process, increases the rate of failure.

The current popular response to these issues it to use woven baskets and trailing plants, the appearance of the basket itself becoming part of the display.  The prevalence of these baskets has much to do with the profitability they afford to the garden centres and super stores.   They can be bought in usually for a matter of pence and are sold out for several pounds. Furthermore they only last for a year or two at most before becoming grubby and so must be replaced creating a constant market for retailers.

Dr Foster’s Plant Containers resolve all of these issues and last for many many years.   Take a look at our design features page which explains in detail how it is done.

Our containers are the easiest to plant and allow everyone, even the complete novice to produce stunning summer container displays to professional standards.  Plants grow bigger, last longer and need less watering.  Better results that will be the envy of your friends and less work for you.

Our pictures below show some of the traditional style of basket and some of the more unusual displays you can produce.

The Bizzie Lizzie ball as a wall basket. So easy to do with spectacular results. In our containers the display is much bigger than can be achieved with a wire basket and the container and supporting bracket cannot be seen, just a huge ball of flowers growing on the wall. The plant apertures are evenly spaced so you can make horizontal, or as here diagonal stripes with different colours.

A red, white and blue display in a two tier planter. One enormous column of flowers cascading to the floor.

This sunshine basket has only been planted about 10 days and is shown at the Malvern Spring Show at the beginning of May 2009. It got better and better as the year went on and was featured on QVC.

This display is all about the foliage, various heuchera and variegated geranium complement each other in an enormous display. When it was finished just before Christmas it was taken apart and the heuchera taken out, divided up and used again the next year.

Hostas work very well in our containers. Choose medium and smaller varieties with different colours and variegations. Free from slugs and snails, leaves remain intact and unblemished. Plant up in the spring when leaves are young and within a few days the side plants turn upwards and cover the container. Dismantle in the winter when the leaves die down, divide up the plants, pot up in fresh compost and store.