Monday, May 18, 2009

magic hanging baskets

It's May long week-end, which on this coast of the country means that gardening season has officially begun. If you headed out to your favorite greenhouse to pick up a hanging basket too, try this easy trick to instantly make your basket appear bigger, fuller and yes, even more beautiful. This process involves no harsh chemicals or dubious horticultural practices. It cost just 98¢ at my local greenhouse.

All you need to do is adjust the height of your basket. Most of us use the same hook year after year and pay little attention to where the plant ends up. But unless you either a) use a very long hook or b) have a very low deck the result is a basket that's hung too high. Instead of gazing at your beautiful fuchsias, your eyes are stuck staring at the plastic bucket they were planted in.

It's exactly the same principle as hanging art in your house. All too often art is hung too high for the eyes to easily see. Remember the rule galleries use the world over: gallery height puts the center of the painting 57" up from the floor which is the average human eye level. This makes it easy for your eyes to go right to the most important part first, in this case, the flowers.

Take a look at the pictures below. It's exactly the same basket in both shots, taken from the same perspective on my patio. In the photo on the left, the basket hangs from just the hook in the deck and appears small, almost swallowed up by the cedar basket. In the photo on the right I've added a 1 foot s-hook, my 98¢ purchase from the greenhouse. Now you can see much more of the plants. The fuchsias appear larger and fuller and once the blossoms open, they're going to be spectacular.

Obviously, if your baskets are in a high traffic area then safety concerns will limit how low your basket can go, however it's rare to find a basket people actually walk under. Take a look at your own hanging baskets. You might find that a simple s-hook can make a world of difference.

1 comment:

DAve and JAnie said...

Very cool Claire! I was thinking about doing some hanging baskets this year, around the front. And you're right, that mostly the baskets are in areas beside pathways and are in no danger of striking heads.
I will be a low hanger with you!
But, I am completely unsure of good gardening times here, and have hesitated to start anything outside for fear of frost.
hope the sunshine keeps coming your way because the more garden photos you can share, the more I can see!
The word verification is making me type "genesoci" which to me totally sounds like something I might be doing in a social work assessment. Funny!
What does it sound like to you?