Nurserymans Choice Hanging Basket Mixed Collection from T&M

A vibrant display of hanging baskets can make your garden in summer pop!
Image: Nurserymans Choice Hanging Basket Mixed Collection from T&M

A recent Thompson & Morgan survey has revealed some surprising habits, when it comes to summer hanging baskets.

Love them or loathe them, nothing sets up the garden for summer like a vibrant display of hanging baskets. Thompson & Morgan, the UK’s leading mail order supplier of seasonal hanging basket plants, asked the nation’s gardeners how they use hanging baskets to best effect. The findings were most interesting…

Hanging basket survey – the quick highlights

T&M’s recent hanging basket survey revealed some interesting results. Highlights of the findings include:

  • The nation’s favourite basket flower colour is red
  • Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ was named the best hanging basket plant
  • Begonias, fuchsias and petunias are the favourite basket fillers, but…
  • 60% of gardeners plan to try something new this year
  • On average, people have 5.4 hanging baskets each (numbers ranged from 1 to 28!)

Favourite colours for hanging baskets

Begonia 'Apricot Shades' & Begonia 'Lotto Mixed'

Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ was voted the best plant for hanging baskets
Image: Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ & Begonia ‘Lotto Mixed’

Hanging baskets are all about showing off eye-level colour, so Thompson & Morgan was keen to identify the nation’s favourite floral basket shades. The top three flower colours were red (24%), purple (22%) and pink (17%).

Just 5% prefer white flowers, and while only 10% chose yellow and 9% orange, Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’ received the most mentions as a favourite hanging basket plant, with trailing begonias, petunias and fuchsias filling the remainder of the top slots.

Favourite combinations for hanging baskets

Petunia 'Night Sky' & Begonia 'Illumination Mixed'

Most gardeners prefer a mix of 2-3 colours in their hanging baskets.
Image: Petunia ‘Night Sky’ & Begonia ‘Illumination Mixed’

The survey also revealed that the majority of hanging basket gardeners use two or three flower colours in their displays (38%), and just 9% like to stick to a single colour. 26% go all out with a riot of mixed colour in their baskets, while 27% of respondents said they employ a combination of single colours, duos, trios and mixes across their various baskets.

Hanging baskets are a great place for gardeners to experiment with new plants, and over 60% of respondents said they’re planning to try something different this summer. Thompson & Morgan sales analysis shows that the new edible Fuchsia Berry and the unusually speckled Petunia ‘Night Sky’ are stand out ‘experimental’ basket options for customers this season.

Favourite hanging basket hardware

Petunia 'Frills & Spills™ Mixed' & Fuchsia 'Trailing Mixed'

Traditional moss-lined baskets are being replaced by reusable plastic options
Image: Petunia ‘Frills & Spills™ Mixed‘ & Fuchsia ‘Trailing Mixed’ (Copyright: Visions BV, Netherlands)

According to the survey, the nation’s taste in basket styles is fast changing too, with just 13% opting for traditional moss-lined wire baskets. Coir matting is now the preferred option for lining older style baskets, but 45% of respondents said they had no need for basket liners as they now use pre-lined wicker baskets or plastic Easy Fill Baskets. These were chosen for their durability, ease of planting and upkeep through the season.

Favourite fruit and veg for hanging baskets

Fuchsia Berry & Blackberry 'Black Cascade'

Hanging baskets are a great place to grow-your-own, away from slugs and snails
Image: Fuchsia Berry & Blackberry ‘Black Cascade’

Only 36% of basket gardeners have tried fruit or vegetables in their hanging baskets, despite many edible plants being suitable. For those that do grow their own this way, strawberries, tomato plants and mixed herbs were the most common planting option, but the new edible Fuchsia Berry and basket Blackberry ‘Black Cascade’ look set to shake things up.

Caring for hanging baskets

It seems that the nation’s gardeners are savvy about the benefits of regular deadheading to promote more flowers and extend the life of their hanging baskets. Just 1% admitted to never deadheading, because they think that life is too short!

31% of respondents said that they deadhead their basket plants on a weekly basis, and 29% do it daily. 23% deadhead twice a week, leaving 15 percent to do it “when remembered”.

Thompson & Morgan’s survey also threw up some interesting findings when it comes to the nation’s use of winter and spring hanging baskets, to be revealed soon. If you’d like more specialist information about growing hanging baskets, visit our hanging baskets hub page for a wealth of resources. And if you’re looking for more information on begonias, visit our hub page.

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