This Mother's Day, give mom a unique gift made especially for her. Instead of picking one of the ready made hanging baskets, buy all the ingredients and create your own basket or container that she can enjoy all summer.
Begin by choosing either a basket or some sort of container. Hanging baskets consist of a wire basket filled with sphagnum moss. Soak the moss in water for at least 10 minutes, squeeze any excess water out and press it into the inside of the basket, extending just over the rim. Poke holes in various spots to allow for trailing plants.
If you're using a container, ensure there is at least one hole at the bottom of the pot to allow for drainage. Place pieces of broken terra-cotta pots or gravel in the bottom to prevent the roots from clogging drainage holes. Generally, potting soil works better than regular garden soil as it tends to be lighter and absorbs more water.
Now you're ready to choose your plants. Considering what mom's interests or preferences are, you may want your planter to have a theme. Choose a common color or plant type – here are some ideas:
Edible Containers or Baskets
Salad basket with cherry tomatoes and a couple different types of lettuce, basil and chives.
Salsa container with cilantro, tomatoes and peppers.
Edible flowers are wonderful added to salads and fruit dishes. Some tasty varieties include, nasturtium, calendula, Johnny jump up's, and signet marigolds.
Strawberry plants do wonderfully trailing in hanging baskets or poking through a terra cotta container with plenty of growing spouts.
Tea blends such as bergamot or bee balm (ingredient for Earl Grey Tea), different types of mint, chamomile, lemon balm or spearmint.
Culinary herbs such as basil, oregano, tarragon, cilantro, parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage.
Floral Combinations - Shade
Create a showy pink theme with 2 colors of Impatiens - Accent Pink & Pink Swirl - and Dichondra (Silver Falls).
Go heavy on the foliage with Coleus (Stained Glassworks Copper, Big Blond & True Red), Lantana (Dallas Red), and Bear Grass.
Mix up a variety of species with Impatiens (Accent Pink), Hosta (Golden Tiara), Jacob's Ladder, Fuchsia (Thalia), Ground Ivy, Sweet Potato Vine, Plectranthus (Zulu Wonder), and Vinca Major (Variegata).
Floral Combinations - Sun
Make a simple bold statement with only 1 plant - Calibrachoa (Cabaret Rose). Plant in a basket, making plenty of holes creating a large floral sphere.
Make a bold statement with bright strong colors such as bright red Geranium (Designer Cherry), Swan River Daisy (Mini Yellow), Nirembergia (Purple robe), Marigold (Lemon Gem), and Petunia (Supercascade Rose).
Go the opposite end of the spectrum with soft pastel colors and combine Verbena (Tuscany Lavender Picotee), Wax Begonia (Nightlife Rose), and Browallia Speciosa.
Good hardy plants that create an interesting look and don't mind if you forget to water them include hens and chicks, echeveria, and sedum.
This basket contains plants that are sure to bloom all summer long: Calibrachoa (Cabaret Purple), Snapdragon (Luminaire Yellow), and Verbena (Cherry Red).
Don't be timid to try different color or texture combinations. When in doubt, refer to the color wheel and combine shades that may be two or three spots apart. One thing is for certain; mom will appreciate the effort and will enjoy her gift all summer long.
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