Hanging baskets can brighten up any garden, at the hospice we have several dotted about the place. We like to put them outside our patients’ bedrooms as they add a splash of colour and can be a bit of a home comfort as many people have hanging baskets in their own gardens.
This year Shrewsbury Council has kindly donated some of the surplus hanging baskets to the hospice. A team of volunteer gardeners visited the depot in Shrewsbury and planted around 50 hanging baskets some of which will be located around Shrewsbury and the remaining ones will be divided between our Shrewsbury and Telford sites. The hanging baskets are planted in specially designed containers which hold a 10 litre reservoir in the bottom with a wick system that transfers moisture to the compost which means they only need to be watered twice a week.
We are hoping the new hanging baskets will be on display in the next couple of weeks and will add much needed seasonal colour until the first frost.
The recent good weather has meant there has been a flurry of activity in the gardens. The alliums and lupins are in full bloom and the sweet williams are starting to flower. Over in the kitchen gardens we have been sowing summer salads and have been busy thinning out congested fruit crops in the orchard.
At both sites we have an abundance of wildlife, over in Telford the resident pheasant has been parading round the gardens. Our patients love to see the wildlife and have taken to feeding the pheasant and various other feathered friends. As our hospice in Shrewsbury is located in a much larger site we tend to get a bit more wildlife including the troublesome rabbits.
This week’s hints and tips…
When planting hanging baskets if you don’t have slow release fertiliser or swell gel you can line your hanging baskets with damp grass cuttings to help keep in the moisture.
To get a visually striking hanging basket always start from the centre and work your way out planting everything tightly together before finishing off with trailing plants round the outside. If your trailing plants are too long you can always pinch them back at a leaf joint.