- Author: Marian I Chmieleski
Spring is such a happy time with flowers bursting out all around that I always want to get into the act and replant the large terra cotta pot for my front porch. However, last week as I looked under the laundry room sink and saw the long-abandoned Easter baskets from my daughters' youth, I had a new idea. Why not use those baskets as my planters?
Because my locally-owned nursery seems to be closed, I headed down to a local big-box hardware store with a garden department. I knew I wanted to line the baskets with something that would let water drain, but keep the soil in. My idea was to get sphagnum moss, but I found something even more interesting: a coco fiber liner intended for hanging planters. With that in my basket I headed for the bloom aisles.
Recalling all the beautiful planters I've seen in Sunset Magazine, I wanted something a little taller for the center of each basket with smaller flowers around it. There were lots of good candidates: primroses (Primula), cyclamen, French marigolds (Tagetes patula), pansies (Viola wittrockiana), ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus) and Kalanchoes (Kalanchoe Calandiva)--but you could use anything that suits your fancy. Just be sure to choose flowers that have similar requirements in terms of water and light. I happened to choose a couple of the Kalanchoes and lots of pansies, and ended up with 4" pots of Kalanchoe because that's all they had, but you only need buy the 6-pack size. They will fill in beautifully in no time at all.
The coco liner was easy to tear into pieces to fit each basket. Then the plants went in. I added some compost from my backyard pile to a commercial potting mix and filled in around the plants. The finished baskets are so cute on my front porch. With quite a few pansies leftover I saw some very small baskets at the craft store for only 99 cents. Who could resist? So you'll see by the pictures, I now have porch baskets and table baskets and am eager for guests to arrive to enjoy my festive decor. Happy spring!