A bit of imagination can transform that old chipped teapot or enamel kettle into the prettiest of plant holders, while wooden box crates, old metal buckets or dolly tubs, when planted well, create a quirky look in your garden.
When I found an enamel colander in a junk shop, I immediately thought its deep bowl and drainage holes were perfect for a hanging basket.
I decided to plant it up to be in bloom for Easter, with four primulas, two white primulas and five muscari, but any spring flowers would work equally well. When these plants are over I shall fill it with pelargoniums and lobelias for a summer show.
Find out how to grow primroses
There are various ways to hang the basket, depending on the position of the holes around the top of your colander. I used S hooks to attach chains to mine. You can push the hooks through the holes in the colander, going from the outside in, so most of the S hook is on the outside.
Make sure the S hooks are the right length and diameter (for the holes). Or you can wrap galvanised wire under the colander rim, if it has one, and attach wire loops to it. Remember the wire needs to be strong enough to take the final weight of the basket.
I found the materials in hardware stores, but you can also buy hooks and split rings (for joining the chains) from Amazon.
Find out about Saga Home Insurance
You will need
- 3 equal lengths of link chain, each about 1m (3ft) long
- 1 sturdy split ring
- Marker pen
- 3 metal S hooks or
- Some galvanised wire
- Black plastic or sacking, for lining
- Potting compost and plants
How to make
Attach three ends of the chains together with a split ring – for hanging the basket.
To attach the chains to the colander, mark three holes around the top that are equidistant from each other. Attach the first link of each piece of chain to a hole using an S hook, or if your colander has a rim, wrap the wire around under it, twisting the ends together to secure.
Then cut 3 short pieces of wire and loop them through the rim wire. Either attach the last link of each chain to each wire loop and twist well to fasten, or twist the wires into loops first and attach the chains with S hooks.
Line the colander. I used black plastic, pierced first for drainage. You could use sacking but I have found from experience that plastic is better at holding in moisture (metal heats up in the sun).
Fill the colander with compost and add your plants. Give them a good watering before hanging.
Visit our gardening section for in-depth growing guides and fantastic ideas for your garden
The new look Saga Magazine is available now for just £12 for 12 issues...