petunia hanging basket
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How to plant up a Coronation container

Celebrate in red, white and blue

Celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III by putting out celebratory hanging baskets either side of the front door and a couple of matching containers. There are ceramic containers available in blue and white at your local garden centre, or upcycle some of your own and paint them in coronation colours. Make sure they have drainage holes in the bottom and start by placing pieces of broken crock over the holes to prevent them blocking with compost and to ensure any excess water can drain clean away.

Whether planting up a container or hanging basket the compost is the same, a dedicated Container and Basket compost which contains food and water retention gel. If you are using multi-purpose compost make sure it is good quality peat-free and add some slow release granular fertiliser and water retention gel crystals.

Fill the containers or baskets to within a couple of inches of the top then place in the plants, finishing off by filling in the gaps with compost, this now should be almost level with the top. It is essential to leave at least half an inch between the compost surface and the rim of the container or basket, don't pack it to the very top, otherwise when you water it will just run straight off the surface instead of watering the plants.

Place a tall upright plant in the centre and surround by smaller upright plants then finally place the trailing plants around the outside. Water in and place in a sunny position. Your slow release fertiliser will need to be supplemented with a high potash feed such as a tomato feed fed weekly throughout the season. It is also essential that you deadhead the plants regularly. Follow this regime and your containers will last well into the autumn.

Suggested plants:

Tall uprights for the centre

  • Cosmos ‘Sonata White’ (only suitable for containers, not hanging baskets)
  • Fuchsia ‘Dollar Princess’, red & blue
  • Fuchsia ‘Dark Eyes’, red & blue
  • Fuchsia ‘Ballet Girl’, red & white
  • Geraniums, red or white
red geraniums in a windowbox

Smaller uprights

  • Begonia semperflorens, red (only suitable for containers)
  • Begonia non-stop ‘Mocha White’
  • Impatiens, red and white (only suitable for containers)
  • Petunias, blue, white or red & white
red and white petunias


  • Bacopa, blue or white
  • Brachyscome, blue
  • Geraniums, red and white
  • Helichrysum petiolare, silver
  • Lobelia, blue or white
white bedding lobelia
  • Petunias, blue, white or red & white
  • Scaevola, blue