Why no hanging plants

As I'm thumbing through the home and garden magazines I see some pretty amazing back yards, but I don't see any hanging plants. Why is this? Is it a no-no once you get serious about the back yard?
Dave
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Keep looking. They will turn up.
The problem with most hanging baskets is that the pots dry out too quickly and need to be watered every day to prevent the plants from wilting. Many hanging basket plants, especially Petunias, will lose most of their foliage during the hottest part of the summer and look ratty or even die off completely. Professional landscapers usually replace their hanging plants several time a year. That can be expensive and not practical for most amateur gardeners.
There are some succulent plants that actually do best in hanging baskets but that's another story.

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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:36:47 GMT, "Cereus-validus....."

Excellent advice. when I first started gardening I put impatiens in hanging baskets in zone 9 in full sun and couldn't figure out why I had to water at least twice a day.
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Dave Smith wrote:

pretty
Is
In the summer, my backyard is full of hanging plants. I festoon an apricot tree with orchids I had brought in for the winter. However, the collection has grown, so I may have to plant another tree---or build a frame to suspend the overflow.
J. Del Col
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As a generality hanging baskets are high maintenance & temporary. They often end up used more or less like bouquets, purchased in full glory as prepared in hothouses where they were speed-grown, over-fertilized, & trained, only to be shocked to find themselves outdoors dangling from some purchaser's porch eaves baking in the sun, thus already failing a week later, all too soon to be discarded.
Many of the plants chosen for baskets are annuals or tropicals furthering the temporariness of what is little more than a bouquet. Sensitive fuchsias rather than discarded can be given all the high-maintainence attention they require in baskets, then as they fade, removed to be hidden away when out of season, &amp not brought back into view until the following spring. But unless deeply in love with fuchsias, this can seem like too much specialized work, labor that doesn't benefit the garden at large.
For just such reasons they are indeed slightly deplored by serious gardeners & landscapers who want more-or-less permanent features, that don't need to be watered twice a day, that won't get grubby-looking at high summer & vanish utterly in winter. A hanging basket in winter is either a blank or an eyesoar & would not be highlighted in winter issues of gardening magazines.
A lot of hanging baskets are frankly tacky -- plastic, two predictable wood designs, or cheap metal frames with pete mats to hold in some dirt -- & it's just not easy to find good ones that are at least inoffensive. In some quarters, every house needs a mezuzah, but the ones down at the dimestore are all made out of molded plastic & look like crap, while the "fancier" ones are just kitsch objects, hardly reminiscent of anything sacred. So too hanging baskets, 99 out of 100 of them are so shitty it's just pathetic that people keep hanging them from the eaves.
They are too often used to "tart up" the tin porches of trailer houses, while at the "high end" they are associated with lamp-post decorations in would-be tourist traps & are the outdoor equivalent of ferns in taverns attempting against all odds to pass themselves off as more than sleezy bars.
There is also the pathos factor of windowboxes & hanging baskets used by people who want to garden but have no place to do so, or are trying to disguise the ugliness of a house with a few failing petunias. All too often a hanging basket is not much higher up the ladder of taste than a christmas wreathe of pinecones glue-gunned on a circle of cardboard, or a raised garden made inside a tractor tire. There is a bigger overlap between vendors of christmas gimcrack & hanging baskets, than between hanging baskets & nurseries. And those standard-issue hanging baskets of puffy-annuals fall into a category slimilar to mums sold in hospital gift shops in pots wrapped in shiny metallic paper.
But there certainly are exceptions, & like even the kitchiest things, it can be done with elegance & beauty. Container gardening is an art unto itself & hanging baskets a sub-specialty of a sub-specialty. Hanging baskets in a warm zone with orchid cacti or dangling beed-plant succulents, or a temperate hanging basket with variegated Vinca major or Appleberry vines or ornate dwarf ivy in the mix, can in some cases require no more maintenance than any other garden component, & can even have a degree of permanency rather than just be throw-away flowers.
-paghat the ratgirl
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.ab.edu wrote:

I have at least two dozen hanging baskets in my back yard every summer and usually about a dozen in the front yard. They are a bit of a pain to keep watered during very hot weather (they often need to be watered twice a day) but I think they are worth the trouble. I have some picture of them on my web site: http://members.iglou.com/brosen/index.html
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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wrote:

I have a night-blooming cereus in a hanging pot under the deck. It is 7-8 feet across, about 17 years old, looks gangly, but really puts on a show when it goes into bloom. The plant is so heavy, it is hung on three chains. It is wintering over in my woodshop until spring arrives. I've always wanted a staghorn fern. What looks bad is a hanging pot with a dead or no plant.
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Wow, I am very impressed. I have a small night -blooming cereusin a 4" pot. It has never done well. Last summer I was told it shouldn't be in soil but bark chips like an orchid. Still it has hardly grown. Can you give me some tips on how I can help this plant do better? I would very much appreciate it. Bonnie in NJ
I have a night-blooming cereus in a hanging pot under the deck. It is 7-8 feet across, about 17 years old, looks gangly, but really puts on a show when it goes into bloom.
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pot.
I have a similar sized one grown from a cutting from a plant my Mom has had for decades. It lives outside year round in Zone 10 in a well draining soil. I keep it in bright light with maybe 5% sun and water it whenever I walk by with a hose. I do feed pretty regularly but other than that it seems to thrive on benign neglect.
Toni Carroll South Florida USA Zone 10
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I give my cereus care similar to that needed by a Christmas cactus. Transplant it every 5 years with standard potting mix, fast drainage, filtered sun. I feed it diluted fish emulsion during the growing season (spring to late summer), but otherwise no special care. I hang it under the deck where it gets brief morning sun. I bring it indoors when temperatures fall below 40. It is neglected during the winter, perhaps watering once a month. At about 8 years after starting the plant from a slip, it bloomed. The slip was taken from a friend in Hollywood CA, where it was growing outdoors year round. I'm in E.TN, zone 7.
wrote:

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Maybe it is the type yards you are looking at? I know that in my tropical backyard (and those of all my gardening friends) there are umpteen hanging baskets containing rhipsalis, orchids, and many other epiphytic plants. Most of them are the slatted wooden baskets scattered in among the trees in the dapled light.
Or were you referring more to the plastic pots of petunias? Too much maintenance!
Toni Carroll South Florida USA Zone 10- hot and sunny today
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I use automatic watering timers to solve the watering problem.
Have Fun
Jim

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