Hanging flower baskets are fun and easy to make yourself. There's nothing wrong with buying most of the annuals from your favorite garden center, but you should try growing the most stunning part yourself. I do it every year and it's really easy.

The great thing about hanging flower baskets is that you can stuff them with almost any flower you like. Every basket is different and can have various color schemes if you want. But if you don't buy the baskets pre-made, you might be missing out on the star of the show - Nasturtium.

Nasturtium are my favorite summertime flower. Why? Because they're colorful, come in a wide variety of colors, last the longest in the summer, and they hang down as beautiful tendrils from your basket. (On the flip side, you can also grow them as climbers on a trellis if you'd prefer. They're pretty no matter which way you grow them.)

This year I'm starting several different varieties indoors. So far, they're all doing well and growing at a rapid pace. Heck, I might have started them a little too early - I'll have a space issue inside before it's time to place them into baskets with other annuals.

photo: Michelle Wolfe
photo: Michelle Wolfe
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There are two reasons I prefer making my own hanging flower baskets every year. First, once you've purchased baskets once, you have all the hardware you need for years to come. The wire baskets last for years and the coco liners can last for at least a couple of years. If the coco liners fall apart on you, simply line your baskets with pretty scrap fabric then fill with dirt. Two layers of fabric is plenty strong enough.

Secondly, you can custom fill your baskets with whatever annuals you like the most. You're not beholden to what a garden center fills them with, although they do a great job. If orange and red are your favorite colors, pack those babies with orange and red. All white? Sure. Do whatever you want. But don't forget those Nasturtium!

photo: Michelle Wolfe
photo: Michelle Wolfe
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The Nasturtium get laid against the wall of your baskets so that they can grow out and dangle down. Sometimes they'll grow two feet or longer. (I encounter windy conditions where I live so they never get much longer than a foot or so but the effect is the same. A dramatic, colorful accent to an already beautiful basket of flowers.

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