Hanging baskets make a lovely addition to any house or garden. Planting a ball-shaped basket will ensure an impressive, even, round shape. Start with two standard wire baskets; it's much easier to plant them separately before you wire them together. Push the plants through side holes from the inside to ensure that the roots are not damaged. Baskets can be planted with any types of plants. However, to ensure a neat ball shape, free-flowering plants of tidy growth such as impatiens are ideal.
Planting the two halves
Set the first basket upright in the bucket or plant pot for support. This will prevent it from rolling around as you plant. Place the liner into the basket. Make holes in the liner for the plants, spacing them about 15 cm (6 inches) apart in a zigzag style, up and down. This staggers the holes into two rows.
Mix the slow release plant feed in with the potting mix. Place enough potting mix into the bottom of the basket to reach the first set of holes.
Thread the foliage of the plants through the holes from the inside of the basket, leaving the roots sitting on the potting mix inside the basket. Pushing the foliage through the holes rather than the root ball will ensure that you don't damage the roots while you plant. Add more potting mix, up to the second row of holes. Again, carefully thread the plants through from the inside.
Add more potting mix, working it carefully around the root balls. Then fill to the top, pressing lightly to firm the potting mix.
Turn the second liner upside down. Place the 8.8 cm (3.5 inch) pot upside down in the centre. Trace around the pot with the pencil. Cut around the traced circle with a craft knife, staying slightly inside the line, making the hole just a fraction smaller. Turn the pot upright then insert it snugly into the hole. This will serve as a reservoir, making watering easier.
Place the liner in the basket. Plant up the second basket as you did the first, as for the first one, being careful not to push the plant pot out. Once planted, water both halves and allow them to drain.
Hinge the baskets together with short lengths of plastic-coated wire. Close the baskets together with a quick action. An additional pair of hands is helpful at this stage.
Tie the baskets together at evenly spaced points using the plastic-coated wire, ensuring the pot reservoir is at the top.
Attach the basket chain at evenly spaced points where the two baskets join.
For easy watering, simply fill the pot reservoir; this will take water directly to the centre of the basket, ensuring even watering. The basket chain must be strong, as baskets can become very heavy when they are watered.
When you hang the ball basket, ensure that all chain links are straight. Any twists in the links could cause the link to come apart.