As you are all probably very much aware of, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening and flower buying. A lot of flower buying. Maybe too much. However, I’ve picked up some tips along the way to share with y’all, and today I’m going to give you the run-down on how to create some gorgeous hanging baskets, (and by using the same tips, you can create lovely pots too!) because who doesn’t love flowers in a container? Only cold hearted curmudgeons, that’s who.
Most of these are examples from the greenhouses I went to, so they’re actually created by the pros. First, let’s cover some color basics, and then we’ll take a look at a few hanging baskets and see why they work so well.
The Color Wheel and Basic Color Theory:
The color wheel, if you are not familiar, is this thing:
Color theory, which tells you which colors look best together, is based off of this wheel, and while there are enough technicalities about color theory to fill an encyclopedia (boooooringgggg), we only need the basics for hanging basket design.
According to color theory, there are three basic ways to make yourself a color palette (for a room, a painting, or, in this case, flowers).
The first is by using Analogous Colors. Analogous colors are three or four colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. This is why reds, oranges, and yellows or greens, blues, and purples look good together. Here’s a flower example for your viewing pleasure:
The second is based upon Complementary Colors, or colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, orange and blue are a complementary pair. So are purple and yellow. Here’s an example:
The third is simply a Monochromatic palette. This means using one color (or variations on that color) to fill your palette, like this:
And of course, there are hundreds of other combinations that look good outside of these rules, but these are just some simple and fail-proof guidelines to start with.
If you’re having any trouble visualizing, or are bored and like interactive tools (yay internet!) you should definitely check out Paletton, a great interactive color wheel that shows you a palette based on whichever color you click on.
Now for the fun part!
Building Your Basket: What Works
Of course color plays a huge role in your hanging basket arrangement, but there are other things to consider, too. Specifically, the shapes and sizes of the specific flowers you’re putting together. This is mostly personal preference–as you’ll see, some baskets combine flowers with similar sizes and petals, and others contrast them. Both can work! Magical!
These flowers are close in shape and size, and are also very close to complementary colors. There’s enough of a contrast between the two to create a lot of visual interest.
Here’s a great example of an analogous palette. Reds and oranges, both with similarly sized smooth petals, work really well together in this basket.
These are also close to analogous, but you can’t go wrong with pink and purple. It’s one of those things that has always been true with flowers and 5 year old girl’s rooms. These flowers are also similar in shape and size, but I like how the purple is a solid color, allowing the variety of the pink to stand out.
A very monochromatic basket, indeed.
This is my favorite complementary combo. I love how both flowers have different colored (and analogous!) centers for even more interest.
Another analogous palette, with two different heights of flowers for some artsy flair. The yellow of the top bloom also picks up on the yellow in the petunias, which is a great tactic.
And this is one of my baskets. It’s not hanging but it sure is complementary! Not only do the colors contrast, but the shape of the flowers are different as well for some fun clashing action.
Complementary (purple and yellow) AND analogous (blue and purple). Krazy!
Another fun idea is to plant unconventional flowers or plants in hanging baskets, such as strawberries, snapdragons, or portulaca.
This one has a lot of cool stuff going on. It’s mostly monochromatic, but plays up very different flowers in the same color. The white accent flower adds some visual breathing room, too.
And of course, you can combine all the colors if you want to and still have it look amazing. YOLOOOOOO.
This is my preferred method because I like my life to be an explosion of almost dangerous color.
I hope these tips helped you out and inspired you to go plant some stuff!
What’s your favorite way to create baskets and pots? Do you have any pro tips of your own, or do you usually just mix flowers you like and it works? Which is your favorite basket here? Sound off in the comments!
Have a lovely day!!