We do love hanging baskets here at the Garden Toolbox blog, and they’re always guaranteed to put a little smile on our faces. Usually, when we talk about hanging baskets, we mean the small type that we’ll hang over our front doors; or even indoors if we’re feeling a little creative about interior design. What we don’t mean is a basket that would literally pull the entire house down if we ever tried to hang it off a tiny pole above the front door, or at least block enough sun that our home ended up in perpetual darkness. That’s probably why the bloke who designed this giant hanging basket doesn’t do something as silly as trying to hang it there.
If you have trouble remembering to water your hanging baskets then you’ll probably want to avoid growing one as big as Dusty Bessleys (great name by the way!). His 5.5 tonne basket is made up of more than 2,500 plants; measuring 21 feet wide and ten feet deep, and if he wants to water it he has to climb a ladder and take a good chunk of time out of his day. Thankfully an automatic sprinkling system waters the plants twice a day, but he does have to climb inside the basket from time to time to tend the plants; a feeling he describes as “a bit like being at sea”.
The structure was created by burying a h-shaped girder in the ground along with four metres of concrete. The basket itself is made up of steel greenhouse hoops that are suspended from chains held together with a central pin. In other words, you’re not going to be hanging it from your house any time soon. He then added plants such as geraniums, marigolds and pansies.
Dusty isn’t man to sit on his laurels, welcoming all challengers by saying “if anyone can come up with anything bigger then I’d like to see it.” Although if someone made one even bigger when would it cease being a hanging basket and instead becoming a flower shaped Eiffel Tower?
Unfortunately Dusty can’t get a Guinness Book of Records entry for it; apparently “they don’t do records for these”, but if a guy can get a record for tallest mohican then surely Dusty should get a bit of recognition? He’s taken the UK record instead, although we should point out that he pretty much just made that up on the spot.
Apart from being a pretty magnificent sight Dusty’s flower explosion has actually raised almost £20,000 for charities since he first hoisted the hanging basket up. This money is raised by people having a go at guessing the amount of flowers in the basket, and this year it’s going to prostate cancer charities, so it’s definitely a worthy cause.
If you do fancy going to take a look at his big one you can see it at Beesleys Garden Centre in Ravenstone, Leicestershire. Just try not to bang your head on it like I usually do with hanging baskets! Unfortunately we only sell the small kind of hanging baskets, but that’s probably for the best.