Plant containers make cities and towns more attractive. Often installed and maintained by local governments, but women's clubs and chambers of commerce also cooperate in this civic project. Window boxes on city buildings, plant boxes in front of libraries and courthouses, planters in parks and public gardens, as well as hanging baskets on lampposts, help make a city beautiful.
New buildings are often equipped with planters. Spacious, free-standing types with permanent trees and shrubs now adorn many parks and small squares. In public places, their broad copings provide a resting place for strollers.
Flower baskets are charming on the lampposts of the lovely seacoast town of Camden, Maine, probably the first in the country to adopt them. Hanging baskets are now established features of other cities and towns.
Victoria's Graceful Baskets
Also famous for its hanging baskets is the city of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, Canada. The lamppost baskets of Camden do not hang, but in Victoria they do; they are suspended twenty inches from the lamp standards on iron arms placed eleven feet or more above the sidewalks and usually parallel to the curb for reasons of safety. Each basket, weighing up to seventy pounds, is thirteen inches wide and eleven inches deep and is constructed of twelve-gauge galvanized wire on a nine-gauge frame.
Since 1937, baskets have decorated Victoria's business districts and sections bordering the picturesque inner harbor. After a trial of various plants these are now grown: the ivy-leaved geranium Enchantress, dwarf petunia Rose Queen, lobelia Sapphire, schizanthus Giant Blotched, dwarf coreopsis Dazzler, viscaria Rose Beauty, Mexican marigold Golden Gem, variegated ground ivy, and nasturtium Hermine Grashoff. Except for geraniums and nasturtiums, all plants are raised from seed. The schizanthus, nasturtiums and petunias are at their height early in the season, the viscaria in July, while the others come later. The soil mixture consists of two parts peat, two parts sand and nine parts sterilized rotted turf loam, supplemented
with two ounces of ground limestone, two ounces of superphosphate, and one ounce of sulphate of potash per bushel of mixture.