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Gardening Step by Step,

A striking combination of silvery blue foliage and flame red flowers gives this fall-interest container great appeal. The flower power is provided by bedding cyclamen, which often proves surprisingly hardy in a sheltered situation, and should flower well from fall until the first really hard frost. White crocuses could continue the show in spring. Bright silver Senecio, tufts of the blue grass Festuca glauca, and an upright juniper complete the display. A matching pair of these planted pots would look particularly striking on either side of a doorway.

Choosing a Container

Select a terra-cotta pot that has a 16-inch (40-cm) diameter. Use a good-quality, multipurpose potting mix and store the pot in a sheltered spot with semi-shade.

Types of Plants

  • Juniperus chinensis ‘Stricta’
  • Senecio cineraria
  • Cyclamen hederifolium
  • Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ 

Planting and Aftercare

Place a layer of crocks in the pot and fill three-quarters full with potting mix. Plant the juniper centrally toward the back of  the pot and use the grasses to help soften the edges. The cyclamen and Senecio can be mingled at the front. (If you are including crocuses, plant them now; they will appear in spring, replacing any cyclamen killed by sustained hard frost.) Top off the pot with potting mix, water well, and place in a sheltered spot in good light. Keep the soil moist but  not wet, and deadhead the cyclamen during the winter to prolong the displays. In late spring, the plants can be planted out in the garden, or transferred to a larger container.


Gardening Step by Step,

Dorling Kindersley Limited

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