Cool cus­tomer

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Planting Ideas -

May is the time for plant­ing up summer dis­plays. Most of the plants in the gar­den at Rock­cliffe are grown from cut­tings from the pre­vi­ous sea­son, but a few are bought or traded in. The dis­play on the ter­race is kept very cool and calm to work with the sur­round­ing green and grey plant­ing and with the box, Os­man­thus and yew top­i­ary. The moss grow­ing on the pot links it beau­ti­fully with the old York­stone and the white paint sets off the plant­ing.

How to achieve the look

Colours and shapes I fell in love with Pe­largo­nium ‘White Boar’ when I spot­ted it out­side the front door of a Cotswolds vicarage. To com­ple­ment the dark-pat­terned fo­liage, I com­bine it with Plec­tran­thus cil­ia­tus, pinch­ing out the tips of the shoots reg­u­larly to pre­vent it from flow­er­ing. Pe­largo­nium ‘Blan­di­for­dianum’, helps to link the colour of the plant­ing with the pot. Glan­du­laria Aztec Sil­ver Magic (= ‘Balazsilma’) pro­vides more depth with its dark-green, di­vided leaves, and the flow­ers pro­vide ad­di­tional in­ter­est in shape and colour. Con­tainer, cul­ti­va­tion and care The old ter­ra­cotta pot was white­washed with green­house shad­ing paint and af­ter one sea­son was colonised by al­gae and moss. The con­tainer will spend the summer on the ter­race, with a lot of sun and attention. A layer of crocks pro­vides good drainage and an equal mix­ture of John Innes No. 2 and a high-qual­ity, multi-pur­pose com­post will give it a good start.

Dead­head­ing is es­sen­tial and I feed all con­tain­ers weekly with a bal­anced liquid fer­tiliser to make sure plants flower well into the au­tumn. I also weave shoots through the dis­play to en­sure bal­anced de­vel­op­ment. Some stak­ing may be nec­es­sary, es­pe­cially in an ex­posed po­si­tion. There is al­ways a plant that wants to take over and one that is happy to re­treat, but by the end of summer this should be an in­ter­est­ing dis­play.

Plants (see above left) 1 Pe­largo­nium ‘Blan­di­for­dianum’ Very of­ten trail­ing, this pe­largo­nium is easy to weave through other plants. Grey, deep-cut leaves add in­ter­est to any scheme and the flower mark­ings are just di­vine. April – Septem­ber. 90cm. USDA 9a-11†.

2 Pe­largo­nium ‘White Boar’ With sim­ple, pure-white flow­ers, this plant with­stands rain well and is free flow­er­ing. April – October. 40cm.

3 Plec­tran­thus cil­ia­tus Ma­roon-pur­ple leaves with lilac-pink flow­ers. Sun and semi-shade. June – Septem­ber. 60cm. USDA 10a-11.

4 Glan­du­laria Aztec Sil­ver Magic (= ‘Balazsilma’) Lush, dark-green leaves and laven­der-coloured flow­ers all summer. Keep dead­head­ing. May – October. 30cm. AGM*. USDA 10a-11.

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