The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Gardening - BETH CHATTO’S BRIL­LIANT PLANT COM­PAN­IONS

Just a sim­ple com­bi­na­tion this week, but one of such heart-stop­ping beauty and orig­i­nal­ity that it is well worth fo­cus­ing on. Cy­cla­men coum is a won­der­ful choice for the of­ten in­hos­pitable ground be­neath trees: a na­tive of the Mediter­ranean and Balearics, it can cope with shal­low dry soil as long as it gets a good bak­ing in sum­mer, so the dap­pled canopy of a young birch, for in­stance, would be ideal. Part­ner­ing it with the scaly ar­tic­u­lated tails of Euphor­bia myrsinites is a real stroke of ge­nius, how­ever. A favourite of Beth Chatto, who in her bril­liant book Beth Chatto’s Gravel Gar­den, de­scribes it as “sprawl­ing like a hud­dle of blue-scaled snakes, one writhing stem show­ing the first ter­mi­nal rosette of pea-green flow­ers”, it en­joys sim­i­lar con­di­tions and is sur­pris­ingly hardy, down to 5F to -4F (-1520C), al­though it will fare best in a shel­tered sunny spot with well-drained soil. The con­trast with the tiny pink cy­cla­men flow­ers and their dark mar­bled leaves is per­fect in terms of colour, shape and tex­ture – each plant’s par­tic­u­lar prop­er­ties fur­ther en­hanced by a fine rime of frost in the early morn­ing sun.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.