The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Gardening -


Also known as the myr­tle or don­key-tail spurge, this is a great plant for dry ar­eas, and as it is low-grow­ing – like sil­very elon­gated pine cones it sprawls just 6in from the ground – it is ex­cel­lent for the front of the bor­der. Just en­sure the roots don’t sit in wa­ter all win­ter and it will re­ward you with the typ­i­cal euphor­bia green­ish-yel­low bracts or flow­ers in early spring. In her gravel gar­den in Es­sex, Beth Chatto boldly pairs it with scar­let Anemone ful­gens and the lit­tle wild tulip, Tulipa lin­i­fo­lia, which looks su­perb. Cro­cus (0844 557 2233; www.cro­cus. has E. myrsinites in two-litre pots for £5.99, and it can be grown eas­ily from seed from Chiltern Seeds (01229 581137;, £2.40 per packet. which are open through­out the win­ter, Mon­day to Satur­day 9-4pm, Sun­days 10-4pm, ad­mis­sion £5. A va­ri­ety of euphor­bia and cy­cla­men plants can be found at the plant nurs­ery, which also does mail or­der. For more in­spir­ing plant­ing ideas, and spot-on de­scrip­tions, read (Frances Lin­coln, £25).


Other drought-tol­er­ant plants can be seen in skil­ful and sub­tle com­bi­na­tions at the Beth Chatto Gar­dens, Elm­stead Mar­ket, Colch­ester, Es­sex CO7 7DB (01206 822007;, Beth Chatto’s Gravel Gar­den


Al­though Cy­cla­men coum can be grown from corms and seed, the most re­li­able way to in­tro­duce it to your gar­den is by plant­ing out pot-grown plants that are read­ily avail­able in gar­den cen­tres at this time of year – this way you can choose the pret­ti­est pat­terned leaves (some are mar­bled in sil­ver) and flower colour, which ranges from ma­genta to white. Don’t over­plant, as they should rapidly set seed, spring­ing from seed pods on tightly coiled stems in sum­mer, and may even in­ter­breed to broaden the colour range. If you wish to en­joy th­ese pretty plants at close quar­ters first, keep them in­doors over win­ter, and nat­u­ralise in the ground when flow­er­ing stops in early spring.

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