...or try these BRIGHT IDEAS

Garden Answers (UK) - - Easy Gardening -

ERICA & EUPHOR­BIA

This group­ing of Euphor­bia chara­cias ‘Sil­ver Edge’, Erica darleyen­sis ‘Dar­ley Dale’ and Galan­thus ni­valis works a treat in its large sil­ver-grey tub. Glossy, dark green ivy trails be­tween, help­ing to ‘min­gle’ the plants and hide any awk­ward gaps. All four will man­age in a part-shady spot.

PUR­PLE VI­O­LAS

A col­lec­tion of iden­ti­cal win­ter vi­o­las makes a dra­matic dis­play. Show them off in vintage ter­ra­cotta pots on shelves (or an old step lad­der) painted in a suit­able con­trast­ing colour. These florif­er­ous plants are much cheaper and eas­ier to care for than named au­ric­u­las or snow­drops, but do keep dead­head­ing them to pro­long flow­er­ing.

CY­CLA­MEN & SKIM­MIA

This pretty part­ner­ship brings to­gether the vi­brant red flow­ers of Cy­cla­men per­sicum and red-pink buds of Skim­mia japon­ica ‘Rubella’. Trail­ing ev­er­green ivy helps to echo the mar­bled cy­cla­men leaves, tum­bling over the edges of the glazed green pot. This con­tainer dis­play is best in a shel­tered spot.

CAREX & CRO­CUS

Nos­ing up through a leafy haze of gold-and­green Ja­panese sedge, Carex os­hi­men­sis ‘Ever­gold’, these white cro­cuses have a de­mure charm. Shown here is Dutch cro­cus ‘Jeanne D’Arc’. This eye­catch­ing duo looks good for at least eight weeks be­fore the cro­cus start to flop.

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