Growing plants in a group makes looking after them easy too. Byplants, you create a greater impact than if you them singly. Grow three or four plants together in a large container for a dramatic . The plants benefit from the increased that results from growing them together, while the large amount of mixture makes easier and insulates the from any drastic temperature changes.
Choose plants that are good neighbours, and prefer similar light and heat conditions, potting mixture and moisture. Use permanent foliage plants, but ring the changes with an inexpensive flowering plant, and replace it as it fades. Whatever you choose, have a range of heights: a tall-growing plant, a shorter, spreading one and trailing plants. Aim for a range ofsize, form and colour, too. The illustration shows a Spanish Bayonet, three variegated ivies, and a in a terracotta pot. There is a wide range of large containers available, from the traditional terra-cotta and glazed ceramic ware to modern plastics in unusual shapes. Always choose an attractive container that complements your décor. Wooden and terra-cotta containers have a country look, while plastic or metal in geometric shapes strike a contemporary note. Glazed ceramic containers may be patterned in a style and colour scheme that echoes the theme of the room.
Preparing the container
Fill the pot with suitable potting mixture, leaving enough room for. Using a trowel, now make a hole big enough to take the largest ball.
Remove the first plant from its pot and place it carefully to one side. Use the pot as a mould, and check that the hole is wide and deep enough, adjusting as necessary.
Filling the container
Part-fill the container with potting mixture suitable for the plants chosen, first placing a layer ofmaterial in the bottom of clay . Try out the plants while still in their , to judge the best effect, and check they all fit. The root balls of some plants can be flattened slightly, by rolling them between your hands. Don’t squeeze roughly or try to force plants in, though.
Plant the largest root ball first, then the smaller ones, following the instructions above. Place tall plants in the centre or back of the pot, with lower ones round the edges. Work theround the , finishing with an even, level surface. Water, then place a layer of fine, washed gravel on top, to conserve moisture.
When all the plants are in place and firmed in, water, then cover the surface with a thin layer of washed gravel, to conserve moisture. This also gives an attractive appearance.