Tender succulents

by Adam Pasco

Although it's been a mixed summer weather-wise, I've still given my collection of succulent plants a 'holiday' outside...

Adam Pasco creating a temporary outdoor summer display of pot-grown tender succulentsAlthough it's been a mixed summer weather-wise, I've still given my collection of succulent plants a 'holiday' outside, lining them up along a path to create a simple display. 

These tender succulents - aeonium, sedum and echeveria - spend autumn through to late-spring under cover, whether in the greenhouse or on a windowsill. All of them appreciate the extra light outside in the summer garden. For stability, all are potted into terracotta pots, as plants in plastic ones blow over far too easily and get damaged. 

The nice thing about succulents is that any bits that do get broken off can usually be used as cuttings, rooting quickly in gritty, free-draining compost. Once established they can join the main display to extend the line. 

Aeoniums are particular favourites of mine. Their origins in the baking conditions of the Canary Islands provide a clue to their care requirements: warm, bright conditions are key, and they need very little water to flourish. My aeoniums get an occasional swish of water when I pass, and thankfully don't need the regular doses that most summer bedding plants demand. 

Temporary displays like this are fun to create, and can be moved around at a moment's notice to ring the changes. There's nothing permanent here, and no master plan that will dictate the garden design for years to come. Plants in pots are mobile, and can be shifted around, enjoyed in a variety of locations where they can fill gaps, and at the end of summer move back under cover for winter. Tender succulents might not be the most floriferous of plants, although most do bloom. Their appeal is in colour, form and structure, plus their ability to survive with little attention from me!

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Gardeners' World Web User 02/08/2009 at 10:44

Great to see your experimentation paid off. Of course, we could get caught out by a very cold winter, but it's interesting to see which plants survive if we can give them the right conditions.

Gardeners' World Web User 27/08/2009 at 18:41

Lots of people growing corn hve asked when is it ready to harvest.You havnt answered this and i would like to know nobody ever answeres this.Please could you tell us. Many Thanks

Gardeners' World Web User 04/09/2009 at 05:03

feel to see if the corn has nice noblie corn, just ease the top layer open to see if they have grown to the top of the corn,if so cut the corn strip the leaves pop into the microwave for 3 mins coat with butter and pepper, "heaven". should be ready now.

Gardeners' World Web User 25/10/2010 at 19:20

radio york mentioned a poetry competition but the magazine has no mention of it!

Gardeners' World Web User 26/10/2010 at 11:18

Hello Bob. Details of the poetry competition can be found on page 120 of the October 2010 issue of Gardeners' World magazine. It's only on sale for another day or so, though! If you can't get hold of a copy, don't despair, because we'll shortly be publishing details of how to enter on gardenersworld.com. Just keep an eye on the homepage!

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