Box and cyclamen Christmas pot display

Do it:

Dec

Takes just:

one hour

At its best:

Jan, Feb, Dec

The perfect symmetry of these two formal Christmas planters makes a rather grand frame for your front door. The box cones and lead planters might be a little costly, but you'll have them for life once you've made the initial investment. The display is perfect for a smart, city front door and you can easily replace the seasonal bedding plants to ring the changes for summer.

Put safety first: be sure to buy lights that are safe for outdoor use, which usually means they'll have a transformer between the plug the first light of the string. The transformer converts the electricity to a lower voltage suitable for use outside, and must be positioned indoors. The wire on the 'outdoor' side of the transformer will be thin enough to pass through a window or door for a limited period, while still allowing it to close. Don't plug into outdoor sockets if the transformer will be exposed.

You will need

  • 2 x 50cm-tall box cones
  • 8 x pink cyclamen
  • 8 x Senecio cineraria
  • 2 x 32cm Fibreclay square faux-lead planters
  • Crocks for drainage
  • John Innes No.3 potting compost
  • 2 x controlled-release fertiliser tablets
  • 2 x 80 clear outdoor static fairy lights

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Put a few crocks in the base of the pots, half fill them with compost and add a fertiliser tablet to each one.

Plant the box cones in the centre of the pots and carefully fill around the edges with more compost.

Plant a senecio on each side of the pots, along with a cyclamen on each corner. Fill any gaps with more compost.

Move the containers to their final position and water them well. Try not to let the compost dry out.

Wrap the lights around the box cones. Make sure the bulbs are evenly spaced then connect to your power supply.

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Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith says

No outdoor power supply? Don’t worry; it’s possible to create the same effect with battery operated lights. They’re available in all shapes and colours meaning you’re guaranteed to find some to match your Christmas scheme.

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