Jan, Feb, Oct, Nov
At its best:
Drill a drainage hole in each corner of the trough. Cover the base with crocks followed by a thick layer of gravel or grit, then fill it two-thirds with compost.
Remove the ferns from their pots and tease out the roots. Position them in the trough, making sure they're evenly spaced.
Plant the bulbs in four groups dotted between the ferns. If you're using pots of iris, knock them out of their pots and tease out the roots before planting them.
Plant the ivy along the front edge of the trough. Top up with compost, firming it around the plants with your fingers. Stand the trough on the patio or on a windowsill in full sun or light shade.