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Dahlia and cosmos pot display

Overview

Dahlias come in a fascinating variety of shapes and sizes, and the pom-pom types, with their rows of incurved petals, resemble old-fashioned bathing caps. Dahlia 'Franz Kafka' lends itself - ironically, given its name - to a relaxed cottage-garden style, floating like balloons above the feathery foliage of Cosmos 'Sensation' and its delicate, pink petals.

Use a large container for this display, as this combination of plants reaches 1m in height. Prevent the planting scheme from looking too top heavy with a skirt of cerinthe. Its silvery blue leaves lift the dusky pink and purple flowers beautifully.


Plant it: sow in early spring, pot on in April, plant out in June
At its best: summer
Takes just: an hour

How to do it:

1 If you're using a metal container, line the sides with cardboard to prevent it from heating up and drying out the compost.


2 Half-fill with multi-purpose compost and add gravel for drainage.


3 Plant up the centre of the container with dahlias and cosmos, and the front and sides with cerinthe.


4 Backfill with compost, and firm gently to remove air pockets. Water well and place in a sunny location.




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