Round and Round the Pot Plant


Have you ever considered creating shapes with the plants you are using to plant up a container? I did just that, and I think they turned out rather well! I had been itching to plant up a strong design using only one or two types of plant. When some perfect plants and the right pots crossed my path I set to work immediately.


Spiral 1:
This spiral pot was planted up for a functional reason in addition to me playing around with a pattern. I had two ALOE ‘Hedgehog’™ plants that had produced lots of ‘pups’ (baby plants) and I wanted to dislodge the pups from the mother plants in order to get them to root before adding them to a huge aloe spiral that I have begun in my water-wise garden.

I filled an old wide-mouthed container with coarse river sand (kept just damp) and duly planted the broken-off plantlets in a tight spiral. After all, any plant should at least try to look attractive while quietly working hard to produce new roots! Don’t the baby ‘Hedgehogs’ look great? They have rooted well and will soon be ready to plant out into the garden

Please note that ALOE ‘Hedgehog’ ® var. Andhogp (N) is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights and may not be propagated for commercial gain without the relevant license.


Spiral 2:
This large but fairly shallow glazed stone pot required seventeen well-developed ECHEVERIA ‘Metallica’ rosettes to form the outline of a spiral. With its smooth, spoon-shaped leaves in tones of pink and blue-grey, E. ‘Metallica’ is one of the showiest of the Echeveria hybrids. The unique colour of this succulent complements the foliage colours of so many other plants. It can be mixed with blue-grey, brown, cream or dark green ornamental grasses or just planted on its own in a pretty pot.

In the garden, it can be used as a border plant to frame flower beds in sun or light shade and planted in swathes of metallic pink in a rockery full of succulents. To introduce a different texture to the inner curve of the spiral I added a ‘furry’ collar of Sagina Subulata (Irish moss). It had been growing in a 4 kg nursery bag and I gently removed it and separated it into more manageable pieces.

The delicate appearance of this moss belies the fact that it is extremely hardy, needs full sun and, like the succulents, it accompanies here, should only be watered when dry. An attractive mulch of coarse peach pips defines the shape and colour of this pink-hued spiral perfectly.

The Gardener