Living

Contain yourself

Growing wild-at-heart flowers and foliage within the beautiful worn patina of a copper bowl? Just try to stop us.

YOU WILL NEED:
1 large copper bowl
A hammer and a large nail (optional)
Gravel
Potting mix

PLANTS TO TRY:
Cosmos atrosanguineus
(Chocolate cosmos)
Dryopteris erythrosora
(Japanese shield fern)
Nicotiana alata
(Tobacco plant)
Oxalis triangularis
(Purple shamrock)
Saxifraga ‘Peter Pan’
Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’
(Caucasian stonecrop)
Coleus ‘Chocolate splash’
(Painted nettle)

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1. Soak the plants’ rootballs in water for about 20 minutes or until wet through. If it doesn’t have them already, use the hammer and nail to make drainage holes in the bottom of the bowl.
2. Put a few handfuls of gravel into the bowl to help with drainage, then half-fill it with potting mix.
3. Take the cosmos out of its pot and plant it towards the back of the bowl. Remove the remaining plants from their pots and add them to the bowl, positioning the taller ones in the middle and the smaller ones around them. Trail the oxalis over the edge.
4. Add or remove potting mix as needed to ensure that the tops of the plants’ rootballs are all sitting at a similar level. Add more potting mix to fill in any gaps between the plants, pressing the potting mix to firm it down and hold the plants in place. Water and leave to drain before positioning on an outdoor table.

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Edited extract from Tiny Tabletop Gardens, by Emma Hardy. Published by Cico Books, $35.

Words Emma Hardy
Photography Debbie Patterson