March planted box

With the popularity of recycling and car boot sales, containers for plants are becoming ever more imaginative.

Set against backdrop of red berries of evergreen heavenly bamboo - Nandina domestica, wooden box planted with Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' and blue grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum. Behind, Skimmia japonica and white heather. In front, ivy, primulas, Cyclamen persicum, ornamental cabbage and pots of emerging crocus bulbs - © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

Set against backdrop of red berries of evergreen heavenly bamboo – Nandina domestica, wooden box planted with Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and blue grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum. Behind, Skimmia japonica and white heather. In front, ivy, primulas, Cyclamen persicum, ornamental cabbage and pots of emerging crocus bulbs – © Nicola Stocken/GAP Photos

It’s not surprising— gardeners are a resourceful bunch, well used to adapting whatever nature or the climate throws their way — so transforming random throwaway items into attractive containers rather goes with the territory. Wooden boxes or discarded wine crates make especially handsome containers, either left as plain wood or painted with a colour wash. Either way, the timber should first be treated with an environmentally-friendly preservative before fitting a plastic liner in order to prevent rot. To create maximum impact for minimum effort and expense, fill a box with two of late winter’s most long- lasting flowering bulbs — Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ and blue grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum. Deadheaded regularly, this display lasts for at least six weeks, provided the soil is free-draining and kept moist.

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