Container Gardening in the Spring

This elegant spring show builds up from the alternating white and blue hyacinths to the blue grape hyacinths (Muscari), hidden in their grasslike leaves, and up to the beautiful Fuji cherry (Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai').

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The cherry carries its spring blossom on open, bare branches as the leaf buds are just about to break. When they do open, the bronze-red leaves are a big attraction for the first few weeks. They then green up over summer, turning orange-red in the fall before falling.

Materials Needed:

  • 8 x Muscari neglectum
  • 3 x white Hyacinthus orientalis
  • 1 x Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai'
  • 3 x blue Hyacinthus orientalis

Container Basics

Size: Approx. 6-inch diameter terra-cotta pots (hyacinths and grape hyacinths), and 18-inch diameter glazed ceramic bowl (Fuji cherry)
Suits: All gardens
Potting mix: Multipurpose potting mix
Site: Full sun

Planting and Aftercare

Plant fresh hyacinth bulbs in fall, about 4 inches from the top of the soil. Stand the pots in a sunny position sheltered from heavy rain, until the hyacinths flower in spring. Also in fall, plant the cherry and muscari bulbs, which should be set about 4 inches below the soil surface. After flowering, the bulbs can be moved to a sunny bed with free-draining soil.

The cherry will reach 8 feet high and wide in the open garden, and can be moved there when it gets too big for the pot. If you want to keep it miniaturized in a container, trim its roots each spring, and prune stems lightly in summer to keep its shape.

Plants:

Muscari neglectum (Image 1)
Fully hardy plants, moist soil, well-drained soil, full sun

Hyacinthus orientalis (white) (Image 2)
Fully hardy plants, well-drained soil, full sun

Hyacinthus orientalis (blue) (Image 3)
Fully hardy plants, well-drained soil, full sun

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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