Pastel Container Arrangement

Add color and beauty to your garden patio with a stylish pink arrangement.

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Pastel Arrangement Given Prominent Place on PatioEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This beautiful pastel arrangement has a gentle spread of evergreen, variegated, small-leaved ivy (Hedera) with pinkish stems overhanging the container, tiny clustered petals of the annual Gypsophila 'Gypsy Pink' above, and pink cosmos providing a focal point. What makes the scheme particularly appealing is the contrasting color and shape of the leaves: those of the cosmos are tightly packed, light, and feathery, while the ivy foliage is scattered and angular.

A low-key, stylish scheme like this is best given a prominent position, such as on a garden table, where it can be seen clearly and won’t fade into the background — it is too good for that.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 x Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sonata Pink'
  • 3 x Gypsophila muralis 'Gypsy Pink'
  • 3 x Hedera (small-leaved, variegated) or Helichrysum petiolare

Planting and Aftercare

Container basics:
Size Approx. 14-in- (35-cm-) diameter, 10-in- (25-cm-) tall glazed ceramic bowl
Suits Informal and cottage gardens
Potting mix Multipurpose potting mix
Site Full sun

The only permanent ingredients in this scheme are the ivies or helichrysums — the annual cosmos and gypsophila are grown each year from seed and discarded at the end of summer. They can easily be replaced by late winter-flowering crocuses and/or Cyclamen coum to fill the gap before more pastels are planted the following spring. Then, as an alternative to the gypsophila, youcan add the richly scented cherry pie (Heliotropium) in violet-blue. Over summer, keep deadheading to encourage more buds, and nip off any straggly ivy stems for neatness.

Plant Specifics

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Sonata Pink' (Image 1)
Plants that need protection from frost over winter, Moist soil, Well-drained soil, Full sun

Gypsophila muralis 'Gypsy Pink' (Image 2)
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Full sun

Hedera (small-leaved, variegated) (Image 3)
Fully hardy plants, Moist soil, Well-drained soil, Full sun, Partial or dappled shade

Alternative plant idea:
Helichrysum petiolare (Image 4)
Plants that need protection from frost over winter, Well-drained soil, Full sun

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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