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Create a Table-Top Display

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
table centerpiece provides color all summer long DK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Just as you might place a vase of flowers on a dining room table, why not decorate your garden furniture as well? This pot, planted with scented alpine pinks and pretty sea heath, Frankenia, makes a drought-tolerant table centerpiece that will provide color and interest throughout the summer months.

When to Plant: Early spring
At Its Best: Spring to autumn
Time to Complete: 1 hour

Materials Needed:

  • shallow bowl
  • broken clay pot pieces
  • soil-based potting mix and grit
  • pink, Dianthus 'Devon Flores'
  • sea heath, Frankenia thymifolia

Prepare the Pot

Choose a pot that is slightly deeper than the plants’ root balls. Place a piece of broken pot over the drainage hole, and add a layer of gravel. Mix two parts of soil-based potting mix to one part of horticultural grit in a bowl.

prepare container for flowering centerpieceDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant Up

Water the plants well. Add a thin layer of soil over the gravel and position the plants on top, with the pinks in the middle. Use the soil and grit mixture to fill in around the plants.

position pinks in middle of containerDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Caring for Your Display

Place your display on a table that is in full sun for at least half the day. Water and feed it regularly, and the plants will perform well in the same pot for a number of years after planting.

Decorative and Fun Ideas

Evergreen alpines and other drought-tolerant plants are ideal for table displays. You can also try low-growing herbs, such as thyme, or for a more seasonal design, plant bulbs and spring flowers. For the best overall effect, use containers that complement your garden furniture and tableware.

Cup and Saucer Centerpiece

Use a cup and saucer, and a milk pitcher, topped with pots of mind-your-own-business (Soleirolia soleirolii) to make this fun centerpiece.

cup,saucer and pitcher create fun centerpieceDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Textured Display

Garden succulents, including houseleeks, need little soil and water to thrive, and come in a range of colors and forms. Plant them in a shallow tray for a textured design.

garden succulents planted in galvanized trayDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tiny Terracotta Pots

Fresh herbs are a must for any garden, and this line of thymes in tiny terracotta pots is a fresh way to grow and display them.

flowering thyme used for color and culinary needsDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beautiful Basket

Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) is unmatched for spring scent. Line a basket with perforated plastic, and plant up a number to welcome in the season.

lily of the valley has delightful spring scentDK - How To Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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