Plant of the Week: Cyclamen
Hardy cyclamen are the jewels of the winter garden, spangling the grass or the ground under shrubs and trees in swept-back petals of brilliant magenta, soft pink and snowy white, and brightening up your day at a time when all is grey and dreary.
The slightly larger variety at 8cm tall, Cyclamen hederifolium, has larger flowers, nodding on wiry little stems from October through autumn. Its smaller cousin, C. coum, is just 5-6cm tall and a welcome appearance in the depths of coldest January and February. Both have lovely marbled leaves carpeting the ground for the rest of the winter, making them all-round garden performers.
Water carefully later in the summer when growth is slowing down. Aim at the soil underneath plants rather than wetting foliage to avoid powdery mildew setting in on damp leaves. And ratchet back on watering a little, as your plants aren't growing quickly enough to use as much as they did.
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Once the last daffodil has died down, don't let your bulb display stop. Dozens of bulbs flower spectacularly right through summer, keeping you in dazzling flowers until well into autumn.
Plant as you would spring bulbs, burying them to three times their depth in crumbly, moisture-retent…Read more »