Combine colours and textures to create your own slice of subtropical Scilly at home. With tips from Tresco Abbey Garden Curator, Mike Nelhams.
The island of Tresco is filled with all varieties of succulents, which thrive in the subtropical habitat that’s so unique to the Isles of Scilly. Bring a little of the Scilly landscape into your environment with Tresco Abbey Garden curator, Mike’s top tips for creating your own succulent planter. Watch the video below, or read on:
1. Choose your container
A classic clay pot works well, or be imaginative and try an old tin watering can or ceramic sink.
The golden rule is drainage. Make sure your container has plenty of holes and choose a compost mix with 50% grit.
2. Pick your plants
Select plants suited to the size of your container, and think about combining different colours and textures for a strong display.
Some of Mike’s favourites are: Aloes from South Africa, which come in a range of shapes and sizes, with different flowering periods. Try the architectural Aloe Plicatilis to add interest and height; Aeoniums from the Canary Islands, including the purple-stemmed Aeonium astropurpureum; drought-resistant Tillandsia; Delosperma and Lampranthus for colour; Lithops, which look like living stones; and the spiky and strong Agave.
3. Planting & Care
Use a fork, or your hands, to make little holes for your plants. When you’re finished, a spread of gravel or grit over the top of the compost gives it a nice clean look.
Pop your planter outside in a sunny position during the summer months. They may need protection in cold, wet weather, so try and find as naturally-lit an area as possible and give them a little shelter.
Make sure to water regularly, but you can allow succulents to be ‘on the dry side’, as they retain water in their stems, leaves and roots.