In good company

Floradania asked Claus Dalby to pass on some ideas about how he uses potted plants. The famous gardener and writer took up the challenge, and here are his suggestions

Claus Dalby provided the following thoughts and ideas:

From one to several

-          When I combine plants, whether in a bed, pots or vases, I look not just at their colour, but also at their form and structure. I often take my starting-point in one plant, and let myself be inspired by that.

-          In my heart of hearts, I feel that individual plants are a little boring. They ought to be combined, so that they get into good company.

Purple and blue

-          In this case, I began with the new hydrangea 'Deep Purple', which is something really special with its purple flowers. The centre of each flower is a beautiful shade of blue, so I chose a Campanula to complement it.

Wild and grey

-          I really like leafy plants, and one of my favourites is Trifolium, because with its slightly unruly growth and beautiful leaves it makes a lovely potted plant. The choice fell on 'Dragons Blood', as the purple shades of its leaves provide an obvious match for the hydrangea.

-          There's a little grey in Trifolium too, so I also chose Orostachys iwarenge, also known as 'Chinese Dunce Cap', which is a succulent with a fine hanging growth.

A fine composition

-          It is worth noting that the four plants are very different in terms of growth and size. This helps to create a fine composition.

Living still life

-          I love to use pots in natural materials - here, bright terracotta clay and concrete. I choose the pots with care, and I usually use varying ones, because it gives a more exciting look. By placing the pots side by side on a rise, I have created a small still life tableau, in which each of the plants contribute something to each other.

Photo: Claus Dalby

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