Tuesday 21 November 2017

Inspired planting with Leonie Cornelius: Echeveria

Leonie Cornelius uses the warm glow of a terracotta planter to combine a selection of succulents for a miniature indoor garden

Leonie Cornelius - Echeveria Agavoides
Leonie Cornelius - Echeveria Agavoides

Leonie Cornelius

Terracotta pots are ideal containers for succulents as the plants which are native to dry desert areas in Africa and South America, like dry, earthy conditions.

The material is instantly recognisable and is an ancient one, archaeologists discovered pieces of terracotta in excavations of Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan dating to 3000-1500 BC!

When combining succulents in a container, much like a garden scheme, I like to plant the plants in drifts. This informal way of planting makes the whole scheme look like it has grown organically, in a non-structured fashion.

A swathe of striped Haworthia gives way to a mound of moonstone and Aeonium and Crassula ovata 'trees' to give height. The combination is totally up to you and you can have great fun with the textures and colours of the plants to create your own miniature landscape.

One of my all time favourite plants is the succulent Echeveria agavoides (pictured right). It is such flawless plant, with shiny, spiky leaves and a really glowing, shiny green colour. Native to Mexico, it is also has some really pretty, pale pink flower spires which float above the plant and the fact that it keeps producing new baby plants is very rewarding.

Succulents are fantastic plants for the lazy gardener. People who love a bit of green in their space but don't want the maintenance that goes along with it will love these easy to care for plants. This Echeveria is ridiculously easy to maintain. As with most succulents, the phrase 'If in doubt don't water' is key.

I have had a few Echeverias in a collection of old copper pots on a windowsill for ages and I admit that I often forget about them. They look perfect with the least amount of care. They like a sunny spot and direct sunlight will aid flowering. In winter they actually need to 'rest' and generally need no watering at all.

Johnstown Garden centre has a fantastic selection of succulents.

Order them online at johnstowngardencentre.ie.

Irish Independent

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