We originally had some Cineraria’s (Dusty Miller) in this bed hoping to bring out the silver’s in the Mother’s-in-law Tongues. It worked as they were growing but then the cineraria’s grew to big and took over the bed. So we considered a smaller filling plant that would still complement the tongues but this time would remain small enough to see them.

This neat little border, commonly referred to as ‘copper leaf’, is a short lived perennial which many gardeners grow as an annual. Alternanthera ficoidea looks great massed in a border generously close to each other. Depending on the sun allocation given to each seems to alter the colours of the leaves. We have another bed opposite this one which mimics the same planting arrangements but receives more sunlight. The leaves on the exhibition border in this bed are far more disctinctly pink.

Exhibition border plants enjoy a shear throughout their growing season which will allow them more healthier growth but maintain their compact size. They do flower throughout summer but the flowers are quite small and inconsequential. They prefer sunny locations and require very little water to grow.