Add colour with Cyclamen hederifolium

The hardy varieties will brighten up your displays

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As the nights draw in and autumn creeps up on us, it can be a bit of a down time as you wonder quite where the summer has gone already.  Autumn has its own charms, but you may be wanting to cheer yourself and your garden up a bit as some of the bright colours tone themselves down to russets and bronzes.  An injection of pink will do just the job, particularly in tucked-away shady spots, such as under trees, hedges and in between post-flowering shrubs.

Potted, autumn-flowering Cyclamen hederifolium are all over the shops right now and are perfect for slotting in gaps.  Be sure to pick up the hardy varieties with smaller flowers, and not C. persicum, which are bigger and blowsy but better off indoors.  Later in autumn you’ll see lovely winter C. coum, to plant, too.  Plant potted plants just level with the soil, and if you’re planting corms themselves, plant them 5cm (2in) below the soil surface.  Unless you’re putting them in pots, when you can grow them closer together, plant them about 20cm (8in) apart and dig in a little compost or leaf mould for good measure.