Little shells planted with houseleeks make an interesting garden feature. The fleshy rosettes have a wonderful, textured appearance; some types are covered with a gossamer webbing too.
When to plant: Spring.
At their best: Spring to autumn.
Time to complete: 30 minutes.
You will need: Houseleeks, Sempervivum species, soil-based potting mix, horticultural sand, spoon, bowl for mixing soil, large seashells.
Mix soil and sand
Wash the shells you plan to use with hot soapy water, or soak them for an hour in baby-bottle sterilizing solution. In the bowl, mix equal parts of soil-based potting mix and horticultural sand.
Pack shells with soil
Using a spoon, fill the shells with the soil mix and tap it down. Water the houseleeks well before planting them. To do this, stand them in their pots in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, take them out, then allow them to drain.
Plant the houseleeks
Remove the houseleeks from their pots and plant them carefully in the shells. Use the spoon handle to push more soil between the plants, and to cover the roots. Water well, and set the shells on their sides so that rain will drain away freely.