Tag Archives: seasonal plants

Unwind by making a terrarium and watching plants grow

By | April 8, 2018

A terrarium is a glass vessel where plants grow, protected from cold and draughts. Whether the vessel is sealed or unsealed, it provides an indoor microclimate and space for a beautiful enclosed garden. Even if you don’t have any outdoor space of your own, a terrarium will connect you to nature and plants. And looking… Read More »

Saxifrages are a great choice for gardens where space is limited

By | March 25, 2018

Saxifrages are a big family of perennial plants. They come from habitats as different as exposed mountains and damp woodlands. Some are very easy to grow and others are more demanding. We’re going to talk about just a few of the big family’s 480 known species and many garden hybrids. First of all, the small… Read More »

Pulmonarias have lovely foliage and early flowers for you and the bees

By | March 11, 2018

Pulmonarias are perennials with lovely foliage all the year round and early flowers that you and the bees will love. They are great spring-flowering plants under deciduous shrubs or trees. They fit in nicely and they don’t argue with other spring flowers. In fact, they look great with snowdrops, crocus, daffodils and other narcissi, primroses,… Read More »

How to put a tiny wildlife pond in your outside space

By | February 25, 2018

Water, however tiny the pond, brings life and interest to balconies, patios and small gardens. It’s restful, attracts wildlife like birds, dragonflies and frogs, and gives you an opportunity to grow different plants. Creating a small pond in a container is very easy and it will immediately start to play a part in ‘wildlife corridors’… Read More »

Plant breeding makes ‘improved’ plants but don’t forget ordinary species!

By | February 11, 2018

Plant breeding has been improving plants for centuries. More beautiful, more hardy, more productive, more delicious, bigger, brighter – you name it, amateur and professional plant breeders are interested in making it happen. Without them, we wouldn’t have all those extraordinary tulips, the brightly coloured polyanthus in every window box in towns and cities, or… Read More »

Pale and interesting primroses and their primula cousins

By | January 28, 2018

Primroses come from a big family called Primula. It’s a family much like anybody else’s – ask too many questions and it starts to get complicated. Here, we’ll talk about primroses, cowslips, polyanthus and drumstick primulas but there are many, many more members of this lovely family. These beautiful flowers really come into their own… Read More »

Let the beauty of bark stop you in your tracks this winter

By | January 14, 2018

Bark, the protective layer of trees’ stems and roots, is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted. At this time of year, though, gardens and parks are quieter places so you have space to notice and observe different things. The shape of trees and how they move in the wind can make… Read More »

Ivy has great potential in the garden – time to think again?

By | December 31, 2017

Today we’re looking at ivy (Hedera), one of the trio of plants that mark the festive season. (We’ve already discussed the other two, mistletoe and holly.) It can be a misunderstood and unloved plant. Let’s try to change that. [N.B. We’re talking about the ivy whose botanical name is Hedera. We’re not talking about other… Read More »

Mistletoe! 12 things to know (includes kissing)

By | December 17, 2017

Mistletoe’s greenly-golden leaves and pearlescent white berries have been part of winter decorations for many centuries. They reassure us that the cold days, weeks and months will pass and new life will appear again in the spring. Because mistletoe grows magically, apparently spontaneously and seemingly without roots, there are many traditions associated with it. 1.… Read More »

Silver fir trees for a small garden

By | December 3, 2017

We like to think of fir trees at this time of year, romantically (and probably only in our imagination) going into the snowy forest to cut one down for our Christmas tree. Are any silver fir trees suitable for a small garden? Yes! Read on. Why are they called silver fir trees? Silver fir trees… Read More »