This beautiful leaf of the Pilea peperonioides is the perfect St Valentine's heart shape. Commonly known as the Chinese Money Plant, this on-trend houseplant is all the rage.
Snowdrops are simple tough plants yet delicately beautiful. A pure white snowdrop finds its perfect foil in the a green of a lawn. So often snowdrops are contained in flowerbeds or tucked away under hedges and trees, or the far reaches of a lawn. I wanted to bring them into the spotlight. Now, from late January, my car headlights pick out mini pricks of bright white as I come up the drive in the early evening. By day the snowdrops soften the edge of the lawn, the green sheet broken by a pretty white filigree.
A bewitching winter arrangement - This arrangement of witch hazel (hamemelis) with multi-headed scented daffodils is a perfect representation of the winter garden, in a glazed ceramic jug. It was used as a table decoration for a winter wedding. The arrangement gives a citrus splash of yellow and orange, the bright colours tempered with the greys and sage of both budded and lichen-coated twigs.
Picked up at a garden centre, or better still delivered to your door, plug plants give you more time in the garden and less shopping around for the variety you desire. Many plants are available as plugs; annuals for your pots and window boxes, flowers for cutting, wildflowers and off course vegetable plants. They are great for gaining confidence if you’re a novice gardener and they allow you to try a wider range of plants than you can grow from seed especillay if space and time are limited. Only growing from seed offers you a greater range to try.
If you’re interested in starting to grow your own fruit and veg for the first time, or wish to experiment with things you’ve never tried before, I can think of no better book to recommend than this one. It gives you easy instructions on how to get going and what you'll need. Tucked away in the list of useful items is a fold up chair as “a picnic chair is great for a tea break.” The Tea Break Gardener thoroughly approves of this sentiment.
Houseplants that originate in warmer climes often provide interesting forms as their leaves unfurl. Leaves of this stunning houseplant push vertically from the base of the plant, furled up like a vivid green cigar. The stripy markings are already visible.
Unless you’ve been living in your shed you’ll be aware of recent media focus on the worldwide environmental impact of plastic containers. We’ve all been shocked by the images of the huge islands of floating plastic in our oceans. The profitability of the modern horticulture industry was founded on the introduction of plastic plant containers. We’ve all benefitted from the keen pricing and variety of supply that plastic has afforded gardeners. But there is an environmental cost to this. We may have beautiful gardens but the plastics are polluting land and seas. Can home gardeners reduce plastics pollution?
Twiggy plants provide interesting shapes for home decoration and make great additions to any garden. Compared to the bountiful spring and summer months my garden offers slimmer pickings for winter home decoration so I’m always looking plants to grow that provide impact when artfully displayed with indoor bulbs or shop-bought flowers. I really value two twiggy plants in particular - Twisted Willow and Hazel. They earn their keep as garden specimens in any sized garden and are versatile as home decoration.
Looking for colour indoors this winter? – There’s still time to pot up an Amaryllis for zingy flowers
Amaryllis come from South America and I liken them to the 'Brazilian Bombshell', Carmen Miranda, famed for her vivacity, beauty and colourful hats. Just like Miranda, they are big, blowsy, colourful and you can't take your eyes off them. These stunners will provide colour and glamour in your home for weeks and it's not too late to plant a few. They will lift your spirits in these dark dreary winter months.