Rock chicks of the mountains, a traditional stone trough gives alpines their perfect show stage. Aged with moss and lichen, stone can be hard to beat aesthetically but they are expensive. You can create an artificial stone trough cheaply by covering an old sink in a cement-based hypertufa mix. Here's how.
Easter is one of my favourite times of year for flower arranging. The flowers available are more limited than in the summer but what is there is pretty, diminutive and symbolic of spring. Tea cup arrangements that use small amounts of flower and foliage are a great idea at this time of year as you're unlikely to want to denude your garden too much in search of floristry material
Want to grow squash and pumpkins for winter eating and Halloween decoration? -The one thing I do like about All Hallows Eve is the pumpkins. Grow your own to experiment with the more unusual shaped or coloured types - delicious to eat and lovely for decorating the doorstep and home.
A week in the cold - Six on saturday. This week I have been admiring Cyclamen cuom, hellebores, flowering quince and the new leaf on my Monstera deliciosa, whilst tracking animals in the snow and planting my show bench sweet peas (again).
Pure white lemon flower Citrus plants such as the lemon are attractive houseplant and conservatory specimens. A lovely feature of citrus is the fact that new season's flowers are displayed alongside the ripening fruit of last season. They also have a strong, delicious scent. Indoors, citrus plants need [...]
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.
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 (Hippeastrum*) 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.