Outdoor

House Plants – Hedera (Ivies)

House Plants – Hedera (Ivies)

There are several types of Ivy – German Ivy, Swedish Ivy, Ground Ivy etc. Here we are dealing with the ‘True’ Ivies plants which are all varieties of Hedera. These Ivies thoroughly deserve their good reputation as decorative plants, and have long been a basic feature of Pot Groups. As climbers they can quickly clothe bare surroundings, provided you choose a vigorous Hedera helix variety.The stems bear aerial roots which cling to wallpaper, woodwork etc. The larger leaved, slower growing Canary Island Ivy does not possess these clinging aerial roots, so adequate support is necessary.

Ivies are not only climbers. They are just as useful as trailers in hanging baskets or as ground cover plants between larger plants, and it is here that the smaller bushy varieties come into their own. Examples of suitable types are Eva, Glacier and Needlepoint Ivy.

Garden Plants – Grasses

Garden Plants – Grasses

Grasses in your garden have four good seasons of interest: in spring, when the bright new shoots start emerging, in summer, when they are at their peak and flower in your garden , in autumn, when many turn yellow and reddish, and in winter, because they should be left standing, so that their shapes add interest until being cut down at the end of the season.


Festuca – The genus contains about 300 perennial grasses, which produce attractive tufts of foliage. They are ideal for placing at the front of borders or among rock garden plants. Festuca glauca, blue or grey fescue, is one of the most popular grasses. It is an evergreen species, which makes tufts of steely-blue leaves that are still evident in winter garden. The summer flowers are an added bonus. It can also be grown in containers. Festuca prefers moderately fertile, dry, well-drained soil in full sun.

Outdoor Plants – Acacia

Outdoor Plants – Acacia

Acacias are useful garden shrubs where space is not a problem, but they have never been popular house plants. The spreading branches bear feathery leaves or spiny false leaves known as phylloclades, and in winter or spring the characteristic yellow flower-heads appear.

These are clusters of small powder-puffs which are much more popular in flower arrangements than in house plant collections. Keep the plant under control by cutting back straggly and unwanted growth once flowering has finished, and keep it robust by feeding and watering regularly during the growing season. If you can, place the pot outside in a sheltered spot in garden once summer arrives. Bring plant back indoors in fall.

The Aeoniums – Beautiful Winter Succulents

The Aeoniums – Beautiful Winter Succulents

The Aeonium is a succulent, subtropical garden plant of the genus Aeonium and family Crassulaceae, native to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean region of North Africa. If a plant looks like a hens and chickens on top of a thick stalk it is possibly an aeonium. They look very much like the sempervivums of Europe and the echeverias of Mexico and Central America.

Aeonium has light yellow flowers that form long clusters. In most cases the plant dies after flowering when the seed matures. Don’t be too hasty in composting the plant, though, new rosettes sometimes appear lower down on the stems.

Umbrella Palm

Umbrella Palm

Umbrella Palm (Cyperus alternifolius), also known as Umbrella Papyrus, is native to Mauritius and Madagascar where it grows as a wild plant. It grows in the form of shrubs and in most cases these are wrongly mistaken for grasses with which they have little in common, apart from appearance. It has several stems growing directly upward from a mass of roots and an umbrella-shaped cluster of leaves at the top of each stem. The leaves of the umbrella plant are narrow and flattened and only 6″ to 10″ long. All the leaves are arranged atop triangular stems. It is simple to grow, but it requires plenty of water and dew (Umbrella plant is happy growing in shallow water but can also handle drier situations, like in your garden perennial bed.).

Chamomile In Your Garden

Chamomile In Your Garden

Wild Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a well-known wildflower found growing on the sides of the road and is chalky soil in early summer. Because it is a common plant, it can be found anywhere, in gardens, in uncultivated areas, on fields, on road edges and so on. It has fragrant small white flowers with yellow centres. The plants self-seed rapidly and have to checked otherwise they may become invasive. There are two main varieties of chamomile, Roman and German.

German chamomile is a delicate looking plant that is surprisingly tough. The ferny foliage tends to flop over and the tiny flowers look like miniature daisies. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is often used as a groundcover or creeping plant used to soften the edges of a stone wall or walkway. Roman chamomile is a perennial. The German chamomile discussed here is the annual herb used for making tea. Both the leaves and the flowers are used for tea. Some people think chamomile has a slight apple-like taste. The leaves can be more bitter than the flowers.