Episcia is an attractive trailing plant which has never enjoyed the popularity of its well-known relative, the African Violet. Because it requires high air humidity it is often difficult to grow as an isolated specimen plant or in a hanging basket, but it makes an excellent ground cover between taller plants where it can benefit from the increased humidity in the enclosed environment.
Episcia is grown for its attractive foliage and pretty, if rather small, flowers. There are two types of this plant – the Flame Violet (Episcia cupreata) and the delicate Lace Flower. The Flame Violet has the more eye-catching leaves – large and quilted with silvery or pale green veins.
Window boxes are the first vegetables garden for many people. Attractive window boxes are probably more appreciated than any other form of container gardening, they brighten city streets, embellish housing estates and often display marvellous ingenuity of color that takes an enormous amount of time and care to achieve.
To grow your little vegetables garden successfully in a window box demands all this, but provided sufficient care is taken and the plants are watered and fed on a regular basis, excellent results can be obtained that will astonish everyone.
Growing indoor tomatoes is like raising a spoiled children. There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes and they are grown worldwide in many different climates, soils and weather conditions. Yet, the hearty tomato plant has a few demands that it places upon we gardeners before it will produce those luscious tomatoes we all enjoy so much.
All tomato plants can be cultivated indoors. However there are some varieties that have been specifically bred for indoor environments and the limitations of containers. Your local nursery will help you pick out the right one for your climate and growing season.
Conifers in the winter garden are an important point in garden designing, because they create a strong shape and structure. It is easy to pack a garden with summer-flowering plants, but a one-season wonder is no good whatsoever. Carefully selected and sited conifers in the winter garden are essential ingredients of the well-planned garden.
The best conifers add shapes and definitions whether you want a formal or informal scheme. With heights ranging from 1m (3ft) for a dwarf conifer, such as Picea pungens ‘Globosa’, to the 90m (300ft) high Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant redwood), there is a conifer for most situations.
Passiflora is a beautiful plant commonly known as the passion flower or passion vine. Passiflora contains around 576 species with native ranges throughout the southern United States and Mexico as well as Central and South America.
The Passiflora flower has an intricate structure – despite the delicacy of the flower there is nothing delicate about the plant. You might think it is their beauty that leads to the name, but in fact it is a reference to Christ on the cross – with the filaments resembling a crown of thorns, the three stigmas the nails, and the five anthers his wounds. In non-Christian cultures, the flowers have other meanings: a likeness to clocks in Israel and Japan and a symbol of Krishna in India.
The ideal soil is made up of 22% water, 20% sand, 20% air, 15% silt, 10% clay, 8% ‘unavailable’ water (that is, water trapped within the soil that the plant cannot use) and 5% organic matter.
Soil texture is how the soil feels when you handle it. This is due to the basic rock the soil is made of and cannot be altered. Soil structure is how the particles are held together in the soil. This influences whether the plant can get at the air, water and nutrients in the soil. It can be improved by adding organic matter, ensuring good drainage and digging in fall season to allow the breakdown of clods in heavy soils during winter. It is surprising how much difference adding organic matter can make to almost any soil.