Tag: plants

Sarcococca

Sarcococca

Sarcococca (Christmas box or sweet box) is excellent plant for the winter garden and has small but highly scented flowers among the shiny evergreen leaves. Use it with snowdrops, Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratun’ and early hellebores. they make excellent ground cover under deciduous trees, and flowering stems can be cut for use in winter flower arrangements. Sarcococca looks great when trimmed into a ball shape, and grows well in a shady position.

Sarcococca confusa is a low-growing shrub with glossy, dark green leaves. In winter it produces clusters of fragrant white flowers, and these are followed by glossy black fruits.

Breynia Plant

Breynia Plant

You will find Breynia plant in a number of garden centers and department stores but in very few textbooks. It is basically a greenhouse plant which was introduced as a house plant in the 1980s. This native of the southern Pacific islands may also be grown as a tender perennial. Under glass it will grow into a shrub; in the living room Breynia is grown as a small bush, with slender branches densely clothed with colorful leaves.


Breynia nivosa (Snowbush, Hawaiian Snow Bush) has green leaves marbled with white. The variety B. roseopicta is the usual choice. The pink, white and green variegated leaves have a flower-like appearance – hence the common name.

Growing Indoor Tomatoes

Growing Indoor Tomatoes

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

Conifers In The Winter Garden

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.

Passifloras

Passifloras

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.

Asparagus

Asparagus

The two popular Asparagus ferns (A. plumosus and A. densiflorus sprengeri) are grown for their graceful feathery foliage, which is often used in flower arrangements. But all is not what it seems – they are not ferns, and the ‘leaves’ are really needle-like branches.

Asparagus fern is an easy plant to grow, much easier than most true ferns, because it will adapt to wide variations in light, heat and frequency of watering. It does not demand a humid atmosphere and can be easily propagated. For maximum effect make sure that the arching or trailing branches are not impeded by other plants – a hanging basket is the ideal home for Asparagus.