Tag: plants

Living Stones

Living Stones

The Living Stones are interesting rather than beautiful, as they mimic the pebbles which abound in their natural habitat. Living Stones are flowering succulents that blend into their native environment because they grow in a stemless clump resembling small stones. All are members of the Mesembryanthemum family and each plant consists of a pair of extremely thick leaves. These are fused together to produce a stem-like body with a slit at the top. This slit may be as small as a tiny hole or it may extend right down to ground level, depending upon the species.

The sizes of the various types available do not differ very much – the range is a height of ½-2 in. Colors and patterns, however, present a bewildering array and collecting a comprehensive range of Living Stones can be a hobby in itself.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen

Cyclamen is one of the most popular of all winter-flowering pot plants and its charm is obvious. Compact growth, beautiful swept-back flowers on long stalks and decorative foliage which is patterned in silver and green. The blooms are in bright colors or pastel shades, large and eye-catching or small and perfumed.


Most Cyclamens are unfortunately consigned to the dustbin after a few weeks. With care they will bloom indoors for several months and then can be kept to provide another display next winter. First of all, try to buy a plant in fall and not in mid winter, and choose one with plenty of unopened buds. Then put it in a suitable home – a north-facing windowsill is ideal. The spot must be cool and away from direct sunlight – a warm room means a short life for a Cyclamen.

Insectivorous Plants

Insectivorous Plants

Some plants live in situations where their roots cannot obtain sufficient nutrients, and so they have evolved mechanisms to trao insects and then digest the contests of their bodies. There are three groups of these insectivorous plants – The Fly Traps with spiny-edged leaves which are hinged in the middle, the Sticky-leaved Plants with hairs which secrete insect-catching fluid, and the Pitcher Plants with leaves which are water-filled funnels.

These plants are very difficult to grow indoors – water with rainwater, keep the compost constantly moist and the surrounding air humid, and feed very occasionally with tiny bits of meat or dead flies.

Chicory

Chicory

A number of chicories (Cichorium intybus) are hardy and make good crops in the winter months, given some protection. Chicory leaves are stalked, hairy, lanceolate and large, coarsely toothed, growing in clustered formation from plant base in spreading rosette while the upper leaves are small. Their pale yellow and red leaves add colors to salads and they can also be braised. Three main types are grown: Witloof or Belgian chicory, sugar loaf chicory and red chicory, often called ‘radicchio’.

Withloof chicory is grown in two stages. The seed is sown in late spring and the plants are left to grow until late fall. The leaves are bitter and not usually eaten. In the fall the heads can either be cut off the plants 1 in above the ground or the roots can be lifted, trimmed and replanted for forcing indoors.

Fall Flowers Arrangements For Good Mood

Fall Flowers Arrangements For Good Mood

It’s fall and the mood is relatively darker, but with flashes of yellow, orange, and golden patches of flowers and plants come into full bloom, in turn the weather shifts from a relative dry spell of summer and welcomes the oncoming rush of the winter time.

With the changing weather and geographic conditions, it is but likely that the some flowers and plants will unfortunately be unavailable for use in certain celebrations. However, this is actually a chance to lavishly step out of the trite flower arrangements, and have the opportunity to add more than just a splash of warm tones for your party.

Fall Garden Plants: Bulbs

Fall Garden Plants: Bulbs

There is a small select group of highly desirable bulbs for the end of the year. They provide a beautiful contrast to the more brazen shows of color on the trees and shrubs, and help keep the eye moving around the fall garden. Most require well-drained soil and plenty of sun in order to thrive, though there are some that prefer shady, moist conditions. Do not remove the foliage until it has turned brown, or next year’s display will suffer.

Canna. Commonly known as Indian shot plants, or Indian reed flowers, these are exotic plants for the fall garden. Even if they did not flower, they would be worth growing for their large, smooth leaves. Use them with grasses and brilliant dahlias to bring the season to a close with a flourish. Stictly speaking they are rhizomatous perennials, but they are planted like bulbs. They are excellent in large containers.