Coleus is sometimes called the poor man’s Croton because it matches and even surpasses its stately rival in the brightness and colour range of its foliage, and it does this at a fraction of the cost. You can, of course, buy plants in pots but it is easily raised from cuttings or seed. There is another advantage – Coleus is easy to care for, unlike the fussy and demanding Croton.
There are features where Coleus is clearly inferior to the imposing and long-lived Croton. The bushy 1 ft high plants are soft-stemmed and need pinching out regularly to stop the plant becoming leggy and defoliated. In addition the specimens remain attractive for only a short time – they can be overwintered but the best plan is to treat this foliage plant as an annual by sowing seeds or taking cuttings each spring.
Many people that purchase a home, want to create an outside space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Many do this by ensuring that there is quality grass as well as different plants and flowers to liven up the outside space or property. It adds a little bit more character, several home-owners choose to plant trees. Trees seem to have a life of their own. Every tree has its own needs, depending on the age, size, structure and level of development. There are many different types of trees that one can choose from. Like plants, flowers and grass, trees need to be maintained on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure that it keeps the property looking neat and attractive. But, there are other reasons why one should perform regular tree pruning.
New gardeners are so often put off gardening at the thought that it has to involve hours and hours of hard work in their garden. The popular idea of a low-maintenance garden is one of covering the space with decking and gravel, planted with a few grasses and pots of evergreens.
When you consider the tenacity of weeds, it’s a wonder any of us win the pitched battles we wage with these pesky invaders. It seems like there is a never-ending battle between you and all the plants that you don’t want to be growing in your garden.
Of course, there are many gardeners who enjoy the time spent weeding the garden, and we admire them tremendously – there are great physical and mental benefits to spending time outdoors among your plants.
Even the most dedicated maintenance cannot make a large tree suitable for a small garden, and there is a list of smaller garden trees that are ideally suited to such a calling. All of them are rated by the RHS as H4, or ‘hardy’ so will be suitable for most gardens, and all are quite easy to grow. Just because your garden is small, don’t think you can’t have trees.
If your garden is very small, it might be best to choose a deciduous tree that will lose its leaves in winter, thus allowing your home to receive much-needed winter sun for warmth in the colder months. A small evergreen tree in garden might be ideal for providing privacy for your garden from neighbouring upstairs’ windows. In small gardens, it is a good idea to prune the lower branches of trees as they grow to allow more light into the garden or house.
Some people enjoy the natural look of a clay pot, especially when the appearance of the plant rather than its furnishing value in the room or garden patio is all-important. The overall effect of most Specimen Plants is, however, improved by being placed in a pot holder. These pot holders come in many materials, shapes and prices – you can buy ones made of wire, plastic, pottery, wood, glass fibre, cane or metal. Apart from these shop-bought types there are also many ordinary household objects which can be used – popular examples include copper bowls and kettles. The one rule for any pot holder is that either the lower part or all of it must be waterproof.
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.