I set my Rainforest Terrarium up in April 2018, to provide a home for a number of the orchids that form part of my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis species and my National Collection of Miniature Aerangis and Angraecum species. This particular update focuses on how the equipment installed inside my Rainforest Terrarium has performed from March 2019 until May 2020.
Today the Royal Horticultural Society launched a competition inviting the public to vote to decide the winner of the prestigious accolade of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade. The nominated plants are all winners of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition. Here are the nominees……Anemone ‘Wild Swan’
Back in 2010, Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ ‘Macane001’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition.
Holidaymakers buying plants or collecting plant material as holiday souvenirs often bring home more than they bargained for and unwittingly transport pests, diseases, or invasive species into the UK; causing lasting, and sometimes irreversible, problems for themselves and UK horticulture as a whole.
Instead, make your holiday excitement last all summer, every year, with UK grown plants that will flourish inside your conservatory or glasshouse, at your garden or allotment.
Since my last Rainforest Terrarium update, I’ve been busy conducting a huge rearrangement of many of my terrariums and terrarium plants. As part of these changes, some of the orchids that used to reside inside my Rainforest Terrarium have now been moved to other enclosures, including my new Tall Orchidarium.
I am full of ideas of terrariums I’d like to create.
This is Aerangis citrata, a miniature orchid species, that’s endemic to Madagascar.Aerangis citrata naming
The genus ‘Aerangis’ gets its name from the Greek words aer (air) and angos (vessel or container), as plants grow in the air (epiphytically) using aerial roots, and the flowers each feature a nectar filled spur. The second part of the name, (the specific epithet) ‘citrata’, refers to this orchid’s flowers, which are sometimes pale lemon in colour, when they first open.
NB. I wrote this article about space2grow in Farnham, before the COVID-19 crisis started and quarantine measures were put in place. Naturally, all of space2grow’s clubs and activities are closed at the moment, but this fantastic initiative will reopen when it is safe to do so.Space2grow: community gardening in Farnham, Surrey
For every problem we experience in life, nature provides us with the ingredients we need to heal ourselves.
The Secret Lives of Garden Bees
Author: Jean Vernon
Publisher: White Owl
I am fascinated by bees. I’ve so enjoyed reading Jean Vernon’s book, The Secret Lives of Garden Bees; I love the author’s ethos for spreading bee-love! I want to help bee-love spread far and wide and so I’m sharing my appreciation for Jean Vernon’s book with you; hoping that through reading this super book, you’ll fall head-over-heels in love with these intriguing insects and share the same desire to help bees, too.
The furry bees, colourful butterflies, mysterious moths, darting hoverflies, and other pollinating insects that visit my garden are just as fascinating as the plants I grow. The sound of bees buzzing and the sight of butterflies fluttering relaxes and inspires me. I want to help you find the best pollen and nectar-rich plants to attract insects and bring your garden to life!
Since I shared my last Rainforest Terrarium update with you, I’ve been busy conducting a huge rearrangement of many of my terrariums and terrarium plants. Some of the orchids that previously resided inside my Rainforest Terrarium have now been introduced to other enclosures, including my new Tall Orchidarium.
As you’ll see in this update, I’ve changed the appearance of my Rainforest Terrarium, by placing huge slabs of cork around the sides of this enclosure.
Since I first told you about my Vegepod much has changed. Back in 2018, my Vegepod was set up in an area of my garden that enjoyed partial shade, but after trialling the Vegepod in this fairly beneficial position (vegetables thrive when they’re grown in sunny and partially shaded sites), I decided to move my Vegepod to a more shaded area of my garden, to see what I could grow successfully inside my Vegepod with more challenging growing conditions.
Meadows present a natural, seemingly effortless beauty, with an undeniable allure. For the most part, meadow guardians save much of the energy that gardeners spend repeatedly mowing and maintaining traditional lawns. Nevertheless, meadows are not an easy option; creating a meadow requires endeavour, careful planning, and time, to ensure success.Perennial meadow plants
Our native British, perennial meadow plants flourish in poor soils, where they grow contentedly alongside sedately-growing, fine-leaved grasses.
Last year, I discovered Crematogaster scutellaris ants on the cork I purchased for my new Tall Orchidarium. Crematogaster scutellaris ants are known as acrobat ants, but these ants are found in many different countries, so they’ve got many other common names, too. With their distinctive amber coloured heads and pointed abdomens, these ants are easy to identify.
Dalefoot Composts have produced the top performing peat free composts in all of the Compost Trials that I’ve run over the past seven years. Rather than just continually highlighting every year that Dalefoot Composts are the best peat free composts to use, I designed this Compost Trial to demonstrate methods you could use to get the best results from one of their products, namely Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost.
Peatlands are extraordinary environments, which now cover just 2-3% of our planet’s surface. These scarce ecosystems are very fragile; they depend on sufficient moisture being available, together with a slightly cooler temperature range, to enable sphagnum moss (which slowly forms peat) to grow, flourish, and reproduce. If optimum conditions occur, a new layer of peat, (measuring up to one millimetre thick) can be created over the course of a year; consequently, this is not a resource that can be replaced in a hurry.
If you’re looking for ways to make a positive difference to the environment, why not build a pond? Ponds support a vast range of wildlife, from the bottom to the top of the food chain. Insects, invertebrates, amphibians, and birds, all need ponds. These ecologically important habitats give us the chance to see dazzling dragonflies and get closer to nature. Ponds grant us exciting opportunities to grow waterlilies and aquatic plants!
I’m currently in the process of setting up a new terrarium, which is very exciting! Don’t worry, I’ll take you on a tour of my new Tall Orchidarium in due course. However, today I wanted to tell you about something unexpected that happened to me, while I was gathering together the materials for this new enclosure.
Welcome to the twenty-third update from my BiOrbAir Review – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir! Since my last instalment, the two plants that were really struggling – Diplocaulobium chrysotropis and Macroclinium chasei have both died. But it’s not all bad news, I’ve got a few orchid flowers to share with you and I’m also celebrating that for this week at least, the tiny aphid species that has colonised the plants inside this terrarium is temporarily under control.
East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing
Author: Meera Sodha
Publisher: Fig Tree Books
I discovered Meera Sodha‘s recipe for Vegan Cauliflower Korma in Meera’s ‘The New Vegan’ column, in The Guardian, back in October 2018. I’ve been a huge fan of Meera Sodha’s recipes, right from the first moment I tasted this delicious roasted cauliflower curry.
Christmas time is such a special time of year. It’s a time for meeting up, celebrating, and showing our thanks and appreciation to those around us.Make the promise of a day out together, to visit a snowdrop or daffodil garden
Love and friendship are priceless gifts. Why not gift the promise of a day out together in a magnificent snowdrop garden, in January or February?
Welcome to the fourteenth and final instalment of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial – growing epiphytic orchids, from Madagascar, inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Since my last update, I’ve made the decision to empty my Madagascar BiOrbAir terrarium and re-plant this terrarium. I found that the Madagascan orchids that I chose to grow together, inside this enclosure, required too strongly opposing growing conditions to make it possible to easily grow these orchids successfully in such close proximity to one another.