I’ve been caring for these miniature orchids for quite a few years now, so the chances are you’ll have seen both of these Aerangis hyaloides plants before, as they’re plants from the National Collection of Miniature Aerangis and Angraecum Species. My plants are blooming now, so in this update I hope you’ll enjoy seeing these miniature orchids in flower.
I adore my houseplants. I relish the tranquil, serene, and yet simultaneously refreshing atmosphere that indoor plants bring to my home. Not all houseplants are easy to grow. Many plants need much higher humidity and light levels than we naturally have inside our homes. I want to help you find houseplants that are true heroes, eager to grow in the same conditions we have indoors.
It’s always nice to share the joy of plants; with this in mind, I thought you might like to see an update on a few of my orchids.Angraecum equitans update!
First of all, let me show you my Angraecum equitans plant. You might remember this plant, as I’ve been writing about it for eight years now and I’ve trialled this particular Angraecum equitans plant in a number of different terrariums.
In my last pond update, I showed you the shape of our wildlife pond after it was dug out and explained my thinking behind the design for the contours of my new wildlife pond. With the pond now all ready to set up, the next phase of our wildlife pond project is to prepare and install the equipment needed to make it all work!
I was very excited when BiOrb contacted me to see if I was interested in trialling their new BiOrb AIR 30. This is a smaller sized terrarium than the BiOrb AIRs you’ve seen in my earlier BiOrb AIR Trials (see my Miniature Orchid BiOrb AIR Trial, my White Orchid BiOrb AIR Trial, my Madagascar BiOrb AIR Trial, and my Long-term BiOrb AIR Trial).
Bring positivity to a dreary autumn day by forgetting the outside world and focussing on creating your own miniature plant world! My step-by-step terrarium planting guide will help you plant your own long-lasting indoor centrepiece to enhance your home this autumn and winter. Get ready to make the most of the longer evenings getting busy designing your own plant paradise!Terrarium plants
A terrarium creates a perfect environment for small plants that thrive in low light levels and high humidity.
Back in January I moved house. It was a nerve wracking and anxious time, made more difficult because I grow a lot of plants inside terrariums, bottle gardens, and orchidariums, which I can’t bear to be parted from. These enclosures all needed to be emptied and washed up, and the plants and glassware required careful packaging and wrapping.
I was both excited and incredibly relieved when I heard that the National Trust had purchased Munstead Wood, the Surrey home and eleven-acre garden of the legendary horticulturist, designer, writer, artist, photographer, and craftswoman, Gertrude Jekyll.
Gertrude lived at Munstead Wood in Busbridge, Godalming, from the 1890s until her death in 1932. Having met the renowned architect Edwin Lutyens early in his career, long before he achieved fame and was knighted, Gertrude invited Edwin to design her an Arts and Crafts house to complement the garden.
Butterfly Conservation report that in the UK, long-term trends show that 80% of our butterfly species have decreased in abundance or distribution – or both – since the 1970s. Do you see many butterflies and moths in your garden? I hope to inspire everyone to help butterflies and moths. Please don’t allow any pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides to be used on your garden, allotment, or indeed on any area in your locality, as these products obliterate our bees, butterflies, and moths.
Every year I wait in anticipation to discover the newest winner of The Rose of the Year Competition. I adore growing roses and I particularly enjoy trialling plants and finding new, naturally healthy roses I can recommend. In February 2023, Roses UK sent me a new bare root rose to trial – the winner of the Rose of the Year 2023 Competition – Rosa ‘Peach Melba®’ (KORmelpea).
June bestows blessings upon us – a final opportunity to grow incredibly productive and delicious vegetables this summer! Savvy gardeners who sow cucumber and courgette seeds directly in the soil now avoid the hassle of washing up pots, the time needed to pot up seedlings, and the expense of buying compost.
All risk of frost has passed so you don’t need a greenhouse.
I enjoy running horticultural trials; I spend much of my time searching for the most gorgeous plants that will produce a profusion of flowers and attract bees and pollinating insects. I love to share the most successful plants from my trials with you to help you find top quality plants to enhance your garden. The plants I recommend in this column need to be grown in a bright and sunny location, in well-drained soil or containers filled with peat-free compost.
I never purchase supermarket watermelons; I dislike their lack of flavour and irritating hard seeds. However, after years of growing melons for Melon Trials, I hope I always spend spring and summertime growing watermelons! The best watermelon I’ve grown so far is ‘Little Darling’. I adore this watermelon’s sensationally sweet flavour and refreshingly crisp texture. ‘Little Darling’ produces hardly any seeds, the few seeds that do materialise are soft and not noticeable.
Whether you garden in sunshine or shade, there are plants that will be perfectly suited to growing in your garden – it’s just a case of finding them! In 2019, my Vegepod was moved from a sunny spot, to a new enclosed, deeply shaded area of my garden. I am not exaggerating when I say that in its new position my Vegepod truly was shaded – my Vegepod was sandwiched in a tight space, wedged between a tall conifer hedge, a two storey high wall, a tall fence, and an 8ft tall pergola that was smothered with climbing plants – the plants growing in my Vegepod did not receive any direct sunshine whatsoever.
Going peat-free is a positive action that each of us can take to protect our peatlands, safeguard nature, and protect our planet. When you are buying plants, before you make a purchase ask if the plants were raised in peat-free compost. When buying compost, check the packaging to see whether the growing media contains any peat – look to buy growing media and composts that are 100% peat-free.
Spring and summer weather often leaves plants and gardeners wilting during punishing droughts and intense heatwaves. Raising plants in containers requires far more water than growing plants in the ground. If you’ve got a penchant for container gardening, I’d like to introduce you to self-watering containers: literal lifesavers for plants and gardeners!
I love growing herbs. I get such pleasure from growing plants with tantalising flavours to enhance our meals and drinks. Just a small pot of mint can enhance cocktails, herbal teas, savoury dishes, fruit salads, and more decadent desserts. With autumn‘s arrival, I’m mindful that I don’t want to waste the lovely fresh leaves that will soon wither when the weather changes and frosts arrive.
I’m feeling so grateful today. I’m grateful to the special people and plants that I share my life with. I relish sharing information about stunning houseplants that are easy to grow and will happily bloom through the autumn and winter months. This is when the nights are longer, the days are shorter, and we spend more time indoors – when flowering houseplants can brighten up our days and evenings!
Houseplants are almost magical; they can make a dull room look and feel inviting and transform a dreary room into a luxurious and relaxing space. In this article, I’ll reveal some of the secrets that will ensure your houseplants retain their magic!
First of all, always grow houseplants in containers with holes at their base that allow water to run through the pot and enable air to reach the plant’s roots.
I’m a peat-free gardener and a passionate advocate for peat-free gardening. I want to help you be a successful gardener, so every year I run independent Compost Trials and share the results on my website.
I’ve included organic and vegan, peat-free composts in this Compost Trial. All of the composts in this Compost Trial are 100% peat-free.