Earlier this year, Greenhouse Sensation sent me a Quadgrow Self Watering Planter to try. If you’ve not seen a Quadgrow before, it’s a plastic container growing system (made from recycled plastic) that uses capillary action to provide plants with automatic watering. This clever design alters the way we irrigate plants. Instead of watering plants in the traditional sense (watering plants from above with a watering can), with the Quadgrow we deliver the water and nutrients right where they’re needed – at the plants’ roots.
This Phalaenopsis pulchra flower opened on the 8th September 2020, which as I write to you today was fifty-two days ago. Phalaenopsis orchids can produce incredibly long lasting flowers; although Phalaenopsis hybrids tend to flower for much longer than wild species plants. A number of the Phalaenopsis hybrids I’ve grown are particularly floriferous, sending out masses of long lasting flowers and blooming continually for longer than a year at a time, without appearing to flag or tire at all.
This is Deinostigma tamiana, a truly marvellous plant that thrives inside terrariums and bottle gardens. Deinostigma tamiana is a Gesneriad species from Vietnam. If you’ve not seen it before, yet Deinostigma tamiana looks somewhat familiar, it’s probably because these plants are related to African violets (Saintpaulias).Growing Deinostigma tamiana
Deinostigma tamiana is an easy going, adaptable plant that’s content growing in a range of terrarium environments.
October offers us many opportunities in the garden. The soil is still warm, so it’s a great time for planting or moving plants that aren’t yet in their ideal position. It’s worth taking time out to consider how your garden works for you. Did you sustain any losses over the dry spring and summer? Has this opened up any new planting opportunities?
In November 2019, I set up this new terrarium, which I’ve christened my Tall Orchidarium. I designate a name to each of my terrariums to help you more easily find every article relating to the particular terrarium you’re interested in. If you want to know more about my Tall Orchidarium, you can find all of my articles that relate to this terrarium by clicking here.
This year, I’ve been running more Trials with Tomatoes; I’ll share all the results from my Tomato Trials with you in due course, but today I wanted to show you my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter. Most of my tomato plants have now given up or been affected by Late Blight, but the tomatoes in my Quadgrow have (for the moment) escaped this disease.
Lilian Snelling: the rhododendron and primula drawings
Author: H. J. Noltie
Publisher: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Art can heighten and echo the feeling and emotion we experience in moments of our lives. However, botanical illustrations are much more than pictures with emotional attachments, these images can be inherently valuable to plant scientists, researchers, historians, plant collectors, and gardeners; holding a lasting value that can be enjoyed in perpetuity.
As autumn’s whisper reverberates through our landscape, many plants are now fading, as they respond to the changing season and become rapidly aged by the ever lengthening nights’ embrace. This is a season of salvage, protection, and celebration; it’s time to bring tender plants inside our homes, conservatories, and glasshouses, and to gather in our harvest.
My friend, Gary Firth kindly gave me this Phalaenopsis pulchra plant, for my National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species, exactly two years and eight months ago. I must say, it’s always a huge relief when I don’t immediately kill a plant that a friend has given me! Consequently, I’m celebrating the fact that this orchid remains alive and well and I am delighted to be able to share my photographs of this Phalaenopsis pulchra specimen’s first flowering with you.
Grasses form a fundamental part of many gardens. The seed heads of ornamental grasses take on a magical quality as they shine in September’s golden sunlight. September is a superb time to plant ornamental grasses, like: Deschampsia, Festuca, Heliotrichon, and Stipa.
Has your garden been hosting family sports tournaments this summer? If your grass is worn through in places, it’s the perfect time to fill in those bare patches.
I’ve been eagerly looking forward to Moth Night for quite sometime now. I was hoping for good weather last night and hoping to have caught one of the Red Underwing Moths, so I could show you one or more of this interesting group of moths. I wasn’t that lucky with the weather and I didn’t spot any Red Underwing Moths, but it’s lovely to be able share the results of my Moth Night Moth Count with you and show you the moths I caught in my moth trap this morning.
Moth Night is a fun event; it’s free to take part and open to everyone. Most moths are night flying insects; they’re out and about doing their thing, while we’re usually tucked up indoors. Consequently, many people miss out on seeing even a single species of moth, during the year. This is a great shame, as moths are incredibly beautiful and very interesting creatures.
I am so grateful for my little pond; this small area of water attracts many insects to our garden. As well as planting up my pond with aquatic plants that live in water, I’ve planted the narrow border around my pond with garden plants that will attract bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, and other insects. If you’re interested in growing plants for bees and butterflies, you won’t need a pond or a boggy area of ground to grow these garden plants – they grow in regular garden soil – my plants are growing in free draining, sandy soil; so I’ve chosen mostly drought tolerant plants.
You may remember back in 2018, the proposed plans for improving the A3/M25 interchange in Surrey were set to result in the compulsory takeover of 10,000sq meters of the RHS Wisley Gardens and the destruction of over 500 important specimen trees, including the treeline, which provides a shelter belt between the busy A3 and the RHS Wisley Trials Field. Although Highways England’s plans have now changed, the new plans that are being proposed by Highways England are set to destroy 44 ancient trees and cause great concern for the Royal Horticultural Society.
Summer’s golden sunshine warms our gardens and gladdens our hearts, it’s sublime! Make time to sow seeds now to enjoy stunning flowers next spring and delicious vegetables over the coming months.
Cornflowers (also known by their botanical name, Centaurea cyanus) attract a wide range of bees and butterflies; these rosette shaped blooms make great cut flowers, too. If you’re not a fan of the traditional blue cornflower, take your pick from the white, pink, cerise, lilac, purple, and (almost) black flowered forms available.
I adore spending time immersed in nature, studying plants and butterflies. Today I wanted to tell you about the Big Butterfly Counts I’ve taken at Bookham Common, in Surrey.
Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 17th July 2020 until Sunday 9th August 2020 – so you still have plenty of time to join in and enjoy taking your own Butterfly Count!
Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 17th July 2020 until Sunday 9th August 2020. A butterfly Count lasts for 15 minutes, it’s a fun, relaxing and easy thing to do. You don’t need to know anything about butterflies to take part.Why count butterflies?
The information gathered from all the Butterfly Counts across the nation, will help Butterfly Conservation identify the species of butterflies and day flying moths that are becoming more scarce.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts. I know from my own experience, that it’s not always easy to find a good quality peat-free growing media. I understand that gardeners who have used peat-based composts all their lives might be hesitant to switch to a peat-free compost and gardeners who have purchased a poor performing peat-free compost could naturally be reluctant to try peat-free growing media again.
Would you like some free plants? If you’ve got a gloriously healthy evergreen shrub or a magnificent tree growing in your garden, then why not take semi-ripe cuttings to increase your stock and share the joy of these beautiful plants with your neighbours, friends, and family?Ivy (also known by its botanical name of Hedera)
Many plants can be propagated using semi-ripe cuttings, including ivy (Hedera).
I first grew Chinese Kale ‘Kai lan’ (also known as Gai lan or ‘Kailaan’) in about 2006; I was really impressed by this vegetable’s speedy growth and the bounteous harvest my plants produced. ‘Kai lan’ leaves, flower buds, and stems are all edible, but it’s the stems that provide the main harvest. Try it raw, stir-fried, steamed, or boiled; ‘Kai lan’ is a little like broccoli.