Cutting Celery is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens. Cutting Celery is closely related to celery and celeriac, but these particular seeds have been selected and reselected especially for the flavour of their leaves. The leaves taste like celery – it’s a strong flavour – so a little goes a long way, but it’s not too overpowering. I really enjoy the taste of Cutting Celery leaves.
‘Parcel’ or ‘Par-Cel’ is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens. This is a hardy biennial plant that produces edible leaves with a strong flavour of celery; Parcel’s stems are edible too, but it is the pungent leaves that this plant is usually grown for. The name of ‘Parcel’ was given because this edible plant has foliage that resembles parsley but when eaten it has the flavour of celery; so the plant’s common name is an amalgamation of the two names – ‘Parcel’.
The Florist’s Cyclamen (also know by their botanical name, Cyclamen persicum) are tender Cyclamen plants that are often given as gifts. I find these particular Cyclamen are notoriously difficult to keep. It’s a miracle if I can keep a Cyclamen persicum specimen alive for as long as a couple of weeks, as these plants thrive in cool temperatures of around 10-15C (50-59F) with a maximum temperature of 15C (59F) and they also require bright, indirect light.
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana var. alba is tender perennial from Madagascar that’s often grown as a houseplant, in the UK. I think this plant’s common name is Flaming Katy, but I am sure Kalanchoe blossfeldiana has many other common names. I find that these plants are very drought tolerant and low maintenance, making them great gifts for both experienced and new gardeners, or anyone not interested in plants!
Juniper is also known by its botanical name, Juniperus communis. Juniperus communis is an evergreen conifer with spiky needles. Plants are very hardy and they flourish in exposed and sheltered locations. These plants need a bright and sunny position; Juniperus communis is happy growing in almost any moist but well-drained soil, including stony ground and chalk. When choosing where to plant Juniperus communis, avoid shaded areas and soils that are prone to water-logging.
Yew is also known by its botanical name, Taxus baccata. This is a glorious evergreen that’s versatile and accommodating. Taxus baccata is happy to grow as a specimen tree or a hedge; plants are content to grow naturally as unpruned trees but are equally happy to be pruned and clipped into spheres, pyramids, corkscrew twists, hearts, or whichever shape your heart desires.
The Silver Birch (Betula pendula) is one of our most recognisable UK native trees with its glorious silvery-white bark and dainty green leaves. We’re not the only ones to have an affinity with Betula pendula, this stunning tree is a native plant of many countries in Europe and Northern Asia. Betula pendula is a deciduous tree, its leaves turn from green to a buttery yellow before falling in autumn.
In the UK, Prunus spinosa is usually known by its common name – Blackthorn. I am sure that Prunus spinosa has many common names, as this is a widespread plant that can be found growing in the wild across Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Prunus spinosa can be grown as a shrub, a hedge, or a tree. These plants are very spiny and they often form thickets.
Ilex aquifolium is the commonest holly we have in the UK; plants can be found growing both in the wild and as cultivated, garden plants. This holly species can be used as container plants, for hedging, or grown as specimen trees. Ilex aquifolium is native to the UK (Ilex aquifolium is absent from the Outer Hebrides, the Shetland Isles, and Orkney) but this is also a native plant of West Asia, North Africa, Southern and Western Europe.
Ranunculus flammula is an aquatic plant with beautiful shining-yellow, bowl-shaped flowers. This plant’s common name is Lesser Spearwort, but it’s very much like a lovely buttercup to grow in a pond! Ranunculus flammula can be grown in streams, ponds, lakes, or continually wet bog gardens; if you don’t have a pond, you could grow Ranunculus flammula in a container filled with rainwater.
Angraecum leonis is a stunning orchid species that can be found growing in the wild in Madagascar and the Comoros Islands. As is typical of Angraecum species, Angraecum leonis flowers are white in colour and display a very glamorous air and appearance. Angraecum leonis is a miniature to small sized orchid that can vary in size. If you’re considering purchasing this orchid, ensure that a larger growing area can be provided if needed.
If you are partial to green flowers, you’ll love this orchid! Angraecum calceolus is a small-sized orchid species from Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Reunion Islands, and the Seychelles. This plant is larger than many of the orchid species I’ve listed in my various terrarium planting lists. Angraecum calceolus is unlikely to be a compatible choice for glass bottle gardens; a more substantially sized terrarium, vivarium, or orchidarium would be required to comfortably accommodate this orchid and provide a suitable home that will present itself as lasting and sustainable accommodation, as the plant develops and matures.
I love to write about really easy to grow, great-tasting vegetables, so I’m truly excited to tell you about this type of Texsel Greens! Texsel Greens ‘Garlic Kale’ (also known by its botanical name Brassica carinata) is an incredibly useful, edible plant that produces delicious tasting, garlic-flavoured leaves. ‘Garlic Kale’ makes a lovely addition to salads, sandwiches, soups, and other dishes.
Alliaria petiolata is a commonly found wildflower in Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. Whenever its foliage is bruised, crushed, or trampled, this plant’s leaves release a scent that’s reminiscent of garlic; as a consequence, in the UK, Alliaria petiolata is often called Garlic Mustard, or Hedge Garlic. Another common name for Alliaria petiolata is Jack-by-the hedge, which reflects one of this plant’s habitats and Alliaria petiolata’s prominence as a plant that lines our hedgerows.
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora is the botanical name for our naturally occurring, white-flowered form of Digitalis purpurea – the foxglove. I adore both our pink-flowered foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) and this stunning white-flowered form – they’re two of my favourite plants. I’ve grown foxgloves in every garden I’ve created; I used to grow foxgloves at my allotment, too; I simply can’t be without these fabulous plants!
Digitalis purpurea is the botanical name for one of our stunning wildflowers – the foxglove. Foxgloves are charming plants that produce towering spires of handsome pink-purple flowers in June, July, and August. We may chance upon Digitalis purpurea plants during country walks. Groups of Digitalis purpurea flowers brighten our walks as we traipse through woodlands or heathlands, along coastal paths, over banks and hillsides, and alongside hedges and towpaths.
The Asparagus Pea (also known by the botanical name Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) is a small, decorative plant with a naturally low growing habit. When I first heard of the Asparagus Pea, I was so excited by the very idea of this plant. I can remember reading the description over and over: ‘a vegetable with a delicious taste that was somewhere between asparagus and pea’.
Watermelons are great fun to grow! If you’re wondering whether we can grow these delicious fruits in the UK, the answer is yes we can grow watermelons! However, these plants will need to be started off in the protection and warmth of a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, and in the north of the country, (and in exposed positions) it may be preferable for watermelons to spend their entire lives indoors.
Swiss Chard (also known by the botanical name Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. flavescens) is a magnificent vegetable that brings a touch of its own exquisite beauty to the gardens and allotments where it’s grown. This is another vegetable with an array of common names, it’s also called: Leaf Beet, Chard, Rhubarb Chard, and Rainbow Chard. For ease of reference, I try my best to stick to calling this vegetable Swiss Chard; although I do also call it Chard from time to time – sorry about that.
Celeriac (also known by the botanical name Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is not the easiest vegetable to grow; these plants have a long growing season and the seeds need to be started off in the warmth, fairly early in the season. Celeriac seedlings will need to be protected inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, until all risk of frost has passed.