In the UK, Viscum album is normally referred to by its common name, Mistletoe.  Mistletoe grows up in the branches of trees where it forms spherical ball-shaped plants comprised of many stems holding pairs of lovely fresh-green coloured, leathery leaves.  This evergreen shrub produces tiny white flowers followed by shiny white berries.  The oval leaves are borne in pairs and are very attractive and are naturally enhanced by the edition of gleaming Mistletoe berries, which appear in September and take many months to ripen. 

In the wild, Heptapleurum arboricola can be found growing in Hainan, Taiwan.  In the UK, Heptapleurum arboricola is grown indoors as a popular houseplant; here Heptapleurum arboricola is commonly known as the Umbrella Plant or by the synonym, Schefflera arboricola.

This is a hardier and more resilient houseplant than most.  When my heating didn’t work for a week during a period of very cold weather in January 2023, my Heptapleurum arboricola was entirely unaffected and lived to tell the tale, unlike many of my other houseplants! 

Alocasia ‘Ninja’ plants thrive in a very humid environment making these plants ideally suited to growing inside a terrarium, vivarium, or bottle garden.  However, terrariums and bottle gardens are not universally the same, different enclosures will provide contrasting growing conditions.  When choosing a terrarium and deciding on a location to cultivate Alocasia ‘Ninja’, remember that these plants won’t be happy in a shaded environment – Alocasia ‘Ninja’ require bright but indirect light to be able to thrive. 

Pilea cadierei ‘Ellen’s Silver’ is an attractive plant with silvery foliage.  The leaf colour on these plants is amazing; the foliage almost looks as if it has been painted with liquid silver!  This is such an eye-catching and stunning little plant with a naturally bushy habit.

Pilea cadierei ‘Ellen’s Silver’ thrives in areas that enjoy bright but indirect sunlight.  When deciding on where to place your plant, look for an area with soft lighting. 

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. 

Hylotelephium spectabile are hardy herbaceous perennials that bloom in late summer and early autumn; their flowers are very attractive to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.  Many gardeners know this plant by its common name – Sedum – but Hylotelephium spectabile is this plant’s up-to-date, botanical name.

These plants will positively thrive in sandy, silty and naturally well-drained soils; Hylotelephium spectabile love to grow in bright and sunny areas. 

Inula hookeri is a clump forming, herbaceous perennial from China.  I love daisies and I adore these sunny yellow flowers and I’m very fond of Inula hookeri’s super soft leaves.  Next time you see this plant, reach out and stroke a leaf, it’s soft and furry.  I appreciate this plant because its flowers attract bees and butterflies to my garden. 

Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is the white flowered form of Rosa rugosa.

I adore roses.  I grow Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ in my own garden.  My garden is very small, which limits the number of plants I can grow; accordingly, every plant in my garden really does have to earn their place and is constantly under review!  I’ve included Rosa rugosa ‘Alba in my personal little oasis because this is a tough and resilient, naturally healthy rose that produces gorgeous flowers with pollen that’s accessible to bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other insects. 

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. 

Skirret (also known by the botanical name Sium sisarum) is a perennial root vegetable, which enjoyed great popularity in the medieval and Tudor periods, but sadly is rarely grown nowadays.  I expect Skirret’s fall from favour is due to this vegetable producing thinner roots than carrots and parsnips and therefore being far more fiddly and difficult to clean and prepare than these more popular root vegetables. 

Phalaenopsis pulcherrima alba is the white flowered form of Phalaenopsis pulcherrima.  This is a small sized orchid species.  Plants usually grow as a terrestrial or lithophytic plants; although Phalaenopsis pulcherrima alba can also be grown as an epiphyte.

Phalaenopsis japonica is small sized orchid species that produces very attractive, lemon scented inflorescences, during spring and summertime.  The greenish-white flowers are handsomely decorated with pink markings that cover the flower’s lip and these compliment the somewhat variable maroon markings that highlight the blooms’ sepals and petals.

This orchid species’ specific epithet (the second part of the orchid species’ name) – japonica means that this orchid species is from Japan. 

Aspidistra elatior is a herbaceous perennial from China, Japan, and Taiwan.  This species produces large lance shaped leaves in a dark bottle green colour with a lovely glossy finish.  If you fancy something a bit different, look out for variegated, spotted, or striped leaf forms, which are sometimes available from specialist houseplant nurseries and online auction sites.

Plants bloom each year in the wild; occasionally, indoor plants will also flower, but this doesn’t happen very often. 

Arctium lappa can be found growing wild across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, as well as other locations around the world.  In the UK, Arctium lappa is more commonly known as Greater Burdock, but I’m sure that this plant has a range of common names, as it’s a native plant of so many countries.

This is an edible and medicinal plant that is grown or foraged for food and medicine. 

Achillea millefolium is a herbaceous perennial that produces lovely ferny, scented foliage and large flat flower heads; each flower is made up of numerous individual florets.  This is a wildflower of the UK, as well as many countries in Europe and Asia.  Plants have spread further afield to colonise other countries and continents, after Achillea millefolium was used as an arable feed and escaped from gardens.

Origanum onites is one of my favourite plants; its a pretty little thing with a long flowering period; plants bloom over the summer months.  This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden.  Origanum onites plants produce an abundance of these sweet, dainty flowers that are adored by bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths.  Commonly known as marjoram, Origanum onites is a culinary and medicinal herb with aromatic leaves that will enhance a wide variety of culinary dishes.

Echium vulgare is a hardy biennial with hairy stems; plants produce pretty pink buds, which open as sky-blue coloured flowers.  This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden, as whilst it’s blooming, Echium vulgare is a veritable bee magnet!

This is a UK native plant that can also be found growing naturally in the wild in other European countries.  Echium vulgare thrives in areas that are out in the open and warmed by the sunshine. 

I’m such a fan of Rhubarb; this is such a great plant to grow in your garden, or at your allotment!  Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that dies back over winter but plants grow new stems and leaves every springtime.  This is a hardy plant that thrives in areas that are blessed with cold but drier winters and enjoy wetter weather, during the spring and summertime.

Spring onions are easy to grow vegetables that can be sown outdoors, over a long growing season.  In the UK, seeds can be sown from March to September.  Choose a sunny or partially shaded site and sow your seeds directly in the soil, where you want your spring onion plants to grow.  There’s no need to sow spring onion seeds in seed trays or pots – unless your soil suffers with Onion White Rot – in which case growing onions in containers or on another site are your best options.

Cauliflowers (also known by their botanical name Brassica oleracea) are vegetables that thrive in rich fertile soils; these crops flourish when given regular waterings.  Cauliflowers aren’t the easiest vegetable to grow: you will need to have fertile soil, that’s free of Club Root to succeed and grow lovely big cauliflowers.  But in good conditions, cauliflowers are very rewarding to grow; gardeners can grow purple, lilac, yellow, orange, green, or white coloured cauliflowers!