Erigeron annuus is a charming plant which is sometimes called Tall Fleabane. In the UK, Erigeron annuus plants produce tall sprays of small white-petalled, yellow-centred daisies from June to the end of October (early summer to early autumn). These plants display a relaxed and floaty air, which is always welcome in my garden. Erigeron annuus has that gorgeous meadowy vibe! Plants have a naturally open habit, which allows us many opportunities to see what other plants are growing amongst them.
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’.
I bought this endearing little plant about ten years ago. For me this is a truly charming terrarium plant. I adore Goeppertia micans leaves; their foliage may appear to be lovely, but fairly ordinary, plain green, narrow leaves, but when you touch this foliage it’s a delightful surprise to discover that these leaves are sumptuously soft! The undersides of every leaf are smooth and silky, they feel like the softest velvet.
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.
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.
Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a small tree with a slim and naturally upright habit that’s a popular choice for small gardens – thanks to this plant’s fastigiated, narrow vertical growth.
A number of years ago, I planted this lovely tree in my own garden; I’ve found Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a pretty tree that’s easy to accommodate – it thrives in my garden’s well-drained, sandy soil.
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.
Maxillaria acutifolia is a small and compact orchid species from: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Leeward Islands, Mexico, Venezula, Trinidad and Tobago. From winter to springtime, mature Maxillaria acutifolia plants produce these very cute yellow-orange coloured flowers, which are fragrant and have a nice scent. The blooms are held low down at the base of the plant, underneath the leaves; however the blooms aren’t completely obscured and the flowers can be easily admired.
Huauzontle (also known by its botanical name Chenopodium berlandieri) is an easy to grow annual from Mexico. Due to their similar appearances, this vegetable is easily identifiable as being a relation of the common weed, Fat Hen (which itself is another edible plant). Huauzontle plants produce edible leaves and teeny tiny flowers, which are eaten as newly formed buds, in a similar way to Broccoli.
French beans (known by their botanical name, Phaseolus vulgaris) are such lovely vegetables to grow. These plants are both productive and decorative, with attractive flowers. French beans are super plants that will truly enhance your garden; the beans they produce taste delicious, too!
Firstly, take care to select the type of French bean you want to grow. There are two types of French beans: tall climbing French beans (often called ‘Pole Beans’) that grow up to 8ft (2.5m) tall (and taller!)
I love growing blueberries! Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium angustifolium) are deciduous shrubs that produce sublime tasting berries. These handsome plants produce tasty fruit but they bring added interest to the garden with their intriguing white, bell-shaped flowers, which are adored by bees in springtime and their vibrant autumn leaves. In autumn, blueberries deliver stunning leaf colours, turning vivid shades of orange and red before falling.
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.
Pilea microphylla is a low growing tender perennial; it’s a native plant of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and nearby countries. A very small-leaved plant, with leaves measuring just 1-2mm (0.04-0.08″) in size; at first glance, Pilea microphylla looks quite similar to mosses or ferns. This diminutive plant would be an ideal choice for an indoor fairy garden!
Plants thrive in a humid environment; Pilea microphylla is an ideal plant to include in a terrarium.
Callisia repens is a low growing, tender herbaceous perennial plant from Mexico, North, Central, and South America. Plants thrive in partially shaded conditions, in shallow, free draining, acid soils. This easy-to-grow plant readily adapts to a range of circumstances; tolerating both brighter and more shaded environments, as well as moist, humid, and drier conditions and neutral compost and soils; making Callisia repens a superb houseplant, thats hard to kill!
Chilli peppers (also known as chillies, chile peppers, and by their botanical names of Capsicum annuum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum pubescens, and Capsicum chinense) are a group of tender vegetables that flourish in warm and sunny conditions. Gardeners can grow green, white, red, yellow, orange, purple, black, and indigo, coloured chillies. Chilli peppers are decorative and handsome plants that can enhance your garden as well as producing peppers to compliment your meals.
Sweet pepper plants (also known as peppers, bell peppers, Capsicums, or by their botanical name of Capsicum annuum) are tender vegetables that thrive in warm, bright and sunny areas. When all risk of frost has passed, sweet pepper plants can be grown outside in the garden, but until then the seedlings need to be grown in a warm, protected environment – a greenhouse or conservatory is ideal.
Courgettes, also known as Zucchini (and by the botanical name of Cucurbita pepo), are tender vegetables that are very productive and rewarding to grow. Courgettes vary from one variety to another; you’ll find seeds of yellow courgettes (like my plant in the photograph above), pale forms of courgette that are such a soft green they’re almost white, as well as light green, very dark green courgettes, and striped courgettes.
Epiphyllum anguliger is quite an extraordinary looking cactus. This plant is also known as the Fishbone Cactus, the Rick Rack Cactus, and the Zig Zag Cactus, as Epiphyllum anguliger plants produce these marvellous leaves that display a mesmerisingly wavy, zig zag form.
It’s not only this plant’s leaves that are unusual. Epiphyllum anguliger plants are epiphytic. Rather than growing in the soil, or in the sand – which is where we think of most cacti growing, these epiphytic cacti grow at the top of trees, in the deciduous tropical forests of Mexico.
Ilex is the latin name for the genus of plants we often refer to as hollies. This is an interesting and diverse group of plants, that includes evergreen and deciduous plants, that form small shrubs, tall trees, and everything in between – depending on the Ilex species or cultivar grown.
Ilex are native plants of the United Kingdom, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Americas, China, North America, South East Asia, and other areas around the globe.