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. 

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.

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. 

Leeks (also known by their botanical name Allium porrum) are tasty vegetables that have short sowing window and a long growing season; as a result, many gardeners miss the leek’s narrow seed sowing period and accordingly fail to grow these delicious and versatile vegetables.  Like the majority of edible plants, leeks grow best in a sunny or partially shaded area. 

Salsola soda is a vegetable that’s also known by many common names, including: agretti, roscano, saltwort, Russian thistle, Friar’s beard, Monk’s beard, Barba di Frate, or barilla plant.  Plants have a grassy appearance, with stems of needle like leaves, that grow up to around 60cm (2ft) tall, depending on your plant’s growing conditions.  This is a mild but delicious tasting vegetable that adds a freshness, which softly and subtly enhances stir fries, risottos, and many other dishes. 

Globe artichokes are a wonderful vegetable to grow, they look so beautiful and taste absolutely delicious!  A freshly harvested globe artichoke has an entirely different and far superior taste and texture to a shop bought globe artichoke.

Globe artichokes are easily raised from seed.  You can sow seeds directly in the ground, where you want your plants to grow, or start your seeds off in containers. 

Beetroot, also known by its botanical name of Beta vulgaris, is an easy to grow root vegetable, which can be sown outside, from March until the beginning of August, in the UK.

There are a great many beetroot cultivars available, offering beetroot in a great many shapes, sizes, and colours.

You might opt to sow a traditional, round, globe shaped beetroot, or you may choose to sow a cylindrical beetroot, which has been bred to produce evenly shaped beetroot slices, ideal for pickling, such a Beetroot ‘Alto’, an F1 Hybrid, which you can see pictured in the image for ‘Beetroot’ at the top of this page.