New plants for the collection

So my cat sadly destroyed a little copper plant pot I had and also damaged the maidenhair fern it housed. My calathea has also been suffering – it’s lost all stability, so it needs some R & R time “off exhibition” for a little while.

The upshot of all this disruption is that I’ve talked myself into buying a few more house plants for my collection (not that I needed much persuasion).

Pilea Peperomioides

Pinterest lovers will recognise the Chinese money plant and I’m so pleased to find one the size I wanted. I do have a mini Pilea but that will take years to grow so it’s nice to have an established plant.

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I’ve matched this plant with this gorgeous vintage pot I got from a garden centre – this is the Monza planter in vintage blue. I can’t find this particular pot online but here is a similar one by the same brand.

They’re really low maintenance and very architectural – they do look quite odd with their long stems and large circular leaves.

Air Plants

Nature has cleverly found a great way to grow plants in the driest desert conditions and hence we have air plants, so called because they don’t need to root in soil but can attach themselves to rock faces and suck out what little moisture they find.

As a house plant, this means they can be left in some decorative fashion and just occasionally soaked in water.

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The last air plant I had I did manage to kill, which is quite impressive for a plant that requires the barest minimum attention from me. I made the mistake of watering it in tap water and I live in a hard water area, which is not good for air plants as it blocks the trichomes apparently. So I’ll be careful to use rainwater in future.

I’ve put both in little terrariums and I love how odd they look.

 

Read more about my houseplant obsession here and here

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The garden in early spring

Not much has been happening in the garden during the winter months but in March and April the new growth is starting to pop up and the flowers are appearing. So I thought I’d share a few photos!

I hope someone could help to identify the first two bushes as I’ve never known what they are – some kind of flowering currant?!

 

 

Herb Planting in April

Last summer I tried to grow tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and all kinds of herbs – everything but the herbs failed. It’s difficult to grow vegetables in pots in a garden that is just a patio so I think this year I’ll try the tomatoes-in-a-bag and use all the pots to grow herbs and salads instead as they won’t let me down!

I don’t have the indoor cupboard space to sow seeds and keep them in the dark and warm until they’re ready to go out so basically I need hardy things that will do fine from start to finish in the little pop up greenhouse in the yard.

Herbs and salads I’ll be sowing in April

  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Rocket

Wish me luck!

Ticking off the early signs of spring

It’s just past Easter and it’s still not warm. In fact, we’ve had more snow in February-March than I can remember for 5 years.

But I’m still spotting some of the early signs of spring so clearly the birds and flowers and getting ready regardless. So far I’ve seen:

  1. Blackthorn bushes flowering
  2. Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils everywhere
  3. Frogs in the garden pond
  4. New growth on the sedum plant
  5. Buzzards skydancing
  6. Bumblebees in the garden
  7. Blue tits preparing the nestbox
  8. Coots nest building on the river
  9. A slight tickle of hayfever
  10. My cat is staying outdoors for longer

What signs of spring have you spotted so far?

Houseplant Appreciation Day

It’s January 10th and that means it’s Houseplant Appreciation Day!

Since I started obsessively buying houseplants a few years ago, I’ve brought my total up to around 50. In that time, yes, some have died from neglect, but most have survived, been re-potted, and placed in various locations about our cottage. They receive frequent compliments from guests and they give me a lot of joy. Sometimes when the telly is boring I find myself gazing at the greenery. It’s fun to try to spot the Calathea move.

I’ve written about house plants and their benefits before so I won’t recap. This post is really intended as a photo gallery of the house plants I currently have and to introduce my latest additions:

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Maidenhair fern

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So how to celebrate houseplant day? It seems appropriate to give them a water and a little feed. I use Baby Bio House Plant Fertilizer. Or you could be a great friend and give a gift of a house plant?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ficus

Garden update: July

I’m just sitting down with a cuppa after a morning’s hard graft in the garden. My back aches, my arms are pricked by thorns and there’s soil under my fingernails. And what’s all this effort for if I can’t share it on my blog?

My tomato plants have finally decided to grow some fruit. I know I started them late and they’ve had a too tough time in the heat (too much sunshine, huh? You’re supposed to be exotic) but at last they have grown a few flowers last month and now this month the tiniest, teeniest little green fruits have started to form. Here’s hoping for a warm autumn to give them a chance to grow and ripen.

 

Apples – the apple tree is blooming. It looks like it’s probably an ancient tree (we rent a Victorian mill worker’s old cottage) and it always does well (too well; I can’t eat that many apples.) I couldn’t tell you what variety but they are slightly on the sour side.

 

The pond: a toad moved in last month and he’s sticking around. The plants we bought have grown too large for this small sink pond so one of them might end up getting chucked. So far the toad has escaped the clutches of my murderous cat.

 

The herb garden:
 

Tell me how your garden’s growing! 

 

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