Plant Pick

Enjoy a Traditional Autumn Daisy in May with Alpine Asters

I’ve gotta say, I love alpine asters. When you think of asters, your mind probably leaps forward to late summer and autumn borders filled with those bluish, purple and pink daisy flowers. They’re a great late-season plant, though mine have always tended to get mildew. HOWEVER, if you want to enjoy this flower in spring, head out and get some alpine asters because these little gems are flowering NOW.

Check… Continue reading

Carnivorous Plants | Gorgeous Sarracenia Flowers

 

I’ve always loved carnivorous plants, but I never expected to see these stunning sarracenia flowers. When I was a boy, I remember keeping a couple of venus fly traps. I poked and prodded and killed the poor things eventually. I mean, there’s only so many times a plant can tolerate a rough child’s fingers. Now, however, my husband has grown quite a collection and we’re A LOT more careful… Continue reading

The Joy of Geraniums

Perennial geraniums are a fabulous plant. I mentioned ‘perennial‘ because the misnomer that pelagoniums are geraniums continues, led by garden centres and nurseries around the country. In fact, both of these plants are perennial. Pelagoniums, though not frost hardy, will quite happily develop into a small shrub given the chance. Meanwhile, my favourite geraniums, and those I’m talking about here, are a herbacious perennial that will die… Continue reading

A ‘Blooming’ Good Reason for Growing Houseleeks

Succulents have, by and large, passed me by for most of my green-fingered life. It was only when I began planning my wedding and looking at more masculine table settings and bouquets, that I began to realise just how wonderful Sempervivum (houseleeks) are. Until then I knew them only for nostalgic reasons; they grew on the terracotta slate roof of my nanny’s woodshed. My sister and I used… Continue reading

Making a Case for Violas

There’s no love lost between Pansies and I. I’m not really a big fan of gaudy flowers, and I’m afraid I normally put pansies in this category. Add the fact there’s a vast amount of deadheading to do throughout the season, not to mention these plants tend to be short-lived and get very straggly, and they’re definitely not in my ‘plant must-have’s’ list. However, I’m going to have… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Hollyhocks

I’m the first to admit I’m not a fan of short-lived plants. I like to plop a plant in and leave it, allowing its perennial nature to keep it growing year after year. All this annual and biennial sowing nonsense; no, I can’t be doing with that. Aside from a few plants, however. And one of these is the hollyhocks.

Hollyhocks are a quintessential cottage garden plant, but done right,… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Dahlias

‘Tis very much the season for dahlias. I’m a huge fan of these blooms, though I admit, I have a slight love/hate relationship. There are a vast array of varieties in the dahlia collection, from sinewy, single-petalled bloomers to small, clump forming plants with huge, gaudy flowers. It’s the latter I’m not a huge fan off; ball and pompon varieties, for example. However, bright petalled plants and the far more… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Tulips

If you hadn’t heard, it’s September already. That means it’s time to plant bulbs for a spring show in 2015. And, if you’re stocking up, then it’s definitely time to be thinking about tulips.

I often think that tulips are one of the more overlooked bulbs. We all fill our gardens with daffs, crocus and snowdrops, yet tend to leave tulips out of the mix. I think this tends… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Osteospermum (Cape Daisy)

I always feel as if some plants are vastly overlooked for tropical looking species and varieties that are new on the scene. Osteospermum (African Daisy), for example, seems to have a new colour shade coming out every years. However, I still have an extremely strong affection for Osteospermum jucundum; an extremely beautiful simple flower that has elegance and simplicity about it. I’ve kept it for… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Sedum (Herbsfreude)

Okay, hear me out; Yes, Sedum Herbstfreude is an extremely common plant that may seem rather dull to you. BUT, I feel this plant is often overlooked. It has a huge number of positives; it’s wildlife friendly, it’s easy to grow, it has fantastic cover during late summer/early autumn AND it provides some beautiful winter architecture as long as you put off cutting the flowering… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Skimmia

Okay, I know it’s still summer, but winter will be here before you know it. I’m honestly hoping for a cold snap this year – the wet, grey winter of 2013 was horrendous; I don’t think we had even one frost in London. That’s BAD for plants – they need dormancy. And it’s BAD for gardeners – we need a rest, AND we need lots of those garden pests killing… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Thrift (Armeria)

I think I must’ve first come across Thrift (Armeria) when I was a lad holidaying in Scotland. Our family didn’t head abroad, but jumped in the car and journeyed to the stunning landscapes of the Lake District, Scotland and Northumberland. I distinctly remember great swathes of thrift clinging to the wind battered cliffs of the Farne Island; whilst being pecked to death by over-zealous and territorial terns. Thrift,… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Aquilegia

 

I grew up with aquilegia’s in the garden, and remember being around these plants from when I was tiny. As such, I don’t really think of them as all that exciting. Many species, particularly the wilder varieties, can be fairly bland and though the dainty flowers offer a welcome treat spring, the blooms can be dull lavender and white. However, there are an extraordinary number of cultivars that come… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Pulmonaria

 

Practically everyone’s heard about how troubled the world’s bee population is, and as gardeners, it’s our responsibility to help these guys out a little. Though I hate wasps, I love the sound a few friendly bumbles buzzing through the foliage in early spring, and if you’re looking for a plant that will flower early whilst also looking great in your garden, it’s pulmonaria.

 

 

Pulmonaria develops clusters of… Continue reading

Plant Pick – Growing Ajuga

It’s fair to say that I love this little plant and I can never understand why it’s not used more. Interesting foliage? Check. Quick growing? Queck. Beautiful flowers? Check. Yet, when I look around gardens, especially show gardens, it’s obvious in its absence. Who knows why – maybe it just hasn’t caught on yet.

Ajuga reptans, commonly called Bugle, is a low growing ground cover plant that’s ideal for rockeries,… Continue reading

Hi,

I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.