Garden Plant of the Month October: Pyracantha

The glow of autumn: Pyracantha

Pyracantha (also known as firethorn) is a shrub with flaming berries in the autumn and green leaves in the winter and early spring. In May and June the plant blooms with a host of cream flowers, so that the shrub provides beauty in the garden all year round. Pyracantha likes to grow against a wall or frame, and is also suitable as a hedge plant. It’s a spectacular feature plant that can make an entire wall glow with the colour of its berries.

Range

The Pyracantha range offers a rich palette of colour in the form of red, yellow and orange berries. The plant is offered in various forms: as a pyramid, as a plant tied to stakes, or growing against a frame. The most common cultivars are ‘Soleil d’Or’ (yellow), ‘Red Column’ (red), ‘Orange Charmer’ (vermilion), ‘Orange Glow’ (orange).

Pyracantha trivia

• Pyracantha’s berries are not very popular with birds, which means they remain on the plant for a long time, well into winter. Only when the supply of food for birds really starts to run short will blackbirds and thrushes in particular eat the berries.

• The study thorns mean that pyracantha is not strokable, although small songbirds in particular like to hide their nest in the bush because the thorns protect them from cats.

• The thorns also provide natural protection against burglars and vandals. It’s not pleasant to clamber across this plant to reach a window or get over a fence.

Origin

Pyracantha is a member of the rose family, which explains the presence of thorns, and is a close relative of the thornless Cotoneaster. This garden plant grows wild from south-east Europe to southeast Asia, and has been cultivated since the 16th century. It’s widely used in gardens and parks as a colourful berry-bearing shrub because it lasts a very long time with comparatively little maintenance.

What to look for when buying

• Pyracantha should primarily be chosen for the shape. Pyracantha is offered as a plant tied to stakes, with a frame or as a ready-to-use hedging plant.

• The plants are available as a climber all year round, including without berries, but it is particularly berries that increase Pyracantha’s visual value. There should be plenty of colour on display at the time of purchase.

• Pyracantha must be free of pests and diseases.

Sales and display tips

Enrich the display of the Pyracantha range of seasonal products such as a locally grown apples in crates, pumpkins, squashes and a selection of bird food and birdhouses. Because the plant in a pot does not always do justice to the effect it will have in a garden, inspirational image material as a backdrop will enhance its appeal.

Care tips for customers

• Pyracantha will do well in shade, partial shade and full sun. • Ensure rich well-draining soil.

• Younger Pyracanthas and Pyracanthas that are used as container plants should be watered regularly. Older Pyracanthas planted in the soil can cope better with drought due to their extensive root system.

• The plant can reach a height of 4 to 5 metres and can grow quite wild. The best time for cutting back is at the end of the winter. This encourages both flowering and the formation of berries.

Garden Plant of the Month

Pyracantha is the Garden Plant for October 2018. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony. Because everyone is happier with more plants.

Houseplants of the Month for October: Pet-friendly plants

Lovely to look at, beautifully green and no cause for panic if your dog or cat has a nibble on them: these are ideal plants for people with pets.

Every cat and dog owner knows that plants have an irresistible appeal for pets. There isn’t a cat in the world that won’t vigorously shove something green in a pot off the windowsill in order to be able to keep an eye on what’s going on whilst lounging in the sun. And there isn’t a dog that doesn’t see a plant as a potential digging project. We can’t do anything about that, but with spider plant (Chlorophytum), umbrella plant (Cyperus), cat grass (Hordeum), elephant’s foot (Beaucarnea) or bamboo (Banbusa) you can at least be sure that they won’t suffer any ill effects. And they’re also attractive to look at, even if you don’t have a pet.

The worst that can happen with these plants is that your furry friend 🐶 / 😻 / 🐰 / 🐦  finds it a little too tasty

Introducing…

Spider plant Long wide pale green leaves with white stripes amongst which new ‘babies’ constantly emerge.

Umbrella plant Tall stems topped with a crown that is reminiscent of a parasol or umbrella.

Elephant’s foot Sturdy trunk crowned by a cheerful curly top of narrow green strips

Bamboo Green leaves grow sideways out of sturdy trunks with a broad crown at the top.

Cat grass Fresh green and soft, this is extremely decorative roughage for your cat #hairball

Bamboo’s study trunk can also serve as a scratching post for a 😻

Multicultural and safe

The selection of Pet-friendly plants has an international background. The spider plant originates from southern Africa. Elephant’s foot grows wild in Texas, California and Mexico where can reach a height of 5 to 6 metres. The umbrella plant grows on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. Bamboo originates from China, and cat grass is actually barley from the Middle East.

Go Green!

  • All Pet-friendly plants likes a light spot, but not in full sun.
  • The plants like to drink, so do not allow the soil to dry out.
  • A bit of plant food once a month keeps them strong and healthy.
  • If your pet has developed an excessively close bond with the plant, damaged leaves can be cut away. Your green friend will produce new ones of its own accord.

 😻 usually find cat grass so irresistible that they leave other plants alone.

How to display them

All Pet-friendly plants will benefit from a sturdy pot so that they’d don’t topple over too quickly when prodded by an inquisitive nose. Spider plants look best as a hanging plant: if you’re placing it on a shelf a heavier pot is also advisable. Because all the Pet-friendly plants are green, they can benefit from some livening up with their container, such as pots in cheerful colours, with eye-catching reliefs or attractive patterns.

Houseplant of the Month

Pet-friendly plants are the Houseplants for October 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

Houseplant of the Month for September: Phalaenopsis

The contrast between the slender stem and the heavy comb with flowers makes Phalaenopsis a fairytale creation in many beautiful colours.

Blooming Corps de Ballet

Radiant white, vivid yellow, but also lemon and pale orange. Pink from powder to hot. Purple from lilac to fuchsia. And also with spots, stripes, freckles and raffish edges if required. In multiple colours, because the possibilities are endless with Phalaenopsis’ flowers. This green ballerina produces an opulent comb of flowers on an elegant tall stem. They can continue to bloom for up to three months, and all that time you hardly need to think about it: this orchid is ‘easy care’.

Showpieces

Whether you have a single stem of flowers flirting with you or create your own mini Shangri-La in a bowl with several plants together, a Phalaenopsis always makes an impression. It’s the ultimate flowering houseplant for creating glamour and style. And by playing with different colours it can help to make the mood serene or energetic, whether your taste is modern minimalist or colourful exotic.

Endless flowers

  • Phalaenopsis likes a light spot. From mid-October the plant can even tolerate direct sunlight.
  • Immerse the pot in water for half an hour once every 10 days, leave to drain and the job’s done!
  • Bathtime can take place weekly in summer.
  • Adding plant or special orchid food to the water once every three weeks helps all the buds open.
  • Finished flowering? Count upwards from the bottom to the second node (thickening) on the stem and cut the stem just above it. Carry on immersing as before, and the plant may re-flower after six months.

What’s with the blue plants?

Blue Phalaenopsis do not occur in the wild. The blue flowers are created by a grower’s trick whereby a white orchid is injected with a harmless colouring agent (alongside blue there is also red, black and green) which colours the petals. In the next flowering the plant will be increasingly light until the added colour has disappeared completely.

Jungle Queen Trivia Top 5

  1. The name Phalaenopsis derives from the Greek word ‘phalaina’ which means ‘moth’ and refers to the shape of the flower – hence the common name ‘moth orchid’.
  2. The orchid was brought to Western Europe by explorers in around 1700 from the tropical rainforests of Asia, New Guinea and Australia.
  3. It was one of the first tropical flowers to appear in the flower collections in Victorian orangeries.
  4. There are more than 60 different species and thousands of hybrids.
  5. In the symbolism of flowers, Phalaenopsis indicates charm, refinement and beauty.

Upside down? Not a problem.

Phalaenopsis collect moisture and nutrients with its distinctive aerial roots. A pot is always an option, but it’s not a necessity. This orchid can also be displayed upside down, from a hook on the wall or laid on a bowl. Or in an attractive glass vase in which the roots are displayed nicely. Wrapped in moss, bare and naked – Phalaenopsis doesn’t mind, as long as the roots have a soak or a misting from time to time. If you do opt for a pot, soft and bright colours or a gold or silver lustre give this orchid’s glamour levels a big boost.

Houseplant of the Month

Phalaenopsis is the Houseplant for September 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

Garden Plants of the Month September: Garden Palms

Enjoy an Indian summer with garden palms

Sizeable, lusciously green and with an exotic look the keeps that summer feeling going a bit longer: garden palms bring the right vibe to September to carry on enjoying outdoor life a little longer. The selection contains a true date palm (Phoenix caneriensis) with green feathered leaves and a distinctive trunk. The Chinese windmill palm (Trachicarpus) with its distinctive fan-shaped leaves. The other stars of September are not officially palm trees, but look a lot like them, so that they combine perfectly. The Yucca and the cabbage palm (Cordyline australis) have an exotic look with attractive rosettes of leaves. With the Yucca the leaves can be green, yellow or white variegated, and green or russet on the Cordyline. Perfect for a seamless transition from summer to Indian summer.

Range

The date palm is available in two species:: P. canariensis with rugged, upward-pointing feathered leaves, and P. roebelenii with softer, more elegant curved leaves. They’re available in various sizes with slender trunks, sometimes with several in a single pot. The best-known species of the cabbage palm is Cordyline australis. The plant offers a fabulous rosette of leaves, and is available in both small sizes for planting as bedding plants, and larger sizes that look lovely on a balcony of patio. The most common varieties are ‘Red Star’ (red leaves) and ‘Verde’ (green leaves). The Yucca is available as the hardy species Yucca flaccida, Y. gloriosa and Y. filamentosa. All three have rugged leaf rosettes on which the leaves are always different. In the summer they flower with an elegant spike of flowers. Yucca elephantipes wants to overwinter in frost-free conditions. It’s primarily a container plant, but also works very well as a houseplant. The Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus) is characterised by its fan-shaped leaves. This species is available in substantial sizes, which makes it extremely suitable for dressing patios and driveways, and it can even cope with frost

Garden palms trivia

• It’s unlikely that the date palm will actually produce dates, but anything is possible if the summer is a long and good one.

• Placing palms in the garden is the modern version of the palm houses that the aristocracy had built in the past, and offers the same chic botanical atmosphere.

• For the Romans the palm branch was a symbol of Victoria (Nike), the goddess of victory.

-Trachycarpus is known as the most hardy palm. It’s therefore a plant that you can enjoy in your garden in both summer and winter.

Origin

The selected garden palms have very different roots. The Yucca’s habitat lies in Central and South America, whilst the Cordyline grows in New Zealand and Australia. As the name suggests, Phoenix canariensis originate from the Canary Islands, and P. roebelenii’s home is in Laos. And finally Trachycarpus is native to the Far East.

What to look for when buying

• For garden palms, both the size and the age determine the price: the older the plant is, the more expensive.

• The trunk should be well-rooted, the pot must offer room to grow and the soil must be heavy enough that the plant can stand independently in the pot without falling over as a result of being top-heavy.

• Garden palms must be free of pests and diseases. Especially look out for mealybug and scale insects.

• If the plants have been kept too dry, they can suffer from red spider mite, which can be identified by grey discolouration of the leaves.

• Brown leaf tips indicate insufficient humidity, while yellow leaves mean that the soil is too wet or too dry.

Sales and display tips

Garden palms are soloists that sell themselves best if they are given some space. Displaying them freestanding in an open conservatory setting is more appropriate for this time of year than the Robinson Crusoe feeling. A pedestal or garden vase can give a garden palm a very different look. Different garden palms placed together on various levels show how a patio can be transformed into a paradise. Care tips for customers

• Garden palms like a warm spot, ranging from partial shade to full sun.

• Do not allow the soil to dry out – garden palms need moisture.

• Feed once a month during the growing season.

• Wrap garden palms in the event of frost, or overwinter them in a frost-free location.

Garden Plant of the Month

Garden palms are the Garden Plants for September 2018. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony. Because everyone is happier with more plants.

Garden Plant of the Month August 2018: Hebe

A garden party in late summer: Hebe

Hebe is the ideal plant for giving your garden and patio boost in late summer. White, purple, pink or lilac flowers instantly lend fresh energy, and Hebe’s foliage varies in colour from pale green to dark green and very pale grey. In the winter and spring some varieties even have claret leaves. Thanks to the somewhat random structure, the plant has a loose, natural look, and the clusters of flowers are very popular with butterflies and bees. Because Hebe is so versatile, it’s often used in beds and borders, rockeries or as pond planting, but it also works well as a container plant on the balcony or patio. Hebe is evergreen, bringing life to the garden throughout the year.

Range

The Hebe range can be divided into two groups: – The largest consists of generally hardy evergreen species with decorative foliage. The bestknown are H. ‘Emerald Gem’ syn. Green Globe’, H. ochracea ‘James Sterling’, H. ‘Autumn Glory’, H. pimeloides, H. buxifolia and H. pinguifolia. – Completely different but also utterly Hebe is the H. andersonii group, also known as shrubby veronica. This flowers in late summer and autumn, and is particularly popular around 1 and 2 November (All Hallows – All Souls Day).

Hebe trivia

Hebe travelled to Europe from New Zealand in 1835. The resultant cultivars are able to cope well with European winters thanks to crossbreeding.  • In Greek mythology Hebe, the goddess of youth, was the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She was given as a bride to Hercules.  • Hebe can cope relatively well with salty air, making it an ideal plant for seaside gardens and balconies.

Origin

Hebe grows wild in the southern hemisphere, particularly in New Zealand, but also in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands and South America. There are around 30 species that are fairly tough: the plant grows both along the coast and in mountainous regions at considerable heights, although they do have smaller leaves there.

What to look for when buying

Check the balance between pot size, plant diameter and number of buds, and ensure that the plant is free of pests and diseases.  • The plants are cultivated both outdoors and in greenhouses, depending on the species. Good growers ensure that a Hebe grown outdoors is also supplied in a clean pot. • The larger the plant, the greater the decorative value and the easier Hebe is to look after.  • There should be no dry or dead parts on the plant at the time of purchase.

Sales and display tips

Hebe is the classic late starter in the summer garden: it starts flowering when most plants are past their peak, and  carries on until late autumn. That makes it the ideal plant for people who want a cheerful boost for their garden when they return from holiday. Give the plant a prominent position, emphasise the long, late flowering, and decorate the display with butterflies and insect houses and some patio furniture. The deep colours combine well with summery farmers’ market produce for this time of year, such as pots of jam and juice. Together they create a picture of warmth, enjoyment, and lingering in the garden.

Care tips for customers

Hebe likes a sunny spot, and can even tolerate full sun, but will also thrive in partial shade.  • The plant prefers airy, humus-rich soil. • Water must always be able to drain. The soil can be left to dry out a little between waterings.  • Give some plant food once a fortnight during flowering. Remove wilted flowers. • Hebe is fairly hardy, but if there’s a hard frost it’s better to wrap the plant, particularly if it’s a container plant. Shrubby veronica prefers to overwinter in frost-free conditions.  • Cutting back after the winter keeps the Hebe attractive and strong.

The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony. Because everyone is happier with more plants.

More information:  Facebook: thejoyofplants  Twitter: @thejoyofplants

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.

Scindapsus: houseplant of the Month for August

Multitasker Scindapsus not only makes your home more beautiful with fabulously marked green leaves, but also helps clean up the air indoors.

Domestic wonder

Upwards, downwards – you can go in all directions with Scindapsus. This houseplant is easy to live with, and stands out because of its fantastic heart-shaped satiny leaves. They have fabulous markings with silver, pale green, yellow or whitish spots or a flame pattern. It’s also a reliable companion: if looked after well, this domestic wonder can grow very old yet remain beautiful.

Jungalow Scindapsus is a member of the Araceae family and grows in south-east Asia, Indonesia and on the Solomon Islands: so it brings the tropics to your home.

Give and take

If you look after Scindapsus well it will do something for you in return. According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Scindapsus is one of the plants that help improve the quality of the air in your home. It does this with very small stoma on the leaves. They remove carbon dioxide from the air, convert it to energy for growing, and exhale oxygen. The stoma also emit some moisture, so the plant helps prevent the air in your home from getting too dry.

 Green monkey – In tropical rainforests Scindapsus likes to climb up trees and then hang off stems.

 How to get the best from your Scindapsus

  • Scindapsus enjoys a light spot, but preferably not in direct sunlight or a draught.
  • Rule of thumb: the lighter the leaves, the lighter the position that the plant prefers.
  • The soil can be a bit damp, but try to avoid flooding it.
  • Some plant food once a month will make Scindapsus a power grower.
  • A session with a plant spray is greatly appreciated.
  • If the tendrils get too long, they can just be cut back.

 Happy home – Scindapsus is known as a lucky plant that helps to bring its owner wealth and good fortune. 

Scindapsus styling

The many forms of Scindapsus make the plant very suitable for homes with little space. Hence the tendrils can wrap themselves upwards around a pole like a slim green pillar and the plant can provide plenty of life high up in the room as a hanging plant. Because Scindapsus has a strong rainforest look, it looks best in a natural container: wood, leather, coarse earthenware in natural shades or hanging pots made out of coconut shells.

Houseplant of the Month

Scindapsus is the Houseplant for August 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

Plants can be bought at: https://hamiplant.com/en/buy-on-line/

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.

 

Succulents: Houseplants of the Month for July

They’re a marvellous sight and require virtually no care: these succulents can survive heat waves and will still be radiant when you get back from your holiday.

Alien shapes

Delicate antennae, sturdy spikes, magnificent star shapes, perfect rosettes, wild twists – succulents are outstanding examples of design by nature. And their names also make you think of faraway places: Echeveria, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Aeonium, Aloe, Haworthia, Rhipsalis and Peperomia. They’re all succulents, which means that they are able to store water in their roots, stems and thick leaves. This enables them to effortlessly cope with dry periods, such as your holiday.

Beautiful survivors

Most succulents come from the tropics and subtropics, and originally arose in dry areas such as steppes, mountainous regions and semi-deserts in Africa and South and Central America. They are tough guys that can also survive in a hot bleak maritime climate in the wild. The name succulent comes from the Latin word ‘sucus’ means ‘juice’ or ‘moisture’.

How to recognise the stars of summer

Echeveria Stunning rosettes in grey, green and purple.

Crassula Scale model of a tree, but also with leaves like green tubes and green leaves with an orange or red edge.

Kalanchoë Options range from a whimsical foliage plant to an extravagant bloomer with flowers or bells.

Aeonium Rosettes with plain and coloured leaves ranging from pale green to almost black.

Aloë Stylised rosettes with tall, pointy leaves, both plain and with a pattern.

Haworthia Available as sturdy rosettes, but also with thick, round almost transparent leaves.

Rhipsalis Cheerful green mophead which first grows upwards and then becomes a hanging green curtain.

Peperomia Looks more like a foliage plant than a succulent, a variety of plain, variegated, smooth and corrugated leaves in various sizes.

Interesting fact

Many rosette shapes amongst the succulents fit into the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical formula the refers to perfect ratios.

All easy-care!

  • Succulents like a warm and light spot.
  • In terms of watering: preferably give plenty of water in one go, and then leave the soil to dry out for a couple of weeks.
  • Be restrained with plant food: a little bit once a month is enough.
  • Succulents can also be displayed on the garden table in the summer months.

Juicy styling

Succulents are particular popular because their unusual, sometimes freakish shapes fit perfectly with the trend in which botanical elements are key. They’re perfectly suited to arrangements in low dishes, but also look attractive under a trendy glass dome. Because they can cope well with the sun, they’re ideal plants for an original windowsill garden.

Houseplant of the Month

Succulents are the Houseplants for July 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen

Twitter: @watplantendoen

Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.

 

Houseplant of the Month for June: Potted chrysanthemum

With the potted chrysanthemum’s radiant flowers and surprising shapes, you instantly set the tone for a cheerful summer.

Fashionista

You’re familiar with the chrysanthemum as a cut flower, but it also makes a fabulous house plant in a pot or bowl. The charm lies in the bushy look and the fabulous flowers. They can be various colours, resemble flowering fireworks and can be both very ‘funky fashionista’ and very classic. The fresh colours make the chrysanthemum a surprising summer personality which can brighten your home and your garden table.

Golden flower

The name is derived from the Greek: ‘chrysos’ means golden and ‘anthemon’ means flower.

3 reasons for bringing potted chrysanthemums home

  • You won’t believe your eyes: pompons, ribbons, shapes that resemble totally different flowers – potted chrysanthemums like to thrill.
  • A potted chrysanthemum is a delectable natural air freshener with a slightly spicy ‘green’ fragrance.
  • Easy to live with, long-flowering, not very demanding – the ideal indoor summer bloomer.

Flower status

Chrysanthemums have been revered in China since the 15th century BC. They had such status there that only aristocrats were permitted to grow them in their home and garden as a herb❁You can find the flowers on old porcelain and in paintings❁In the 8th century Japan got hooked on the love of chrysanthemums, and the Emperor declared the chrysanthemum the national symbol❁The imperial seal is based on it, and the monarchy is known as the Chrysanthemum Throne❁The chrysanthemum is one of a few plants that has spread westward from the Far East via north-east Europe and does well in slightly cooler regions.

How to keep your potted chrysanthemum looking beautiful

  • Potted chrysanthemums will flower lavishly and for a long time in a light spot.
  • Do not allow the soil to dry out. Potted chrysanthemums evaporate a lot of water.
  • Treat it to some plant food once a fortnight for lavish flowering.
  • If you remove wilted flowers, the plant will look more beautiful and new buds can develop better.

Lively styling

The potted chrysanthemum is not a plant that needs a neutral pot – it can take something quite lively. Play with pots in the colour of the flowers, place it in a dazzling white or pitch black planter, or let it sparkle in polka dots or other patterns. You can be pretty extreme with this enthusiastic summer bloomer.

 

Houseplant of the Month

The potted chrysanthemum is the Houseplant for June 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

 

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen

Twitter: @watplantendoen

 

Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.

Garden Plant of the Month for June 2018: fruit climbers

It’s easy to create a pick-your-own garden with fruit climbers

A pick-your-own garden with fruit climbers such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes does not require much room. These plants grow upwards along a wall, fence, frame or pergola and can even thrive on a balcony. They offer attractive foliage and blossom in early summer. During the summer itself the fruit develops, which can then be harvested in late summer and autumn. So there’s always something going on with fruit climbers. Seeing fruit growing (and ultimately eating it) is a fun and educational experience for children and fits with the trend of wanting to know where your food comes from. And what you don’t eat yourself will delight the birds in autumn.

Range

The range of fruit climbers offers plenty of choice. For June we have selected the thornless blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), raspberry ((Rubus idaeus), grape (Vitis vinifera) and blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). All the plants come in many different varieties, including compact forms which are very suitable for places with little space. Breeding has made them stronger, more productive and easier to maintain them before. There are a few special consumer labels, such as 100% Fruit, Fit&Juicy and Big Taste Experience.

Frig climbers trivia

  • Bramble – the other name for the blackberry – is a bastardisation of the old Germanic word ‘bram-bezi’, which became ‘brombeere’ in German, ‘braambes in Dutch’, ‘bramble’ in English and ‘(f)ramboise’ in French. The blackberry is really the European ancestral berry.
  • The blueberry is often confused with the bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), but is a bit larger, doesn’t stain and has foliage in the autumn that changes to a fabulous fiery red.
  • The fresh, juicy raspberry is also known as the ‘caviar of fruit’ and is viewed as one of the tastiest berries internationally.
  • From eastern China to southern Europe, the grape has had a special status as the basis for wine for some 9000 years. Breeding (and a bit of climate change) mean that the plant can now also thrive in cooler regions such as the Netherlands, Britain and Scandinavia.

Origin

Many fruit climbers are members of the rose family. The blackberry grows throughout Europe, but also in the high mountains of South America. The raspberry is another European classic, and has been spreading from Italy and Greece since the 16th century. Blueberries are native to woodland areas in the eastern United States, and have only been growing in Europe since the start of the 20th century. Grapes spread from the Middle East.

What to look for when buying

  • Fruit climbers are offered in various pot sizes and stages of growth. By June the plants should be fairly fully grown, have plenty of leaves and be bearing blossom or even fruit.
  • Check the ratio between pot size and plant, the length of the supports and a good spread of leaves, flowers and berries.
  • Check for caterpillars, snails, aphids or other pests such as mildew or Botrytis.

Care tips for consumers

  • Fruit climbers can be placed in containers, pots or beds, and prefer a sunny spot where it does not get darker than partial shade. Sunlight is required in order to ripen the fruit.
  • Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries like a humus-rich, slightly acidic soil. Grapes prefer a chalky soil.
  • Do not allow the soil to dry out. The plants use a lot of water for growing the berries.
  • Provide support for the plant to climb up, such as a rack, frame or pergola.
  • Give plant food once a fortnight during the growing season, matched to the fruit in question.
  • Most fruit climbers are self-pollinating, so there’s nothing you need to do in order to enjoy fruit.
  • Prune in late winter or early spring.

 

Garden Plant of the Month

Fruit climbers are the Garden Plants for June 2018. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant with an amazing look or unusual characteristics to put in the spotlight. Sometimes it will be a green star that’s highlighted, and sometimes an undiscovered treasure that deserves to be better known and merits a place in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony. Because everyone is happier with more plants.

 

More information:

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen
Twitter: @watplantendoen

Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland to help consumers discover that you feel better with plants around you.

 

Houseplants of the Month for May: Zen plants

Serene, mystical and fascinating: Bonsai, Ficus Ginseng and Dracaena lucky bamboo are the houseplants for a mindful May.

Everything in harmony

Thousands of years of Zen tradition can be summarised as the combination of balance, simplicity and natural beauty. With plants like Bonsai, Ficus Ginseng and Dracaena lucky bamboo you create an atmosphere of peace and calm in your home, particularly if you keep the interior somewhat minimalist. Zen plants are the houseplants for May, because the ‘breath of the Earth’ brings everything that grows and blooms to maturity during this month. That positive chi (energy) will keep you going for the rest of the year!

Bonsai

In Japanese ‘bonsai’ literally means ‘tree in pot’. Woody plants are transformed into miniature trees by pruning and cutting, whereby the appearance is determined by the plant’s essence. Think of it as the art of omission. The modern bonsai style arose in the 18th century, when bonsai masters decided that the spirit of the plant species concerned should shape the entire composition.

Ficus ginseng

Ficus ginseng’s whimsical shapes look different every time, whatever angle you look from. The attractive roots are cultivated in China (the plant is native to the Far East) before being pruned into bonsai in the greenhouse. That requires a master’s skill, and that’s what this robust green haiku looks like: as if you were bringing the wisdom of years into your home.

Dracaena lucky bamboo

This eye-catching feature is ideal as a focus for meditations (you can gaze at it for hours!) and is available with straight and spiral branches. You wouldn’t guess it by its appearance, but it’s a distant relative of the asparagus and native to Cameroon. Dracaena lucky bamboo is incredibly popular in China, where it’s given to bring luck at New Year, when starting a new business or moving into a new home.

Deceptive simplicity

Zen plants originate from the end of the 14th century, when Zen Buddhists created simple gardens of exceptional beauty in which to meditate. Respect for nature was crucial. The simplicity is deceptive: anyone who gets involved with Zen plants quickly realises that they bring depth and become ever more interesting the longer you look at them.

Care

  • All Zen plants like a light spot without full sun.
  • Bonsai and Ficus Ginseng prefer slightly damp soil without wet feet. Dracaena lucky bamboo should always stand in a layer of water.
  • Some plant food once every 3 to 4 weeks is sufficient.
  • If the temperature will not drop below 15°C you can also place these plants on your patio.

Zen styling

Keep it calm: neutral colours, natural materials as the base, with a couple of attractive stones for example. And give Zen plants some space: they’re not foliage for creating a backdrop, but intriguing soloists that look best on their own. Water is an important element in this style. Dracaena lucky bamboo looks very beautiful in a transparent bowl as a water pool, #fengshui.

 

Houseplant of the Month

Zen plants are the Houseplants for May 2018. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

 

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

Facebook: mooiwatplantendoen
Twitter: @watplantendoen

Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Thejoyofplants.co.uk is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland to enable consumers to discover that you feel better with plants around you.