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.

 

Garden Plants of the Month for May 2016: Vegetable plants

A kitchen garden with beautiful plants

Pick-your-own plants and kitchen gardens are incredibly popular, and vegetable plants often also look fantastic, so there’s a double benefit. On the one hand it’s a response to the growing interest in healthy, sustainable and vegetarian food, on the other hand it creates a decorative corner with productive green plants with produce which is good to grow and tasty to eat. May is a good month to plant vegetables in containers, pots or beds.

Range

The vegetable plants in the selection for May all bear fruit. These include cucumber, bell pepper, chilli pepper, tomato, pumpkin and courgette. Most vegetable plants are supplied already bearing some edible fruit. There are climbing plants, bush forms and dwarf plants available, but also special consumer-oriented concepts such as Pluck, Snacker® Funfoods and Pick-&-Joy. Multiple varieties are available of all vegetables: different colours of chilli and bell pepper, tomatoes from Roma to vine, and cucumbers from snack-sized to giant. The pre-cultivated plants produce plenty of fruit over the summer period, and therefore offer the joy of picking and a real ‘ fresh experience’ throughout that time.

Vegetable plants trivia

  • Are they vegetables or fruit? From a culinary and horticultural perspective the tomato, bell pepper, cucumber and chilli pepper are vegetables, although the odd purist will still maintain firmly that they are fruit.
  • Vegetable plants also do very well on the windowsill: they grow upwards, so they need little space.
  • Bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges, and are also rich in vitamins E, B1 and B2.
  • The gherkin is closely related to the cucumber and can be grown in the same way.

Origin

Bell and chilli peppers are so closely related that they bear the same name: Capsicum annuum. The bell pepper originates from South America, whilst the chilli pepper plant grows in India and South-East Asia.

The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a member of a large family which also includes the potato. Tomatoes are native to Central America. The ancestors of the Mayas and the Incas grew them.

The cucumber (Cucumus sativus) originates from India, where it has been cultivated for its fruit for over 3000 years. The plants came to Western Europe via the Mediterranean with the Romans.

What to look for when buying

  • When buying cucumber, bell pepper, tomato and chilli pepper plants particularly look for a fresh appearance and a good balance between plant and pot size.
  • Also important is the number of flowers from which fruit can be produced, and preferably some young fruit already present to make the vegetable plant more appealing for sale.
  • Many vegetable plants are grafted onto a rootstock which gives them a higher quality, more power and growing capacity, and makes them more resistant to disease.
  • The soil must be slightly damp. The leaves should not be drooping, damaged or yellow. The plant must also be free of snails and aphids.
  • Because vegetable plants need a lot of light, water and heat, a rapid turnover at the point of sale is important.

Sales and display tips

Mini-greenhouses, crates, baskets, climbing frames for plants, simple terracotta pots and bowls, small garden tools, workbenches – everything that contributes to the feeling of a city garden or kitchen garden is a suitable decor for vegetable plants. Arrange the plants by colour in lines on tables, to create stripes of yellow bell peppers, red tomatoes and green cucumbers. Hanging baskets with green herbs are inspiring, as are bowls with snack vegetables.

Care tips for consumers

  • It’s best to plant a vegetable plant in a bed or in a more spacious pot or container after purchase so that it has room to grow and produce fruit optimally.
  • Vegetable plants prefer a sunny, sheltered spot out of the wind.
  • Canes, frames or netting help the vegetable climbers to grow upwards.
  • Regularly removing side shoots (runners) means that the plant invests its energy particularly in itself and its fruit.
  • All vegetable plants need a lot of water: the soil may not dry out, but preferably do not have the roots standing in water.
  • The plants grow rapidly and consume a lot of energy, so that plant food is required once a fortnight to keep their strength up.

Garden Plant of the Month

Vegetable plants are the Garden Plants for May 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 one or more plants 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.

Houseplant of the month for April: Hydrangea

Large umbels, fairytale colours, an excess of beauty – when the Hydrangeas arrive, spring has truly begun.

Flower bomb

The Hydrangea is a voluptuous beauty with many large flowers which can, surprisingly, change colour during flowering. The plant always makes a lavish impression, with large full umbels packed with small star-shaped flowers. Indoors it creates a romantic mood and catches the light in a fascinating way. The flowers are just like jewels: there’s always one that catches your eye, whatever angle you look at the plant from. The Hydrangea immediately makes you think of the long, light days of spring and the atmosphere of summer.

Hydrangea delights

  • Hydrangeas have a light sweet fragrance, and range from specially cultivated plants with one flower through to a sturdy shrub, and everything in between.
  • White, blue, pink, purple, lilac, red, green, mixed – the plant is available in astoundingly beautiful colours.
  • After flowering cut off the flowers and give your hydrangea a new life outdoors. Do this after the middle of May.

It’s all in the name

Hydrangea’s name literally means ‘barrel’. ‘Hydro’ is ‘water’, and ‘angeion’ means ‘barrel or jug’. The name points to the most important prerequisite for a beautiful Hydrangea: enough water.

Mother’s Day

The Hydrangea symbolises grace, beauty and abundance (because of the extravagant number of flowers and the generous full shape), but also gratitude and heartfelt feelings, making it a popular Mother’s Day gift.

Blue island

The plant is native to south and east Asia and North and South America. Some species have developed into large trees, whilst others remain small compact shrubs. On the Azores, Faial Island is known as the ‘blue island’ because of the abundant presence of Hydrangeas.

Beautiful colours

Blue Hydrangeas like to be given some potassium alum or aluminium sulphate from August – when they start producing new buds – to ensure an attractive colour. Pink flowers require chalk, and adding potassium alum to red hydrangeas turns them purple.

Love link

The Hydrangea is known in other languages as Hortensia: a name that was first used in 1771 by the French botanist Philibert Commerson. It’s suspected that he named the flower after the woman for whom he had a soft spot. Various ladies have been cited as his inspiration, including Queen Hortense, daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais and Napoleon, and Hortense de Nassau, daughter of the Prince of Nassau.

How to ensure that your Hydrangea remains beautiful for a long time

  • Hydrangeas love a light spot, but not in full sun. If the location is too warm, the plant will produce fewer flowers.
  • The Hydrangea is a keen drinker. Avoid drooping by ensuring that the plant always has slightly damp soil.
  • Because growing and flowering demands a lot of energy from the Hydrangea, you can help the plant by giving it some plant food once a fortnight.
  • Don’t feed it more than this, otherwise the plant will lose its compact shape.

 A drooping Hydrangea can recover completely if given sufficient water and placed in a cool spot

Chic & simple

Because the Hydrangea is already a spectacle in its own right, it’s best to keep the pot simple: grey terracotta, bleached terracotta or a LBP ( Little Black Planter). Choose a slightly robust pot to contrast beautifully with the elegant flowers.

 

Houseplant of the Month

Hydrangea is the Houseplant for April 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.

 

Photo caption
Houseplant for April 2018: Hydrangea

Garden Plant of the month for April: Petunia

The Petunia: easy care, lots of choice

With its large trumpets the Petunia proclaims in all directions that spring really has sprung. This colourful summer annual has diverse uses: in hanging baskets, containers, sacks on the wall and troughs. And when it’s planted in a bed, the Petunia likes to shine amongst the groundcover in borders. It has staying power: if looked after properly, the Petunia will flower until the frosts arrive and will create a sea of flowers in the garden for all that time.

Range

Plain, spotted, striped, with single or double flowers, and that profusion of beauty in all the colours of the rainbow through to almost black – the choice of petunias is overwhelming, although they sometimes bear a different name. Well-known series such as Surfinia, Crazytunia or Cascadia hint at their specialism with their name: long stems, unusual flower shapes or a cloud of hanging flowers.

Petunia trivia

  • The plant is related to Nicotiana, the tobacco plant.
  • The Petunia was given its name in 1789 by French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (1748-1836). He drew his inspiration from what he knew: at the time, ‘pétun’ was the local word for tobacco.
  • Artist Georgia O’Keeffe made her breakthrough in 1925 with a Petunia painting. She had planted purple and blue petunias next to her summer home on Lake George, and adored them so much that she recorded the flowers in sensual close-ups that became a sensation.
  • Bees love the Petunia’s nectar, so that the plant brings lots of activity to the garden.

Origin

The Petunia originates from South America, where the plant grows in Brazil and Argentina. In the wild the plants often look much more rangy than the profusion of flowers that growers have managed to produce through crossbreeding. There are hundreds of hybrids available, and breeders keep producing new cultivars with new colours or shapes or which are – for example – better able to cope with rain.

What to look for when buying

  • Generally speaking, the larger the plant you buy, the greater the chance that it will be a successful bloomer.
  • It’s particularly important for Petunias offered in very small pot sizes to check that the plant is rooted and shows signs of growth. These small plants are usually grown from seed, the larger ones from cuttings.
  • It’s important to keep the soil damp in order to prevent drooping.
  • Remove yellowed leaves and wilted flowers from plants that have been on the shopfloor for a while, and ensure sufficient light in order to avoid stretching.
  • As with all summer annuals, the earlier the Petunia finds a home for the summer, the better.

Sales and display tips

The Petunia is popular with garden lovers who specifically buy by colour and like to make their own arrangements in containers or hanging baskets. But the enormous profusion of flowers means it’s also a classic impulse buy, particularly if it is presented ready-made in a container, decorative bucket or basket. Display the loose specimens alongside containers with a reservoir which relieve the customer of effort. Don’t hang Petunia baskets too high (this often means that only the plastic container is visible), but from a rack in layers so that customers are mainly looking down on them. And present them mixed: a large table in one colour is more of the same, whilst a mixed table of petunias is an instant garden party.

Care tips for consumers

  • Petunias like to be out of the wind in full sun.
  • Keep the soil moist, water every day on sunny days, ensure drainage in pots and hanging baskets so that the roots don’t get too wet.
  • Be sparing with plant food: it particularly encourages the production of leaves and not necessarily of flowers.
  • Cut off wilted flowers stem and all.
  • If the Petunia is past its peak, prune it back and the flowers will return in full.

 

Garden Plant of the Month

The Petunia is the Garden Plant for April 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.

 

Photo caption
Garden Plant for April 2018: Petunia

 

 

Flower of the month March: Spring Flowers

 

Spring Flowers in the March 2018 Flower Agenda!

The origin of ranunculus, anemone and Leucospermum

Ranunculus originally comes all the way from Central Asia. By a roundabout route the flower finally ended up in Europe, where it was given its official name: Ranunculus. The anemone originates from southern Europe and Asia. The South African Leucospermum originally grew on rocky slopes on the coasts in the south-west of the Cape of Good Hope.

Shapes and colours

The ranunculus comes in white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple. Although originally orange, Leucospermum now also comes in ochre, lemon and a reddish colour. You can buy anemones in white, pink, red to violet and blue. There are around 120 varieties. Some have a single row of petals, others have more.

Care tips for customers
These care tips will enable consumers to enjoy their Spring flowers for even longer:

  • Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh water.
  • Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.
  • Trim the stems diagonally with a clean and sharp knife or secateurs.
  • Place the flowers in a cool spot away from the fruit bowl and not in the sun.
  • Replaced the water once every three days in order to enjoy your bouquet for as long as possible.

Symbolism of Spring flowers 
Spring flowers ranunculus, anemone and Leucospermum are bursting with symbolism, from pride and vanity through to expectation, consideration and honesty. Plenty of options for giving someone a real surprise.

Bouquet recipe with Spring flowers 
Close your eyes and picture the season of Spring. Which colours do you use? To really capture the feeling of Spring in a vase, it’s a good idea to use colours like orange, blue, purple and white. With so much colour, the vase doesn’t need very much else. A tall, cylindrical vase is contemporary, helps to elevate the your flowers and offers enough room for the large number of stems.

What you need:

  • Ranunculus
  • Anemone
  • Leucospermum
  • Fritillaria
  • Briza (quaking grass)
  • Fern leaf
  • Freesia

 

More information: 

www.flowercouncil.co.uk

Harbingers of spring: Houseplants of the Month for March

Pure growing power: a bulb with a shoot that grows every day to produce a fabulous plant. Celebrate spring with harbingers of spring in the form of old familiars and an exciting newcomer!

There’s nothing to chase away the feeling of grey, cold days as quickly as the harbingers of spring. Think of yellow and white daffodils, blue and white grape hyacinths, ordinary hyacinths in all colours imaginable, tulips and … checkered snake’s heads (Fritillaria). Those last plants are relatively new as potted bulbs, but make a stunning feature that combines beautifully with the other plants that are all about the spring.

5 harbingers of spring

Potted tulips range from special botanical varieties that remain small and low through to colourful classics, with a fringe if required.
Hyacinths come in classic colours such as pink, white and blue, but also in new shades such as purple, salmon and pale yellow, which fun for getting you into the Easter mood (Easter falls on 1 April: no joke).
Potted daffodils come as scented spray narcissi and classic trumpets, from white to pale orange, with attractive green leaves that make the plant even more decorative.
Grape hyacinths derive their name from the grape-shaped flowers, which also come in white, lilac, purple and pink nowadays alongside the more familiar blue.
Snake’s head fritillaries have flowers that droop from the stems like snakes’ heads. From a distance they look purple, but close-up you can see that the petals are spotted in purple and cream or even chequered.

Play with colour

You can let your imagination run wild with the harbingers of spring: there’s a wide range on offer, and they combine together beautifully. If you’re looking for an energetic atmosphere, nothing beats blue hyacinths, red tulips and yellow daffodils. If your taste is more sober Nordic, white grape hyacinths combine very well with the botanical look of snake’s head fritillaries. And if your interior is warm and romantic, you can revel in all the pastel varieties of the harbingers of spring.

Insert bulbs!

• Wherever you place your harbingers of spring, they immediately change the mood to ‘ bye-bye winter, yay spring!’
• Potted bulb plants have been pre-cultivated and specially grown. They just require a bit of water for guaranteed success.
• Finished flowering? All the harbingers of spring’s bulbs can be planted in the garden in order to bloom again next year and naturalise magnificently.

Registry

In the wild the harbingers of spring grow in a large part of western Eurasia. They’re flowering plants that have been part of the landscape for centuries. Tulips originate from Turkey, hyacinths come from the region east of the Mediterranean (Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq). Daffodils spread from south-west Europe across the whole continent, whilst fritillaries are native to Europe and Western Asia.

How to hang on to spring for ages

• The cooler the spot in which the harbingers of spring are placed indoors, the longer they will flower.
• Regular watering helps the bulb to bloom, but too much water will cause it to rot.
• There’s no need to feed – the nutrients are already in the bulb, which makes the harbingers of spring ‘easy care’.

Houseplant of the Month
Harbingers of spring are the Houseplants for March 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:

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.

Photo caption
Houseplant for March 2018: Harbingers of spring

Garden Plant of the Month for March: Ivy

Ivy, the eternal green mystery

A touch mysterious and quietly ever-present: ivy (Hedera) is the big provider of greenery which represents a stable element in the garden through all four seasons. This ground-covering or climbing foliage shrub is hardy and evergreen. There’s a wide range of leaf colours, whilst all ivy species grow quickly and are easily trained and can therefore cover fences, wire fencing, summerhouses or walls. As groundcover ivy gives weeds no chance, which makes it the most decorative garden helper ever.

Range

Various ivy species are suitable for the garden. Green-leafed Hedera hibernica has large leaves and is very suitable as groundcover or to create partitions. H. colchica has more leathery leaves, whilst Hedera helix is the most common species and is available with various leaf shapes and colours such as green and variegated white or gold. Hedera helix ‘Arborescens’ is a more bushy plant which produces attractive black berries after flowering. A classic ivy is H. canariensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’, an impressive presence with its larger leaves and creamy white leaf edges, but not entirely hardy.

Ivy trivia

  • The name Hedera is derived from an ancient Indo-European sound which represents ‘seizing’ or ‘gripping’, which refers to the clinging roots.
  • Because the plant is evergreen, ivy symbolises eternal life.
  • Ivy also plays an important role in the garden’s ecology: birds like to nest amongst the greenery, and insects often drop by. Ivy therefore enriches the entire circle of life in its environment.
  • Ivy appears in ancient Celtic and Germanic legends as a protector (it provides excellent insulation against heat and cold when grown against a house), bringer of luck and provider of hope. Particularly when Nature is hibernating, ivy’s greenery reminds us that spring will come again.

Origin

Ivy is native to Asia, Europe and North Africa. In the wild the plant grows on trees and rocks and can climb to a height of 25-30 metres. It particularly thrives in cooler regions.

What to look for when buying

  • The pot size and the number of stems or thickness of the plant must be in proportion.
  • With Hedera ‘Arborescens’ check the distribution of buds or berries.
  • Damaged or marked leaves are usually caused by the wrong storage or incorrect shipping.
  • Ivy is prone to red spider mite, which is shown by a faint grey discolouration of the leaf.

Sales and display tips for ivy

Display ivy on a table in blocks or stripes by colour in order to draw more attention. Another way to bring this garden plant to life for consumers is to display it alongside other climbing plants such as clematis, passion flower or climbing roses for an inspiring effect. If you have the space, grow a green wall or hut using chicken-wire which can be re-styled appealingly every season.

Care tips for consumers

  • Ivy thrives in both shady and light positions, but not in full sunlight.
  • The soil may not dry out, but excess water is also not good for ivy.
  • If the plant is in a sheltered spot, such as on a veranda or balcony, regular spraying helps to prevent red spider mite.
  • Give some plant food once a month, particularly if the ivy in is in a container or pot.
  • Good to know: the clinging roots can leave marks on walls.
  • Prune in late spring after the biggest growth spurt and in the autumn before winter arrives.

More information
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Winter bloomers: Houseplants of the Month for February 

With extravagant flowers, attractive green foliage and a totally natural look, winter bloomers help you get through February beaming, heading for spring!

For anyone who is longing for the spring but still needs to get through a bit more winter: houseplants that don’t worry about the seasons and are already doing their own thing with an eruption of fragrance and colour. February’s botanical beauties are Primula, Cineraria and Jasmine, offering a look which is extravagant, romantic and serene respectively. They can all cope well with the somewhat dry atmosphere indoors, and are easy to maintain: as long as you give them a drink from time to time, they will continue to grow and bloom.

February’s trio

Primula offers cheerful flowers in red, pink, white, purple, lilac and blue which make everything indoors jolly when it’s still bitter outside.

Cineraria  has green leaves with a downy grey underside. That combination of green and ash grey sets off the fabulous white, blue, lilac, purple, pink, red and bicoloured flowers beautifully.

Jasmine is an elegant shrub with dark green foliage and radiant star-shaped white flowers with a delectable scent. The long tendrils like to twist, climb and hang.

From all corners of the world

Wild Primulas often occur in the mountains in the northern hemisphere. There are some 15 species growing in the European Alps. Cineraria has travelled from the Canary Islands. And Jasmine is a (sub-)tropical plant that also does well in indoor conditions if given enough humility and warmth.

Blooming symbolism

The name Primula is derived from “Primus’ (first) because it’s one of the first plants to flower every year. The plant’s meaning is also derived from this: this winter bloomer represents a new beginning, growth and hope. Cineraria’s official name is Senecio cruentus, and it gets its meaning from its full round grown of flowers which represents  protection. And according to the symbolism of flowers, Jasmine brings purity and strength into your home. Just what we need for the last dash towards spring.

How Winter bloomers carry you into spring

  • Winter bloomers likes a light spot, but not in full sun.
  • The soil can be slightly damp. Preferably avoid overwatering.
  • Some plant food once a fortnight helps winter bloomers to maintain the strength to grow and flower.
  • Wilted flowers can be easily removed.

 The scent of jasmine is calming and relaxing according to research at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. Which makes Jasmine an ideal bedroom plant 

Style them to suit your taste

Despite the fact that the winter bloomers Primula, Cineraria and Jasmine are somewhat different shapes, you can still style them together attractively, for example all in white, primary colours or pastels shades. For a warm welcome home, there’s nothing like a row of Primulas in bright colours to greet you. If you prefer a more restrained mood, Cineraria’s light flowers and grey leaves combine beautifully with Jasmine.

Houseplant of the Month

Winter bloomers are the Houseplants for February 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
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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.

 

Photo caption
Houseplant for February 2018: Winter bloomers