Air plants

Air plant display

I have a selection of air plants and bromeliads in the heated section of my greenhouse.  It isn’t heated to tropical temperatures but is sufficient to keep my less hardy plants ticking over.  A couple of years ago I really enjoyed a display of air plants by a nursery called Every Picture Tells a Story at RHS Hampton Court Flower show and I bought a few plants to display at home.

Tillandsia xerographica

This is one of my air plant displays. It’s in a glass sphere, filled with moss and containing this handsome Tillandsia xerographica.  In the last 18 months it’s grown some really long handsome twisted leaves and is dangling from the ceiling at eye level.  It has a spritz of water every now and then and sometimes I pour a little water into the sphere to keep the moss damp.

Here’s a picture of it when I first mounted it so you can see how much it’s grown.



Lachenalia bulbifera – Leopard lilyLachenalia bulbifera

This pretty pot plant isn’t hardy outdoors but is flowering away merrily in the unheated section of my greenhouse.  Hailing from South Africa, it flowers in winter or spring.  Last year this plant had two flowers so this plant is multiplying well.

Pure White Hellebore – an Ashwood hybridWhite hellebore

Sadly this is not growing in my garden but in one belonging to friends from my local Alpine Garden Society group.  I visited them this week to admire their wonderful snowdrop collection but this hellebore also caught my eye.  It is a stunning pure white and whilst its face hangs bashfully towards the floor, its triangular edged bloom is attractive in itself.White hellebore

If you do tip up the flower it remain pure white inside, with none of the speckles and freckles usually associated with hellebores.  This plant came from Ashwood Nurseries which supplies beautiful hellebore hybrids.

Primrose Bank – primula vulgarisEnglish primroses planted in a bank

This bank borders the path in my woodland walk and is pretty steep.  It’s steep enough for me to worry about the stability of the soil.  A bit further along, where the gradient evens out a bit, I’ve planted some wood anemones but at this point I’ve decided to plant some pretty native primroses to start to knit the soil together a bit with the roots.  These pretty pale yellow native primroses self seed all around my garden so when I spot one I dig it up and plant it here.

Mail order SnowdropsMail order snowdrops

Last week I shared a picture of my snowdrop sand plunge display.  The cold weather this week and then the damp overcast days have held back the development of some of these so I’m still not able to share many good close-ups.   The snowdrop special will have to wait at least another week.

The good news is that I have added further to my collection.  In searching for interesting sweet pea suppliers I found Johnsons Sweet Peas and was pleased to discover that he also sells snowdrops.

Now is a good time to buy collectors’ snowdrops from snowdrop sales, from specialist suppliers such as Philip, or even from ebay.  The plants will arrive in bud or flower so you know that you have been supplied with the correct variety.

Philip sent me my snowdrops wrapped in moss and some waterproof film inside a cardboard tube and they were in tip top condition.

Date updateGermniating date stones

Last week I mentioned how I was trying to germinate saved stones from inside the Christmas dates. Fellow Six on Saturday garden blogger ‘Fred – a French Gardener’ has done this before and predicted good rates of germination.  He was right.  A week later I have 90% germination and I’m optimistic that the remainder will germinate too.  Anyone want a date palm?


This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday.  For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.