"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine" - A description of fairy queen Titania’s abode in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Our plant of the week, fritillaria meleagris (also known as snake’s head fritillary, guinea flower or chequer lily) is a striking wild flower native to Britain. But who would have thought that this small, purple Spring flower would have so much in common with a 160kg giant panda? Here are three reasons why:
Purple toothwort (lathraea clandestine) is becoming increasingly popular as a garden plant in the UK. But don’t expect it to be universally popular, for it is a parasite.
Everyone has a friend like the anemone coronaria... slightly better than you at everything, no matter how hard you try.
„Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it you have to start young“ - Theodore Roosevelt
More than you might think… It was Darwin who originally postulated the idea of natural selection – that is, the gradual process by which biological traits become more or less common in a species. It’s how micro-organisms adapt to stay alive despite antibiotics, and it’s how the Darwin Award winners die…
It’s a pretty unassuming plant, but the Ficus elastica is as dirty as the plant world gets. We’re not talking mud and soil dirty... ficus is the rubber tree, a source of rubber and latex – in short, fetishists wouldn’t know where they’d be without it.
People who think gardening is uncool are fools. One only has to witness anyone who is anyone networking over a cream tea in a beautiful garden to realise that if you want to be seen in the right places, you’ll find that the right places are often gardens.
Fabian aralia is suitable both indoors and outdoors – it looks great in a rock garden but also makes a magnificent pot plant and would make a stunning housewarming gift. (Presumably the feng shui experts would tell you to choose a smaller specimen to make sure it fits in a house).
Experiments have shown that plants flourish when played music (well certain types, anyway. According to this experiment, if you want your astroemerias to be resistant to disease and to flower well, you should play Black Sabbath music). So the dedicated gardener will play or sing music to their plants – and we’ve come up with some of the best (and worst) garden-related song choices.