20 Jan

10 Ideas for a Beautiful Balcony Garden

The best thing a plant lover living in high-rise buildings and condos is a balcony garden. A balcony garden can be an excellent retreat for urban gardeners. Fortunately, you do not have to be a master gardener to have a nice balcony garden in your apartment. All it takes is:

  • Selection of right kind of plants – evergreen plants that can survive outdoor climate throughout the year and do not require regular care and pruning
  • Selection of right kind of containers – lightweight containers with proper drainage (in a variety of shapes and styles) that can be adjusted to your limited space either placed on the floor, hung freely or fixed in the wall.
  • Aesthetic sense – create focal points and do some experiments and DIY projects to add colors and fun to your balcony garden

If you are looking for some ideas to spice up your balcony garden or design a new balcony garden from scratch, scroll down for 10 ideas for a beautiful balcony garden for some inspiration.

balcony window garden

Image from Flickr © Blackwings

flowers in balcony garden

Image from Flickr © Ms Adventuress

growing flowers in balcony garden

Image from laportaverde.com

simple balcony garden idea

Image from cepolina.com

gardening in balcony

Image by Jenny Downing

bushes and plants in balcony garden

Image from Flickr © Pouletsue

balcony garden idea

Image from janesrooms.com

small balcony garden

Image from myrentalpad.com

simple and cheap balcony garden

Image from rthtg.net

balcony garden design idea

Image from greenscrafts.blogspot.com

13 Jan

15 Unusual Flowers of the World

1. Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta)

Tricyrtis hirta or Toad Lily is native of Japan and belongs to the Liliaceae family. It is a perennial plant and grows in partial sun and shady locations and prefers rich soil. Toad Lily booms in late summer to mid autumn and bears unusual flowers of whitish petals that bear purple spots. These unusual flowers are usually 2.5 cm wide. Buy Tricyrtis seeds online.

toad lily flower

Toad Lily Flower ©André Karwath

2. Fetid Adder’s Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Scoliopus bigelovii also known as Fetid Adder’s Tongue is another unusual flowering plant from the Liliaceae family. The name is derived from two Greek words skolios and pous meaning curved foot. These unusual flowers can be found in shaded forests of coastal areas of the western United States.

fetid adder's tongue

Fetid Adder’s Tongue – image by alpinegardensociety.net

3. Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)

Swainsona formosa or Sturt’s Desert Pea bears very unusual, blood-red flowers with distinctive bulbous black centre. It is native of arid regions of central and north-western Australia and belongs to the Fabaceae family. It flowers from spring to summer as short-lived annual but in favorable conditions it can bloom in the next season as well.

swainsona formosa anbg-gov.au

Swainsona Formosa – image by anbg.gov.au

4. Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)

This unusual flowering plant is native of tropical regions of Asia and Africa and belongs to Colchicaceae family. Flame Lily usually grows as tuberous climbing plant and produces unusual red or yellow flowers with wavy edges. It can be grown easily from seeds though germination takes a little long time. It is also the national flower of Zimbabwe. Buy Gloriosa seeds online.

gloriosa superba

Gloriosa Superba

5. Passion Flower (Passiflora alata)

Passion flower belongs to the Passifloraceae family and has more than 500 species. Passiflora Alata produces unusual flowers of scarlet color. These flowers are fragrant and usually 7 – 10 cm wide. This unusual flowering plant comes from the Amazon region of Brazil. Buy Passiflora seeds online.

passiflora alata - passion flower

Passiflora Alata – image from ubcbotanialgarden.org

6. Teasel Banksia (Banksia puclhella)

Teasel Banksia belongs to the family of Banksia which is native of Australia. These unusual flowers are red and yellow in color. The plant grows under ample sunlight and prefers low moisture. Suitable for suitable for xeriscaping, this unusual flowering plant can tolerate spells of droughts. Buy Banksia seeds online.

banksia puclhella

Banksia Puclhella

7. Fuchsia ‘Blue Eyes’

Fuchsia ‘Blue Eyes’ is a small deciduous trailing shrub that produces unusual pink and lavender flowers. The plant blooms in early summer to late summer. Buy Fuchsia seeds online.

blue eyes fuchsia

Fuchsia Blue Eyes – image by wikipedia.org

8. Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

Bat Flower is another unusual flower from tropical forests of China. It belongs to the family of Dioscoreaceae.

Tacca Chantrieri

Tacca Chantrieri © Daniel Mosquin

9. Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

Bee Orchid comes from the Mediterranean regions and belongs to the orchid family. This perennial plant produces one to ten flowers on each spike every summer. It prefers well-drained soil and partial sunlight.

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid © TimWilkins

10. Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum)

Titan Arum is one of the most unusual flowers of the world. The inflorescence of Titan Arum can reach up to 3 meters and emits bad odor, which is why, it is also called carrion flower or corpse flower. The plant can be found in certain regions of Sumatra and Indonesia. The largest known plant of Titan Arum weighed 91 Kilograms.

Titan Arum

Titan Arum – image from botany.si.edu

11. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

Dicentra is a perennial herbaceous plant from eastern Asia and North America. The plant produces heart-shaped poisonous flowers. Buy Dicentra seeds online.

Dicentra Spectabilis

Dicentra Spectabilis – image from Wikipedia.org

12. Rafflesia arnoldii (Corpse Lily)

Another remarkably different and unusual flower, Rafflesia arnoldii is also the largest flower of the world. This unusual flowering plant is rare and hard to find in its habitat (rainforests of Bengkulu, Sumatra Island and Indonesia). Flowers emit bad smell and can be as wide as 1 meter wide and weigh up to 11 kilogram.

Rafflesia Arnoldii

Rafflesia Arnoldii © Troy Davis

13. Carrion Flower (Stapelia gigantea)

Carrion Flower or Stapelia gigantea belongs to the family of Stapeliads from South Africa. There are more than 70 species of Stapelia each having different coloration and flowers. Stapelia are good container plants and can grow well under full sun and light to moderate watering. Plant them in well-drained compost as the stems are prone to rotting if kept moist for long. Flowers of Stapelia Gigantea can grow as big as 41 cm when in full bloom. These hairy and foul-smelling flowers attract insects especially flies that act as pollinators.

Stapelia Gigantea

Stapelia Gigantea © thelovelyplants.com

The genus of Stapelia offers many more species and varieties that are easy to grow and produce unique and very unusual flowers. Most of these varieties are easily available at local nurseries and online sellers.

14. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia)

Bird of Paradise also known as Crane Flower is another unusual flower from South Africa. The plant belongs to the Strelitziaceae family and produced unusually colorful and beautiful flowers that resemble a bird. Buy Sterlitzia seeds online.

Strelitzia Reginae

Strelitzia Reginae © Daniel Mosquin

15. Huernia oculata

This unusual flowering plant belongs to the family of Apocynaceae. The plant produces small succulent stems. The stems can be used to propagate the plant. The plant is fairly easy to grow in well drained soil and dry climate. Buy Huernia seeds online.

Huernia Oculata

Huernia Oculata

11 Jan

10 Gardening Blogs to Follow

Are you looking for inspiring landscape designs, gardening ideas, tips for greener lawn, finding suitable houseplants, or just seeking gardening advice from experts, follow these gardening blogs to find all you are looking for.

Top Gardening Blogs

1. Far Out Flora – http://faroutflora.wordpress.com/

Gardening blog by Matti and Megan from San Francisco offer a lot of interesting information and articles on succulents, bromeliads, carnivores and other unusual plants.

far out flora gardening blog

2. Central Texas Gardener Blog – http://www.klru.org/ctg/blog/

Central Texas Gardener showcases exquisite Central Texas gardens and teaches how to have your own beautiful garden.

central texas gardener blog

3. Eden Makers – http://edenmakersblog.com/

Interesting blog on landscape design and container gardening by Shirley Bovshow

eden makers blog

4. Allen Becker Garden Guru – http://allanbecker-gardenguru.squarespace.com/

Allen Becker is a garden designer in Montreal, Canada and a garden book reviewer. His blog is a nice mix of garden chat, favorite plants, design ideas and tips on books for gardeners

allan becker gardening blogger

5. Walter Pall Bonsai Adventures – http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/

Walter Pall’s main blog about bonsai and his work with trees from day to day. Lots of good pictures of good trees and lots of valuable information about bonsai.

walter pall bonsai blog

6. Cold Climate Gardening – http://www.coldclimategardening.com/

Just awesome gardening blog by Kathy Purdy

cold climate gardening blog

7. May Dreams Gardens – http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/

A lot of interesting stuff

may dream gardens

8. Soul of the Garden – http://soulofthegarden.com/

Interesting photographs, articles and gardening ideas by Tom Spencer

garden blog

9. Victoria’s Backyard – http://victoriasbackyard.blogspot.com/

Winner of Garden Media Guild Award 2010 and Botanical Awards 2009, Victoria is a journalist and gardening enthusiast.

backyard garden blog

10. Simply Susan – http://simplysusansplace.blogspot.com/

Susan lives in Florida and shares a lot of interesting information on her blog

susan's garden blog

Other Notable Gardening Blogs

My Nice Garden – http://www.mynicegarden.com/

The Strolling Garden by Lynn – http://thestrollinggarden.blogspot.com/

Whole Life Gardening – http://wholelifegardening.com/blog/

My Garden Path – http://nanak-mygardenpath.blogspot.com/

 

Digging – http://www.penick.net/digging/

NotCot – http://www.notcot.com/tag/plants

Creative gardening and décor ideas

Conscious Gardening – http://consciousgardening.blogspot.com/

Toronto Gardens – http://torontogardens.blogspot.com/

Rock Rose – http://wwwrockrose.blogspot.com/

Ramblings from a Desert Garden – http://www.azplantlady.com/

Gardening at Draco – http://dracogardens.blogspot.com/

 

Crops in Pots – http://cropsinpots.blogspot.com/

Garden Geek – http://www.lahoregardening.com/

Garden Tropics – http://lotusleaf-gardentropics.blogspot.com/

Container Gardening Magazine – http://blog.containergardeningmagazine.com/

Anima Bonsai by Marjia and Andrija – http://www.animabonsai.com/

Garden Voices – http://voices.gardenweb.com/garden_voices/