24 Mar

Top Gardening Blogs on my Reading List

I read and follow a number of gardening blogs because I enjoy learning from first hand experiences of other enthusiasts. Following is a list of top gardening blogs that I read on regular basis.

Balcony Gardener

All about challenges, opportunities, lessons learnt, and success stories of growing plants in a small balcony. Blog URL: http://balconygardener.ca/

Fine Gardening Blog

Everything a novice or an expert gardener wants to know – tips & tricks, landscaping ideas, plant profiles, articles and a lot more. Blog URL: http://www.finegardening.com/blogs

My Tiny Plot

“My Tiny Plot is dedicated to creating a beautiful garden, growing great vegetables, healthy fruit and the most beautiful cutting flowers.” Blog URL: http://mytinyplot.com/

Three Dogs in a Garden

A very well written blog on everything gardening. Loads of spectacular photos. Blog URL: http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.ca/

Bloomingwriter: Gardening in Nova Scotia

Jodi DeLong shares his experiences of growing his favorite plants in Nova Scotia on this regularly updated gardening blog. Blog URL: http://bloomingwriter.blogspot.ca/

Garden Care Simplified

Wonderful experiences of gardening in a terrace by Rizwana Mundewadi. Blog URL: http://gardening-simplified.blogspot.ca/

Metro Greens

“Metro Greens aims at inspiring the gardener within people, to encourage them to take up gardening – enjoying the sheer joy and pleasure of sowing a seed, watching it germinate and grow over the time, and ultimately witness the charm of flowering/fruiting.” Blog URL: http://www.metro-greens.in/

The Year Round Veggie Gardener

A blog about Niki Jabbour’s adventures as a professional garden writer, radio show host and obsessive veggie gardener. Blog URL: http://yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.ca/

66 Square Feet

“66 Square Feet (Plus) is a blog about gardening, cooking, and picnics; about the seasons, without and within; about the city where we live, and the places we go. There are plenty of pauses for foraging, and for cocktail-shaking. And for some good cups of stovetop espresso, too.” Blog URL: http://66squarefeet.blogspot.ca/

Other notable gardening blogs:

Paul Jung’s Gardening Blog – http://blog.pauljunggardening.com/

Down on the Allotment – http://veggies-only.blogspot.com/

Shirl’s Garden Watch – http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/

The Guardian, Gardening Blog – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog

Farhan’s Gardening Blog – http://farhansgarden.blog.com/

Green Roofs – http://www.greenroofs.com/blog/

Beyond the Wild Garden – https://beyondthewildgarden.wordpress.com/

 

18 Mar

Unusual Caudiciform Plants – Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants is a large group of plants that form caudex – a fat stem or root. The caudex in most Caudiciform plants is prominent and gives these plants a uniquely unusual shape and character.

Caudiciform plants make excellent specimen plants. Take the example of Adenium obesum, Beaucarnea gracilis, Cycas revoluta, most Cyphostemmas, and Dioscorea elephantipes. Like other Caudiciform plants, these attractive plants form caudex to store water and food so that they can survive long spells of drought therefore these are generally low-maintenance plants.

How to take care of Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants do not require much maintenance. Because they are able to store water for dry periods, you do not need to water them regularly. During the months of active growth, water sufficiently only when the soil is completely dry. Avoid watering when the plant is hibernating.

Grow your plants is a well-drained soil and feed them when they show active sign of growth. With a little experience with caudex forming plants, you will understand that most of these plants quick adopt to the surrounding climate. You can grow them outdoors as specimen plants, indoor on a window sill, or in a greenhouse (if you live in a colder region). Generally, they prefer dry conditions and good exposure to the sunlight.

Types of Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Caudiciform plants come in all sizes. Some grow into tall trees, some have shrubby growth, some of them are vines and some of them are small succulents. The size, location, and shape of caudex in most plants vary greatly. Therefore, these caudex forming plants are further grouped in four categories.

  • Phanerophytes: These Caudiciform plants form succulent base which appears prominently above the soil level. Most Adenias, Beaucarneas, and some Pachypodiums are good examples of Phanerophytes.
  • Chamaephytes are Caudiciform plants that form caudex at their base. The caudex in these plants may or may not be prominently visible. Dioscoreas belong to this group of caudex forming plants.
  • The caudex in Hemicryptophytes is usually formed below the ground but the growth is usually above the soil level.
  • Geophytes are caudex forming plants that form both their caudex and the growing point underground. Ibervillea is a good representative of this group.

Popular Caudiciform Plants / Fat Plants

Some popular species of caudex forming plants include:

Adenium obesum /Desert Rose (Buy seeds online)
Adenium obesum

Jatropha berlandieri (Buy seeds online)

Jatropha berlandieri

Jatropha podagrica (Buy seeds online)
Jatropha podagrica

Pachypodium brevicaule
Pachypodium brevicaule

Dioscorea elephantipes (Buy seeds online)

Caudiciform Plants, Dioscorea elephantipes

Gerrardanthus macrorhizus
Gerrardanthus macrorhizus (Bigfoot)

Euphorbia cylindrifolia (Buy seeds online)
Euphorbia cylindrifolia ssp. tuberifera Rauh

Yucca rostrata
Yucca rostrata-Beaked Yucca

Tylecodon paniculata
Tylecodon paniculata

10 Mar

Weekly Magazine: Garden Dispatch # 8

Welcome to this week’s Garden Dispatch.

The Garden Dispatch is a weekly compilation of landscape and garden design resources. In this issue, explore:

DIY: How to Grow Moss in Your Garden

Moss Garden

Plant Care: How to prune like a PRO

How to Prune

Great Gardens: The Biggest Rooftop Garden in the World

Rooftop Greenhouse

Plant of the Week: Cornish Lily

Cornish Lily

Garden Projects: Patio Garden make-over – New blends with Old

Patio Makeover

DIY: How to build a raised garden bed

Raised Garden Bed

Garden Birds: How to Attract Birds to Your Garden

How to attract birds to your garden

08 Mar

Why Get a Greenhouse in your Garden

Greenhouse
There are so many reasons why you should get a greenhouse in your garden. From being able to turn your gardening hobby into a full-time passion, to looking after your wellbeing and not to mention all the nutritional benefits of growing your own food.

Here are the reasons why you should get a greenhouse in your garden:

Greenhouse for growing your favourite plants all year round

A greenhouse means you can grow plants, bulbs, vegetables and flowers all year round, whatever the weather. Despite the extreme temperatures we might be experiencing outside, inside your greenhouse you can create the perfect environment for your crops to grow and protect them from the elements. It’s important to make sure that despite your greenhouse always being warm and humid that it remains well ventilated. A great way to do this is to buy window openers for it which automatically open and close to maintain the correct temperature for optimum growth.

Greenhouse to keep yourself busy

A greenhouse creates a great hobby for a lot of people turning their interest in gardening into a profitable venture. It means people keep busy, out in the sunlight rather than sat inside and you can even sell your fresh produce for profit if you grow enough. For many younger people it’s great as it means you can start to really look after your health and care about what you’re eating and for many older people, a greenhouse is a great way to stay active and gives you a reason to get out of the house each day.

Greenhouse to provide better food for your family

The nutritional benefits of growing your own vegetables are huge. With your own greenhouse you can grow a variety of different vegetables and some many months before you could grow them outdoors. You can be sure that the food you’re eating hasn’t been in contact with harmful pesticides and be 100% sure of what your family are eating which is a very reassuring thought for most parents.

Wave Hill

Greenhouse for your own wellbeing

Greenhouses have been proven to be effective in helping those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder combat their problems. You get to spend plenty of time outside benefiting from the natural light getting all the nutrients from the diffused sunlight. Eating your own healthy produce also contributes to your physical wellbeing and encourages families to eat healthier in the long run as children grow up learning about where their food comes from and the importance of eating lots of fruit and vegetables.

01 Mar

Xerosicyos danguyi, the Silver Dollar Plant

Xerosicyos danguyi or Silver Dollar Plant (Buy seeds online) is an evergreen climber from arid regions of Madagascar. It is a drought tolerant and hardy succulent that can survive really high temperatures and long spells of drought. If you are new to the world of houseplants, Xerosicyos danguyi is a nice plant to start with.

Xerosicyos danguyi belongs to the family of squash, cucumber, and watermelon and shares many characteristics with its cousins. Hobbyists like the Silver Dollar Plant for its round, succulent, and silver-green leaves giving the plant its common name, ‘Silver Dollar Plant’. These unusual round leaves grow along a cylindrical stem that usually grows up to 20 inches. In wild, Xerosicyos danguyi uses its tendrils to hook up with surrounding plants to keep it from falling on the ground. Clusters of tiny flower of pale-green color appear in spring.

Xerosicyos danguyi, the Silver Dollar Plant

Xerosicyos danguyi, the Silver Dollar Plant / Image Source

How to Grow Xerosicyos danguyi, the Silver Dollar Plant

Xerosicyos danguyi can be easily grown in a well-drained soil and under sunny conditions. Being a drought-tolerant succulent, the Silver Dollar Plant requires only occasional watering. If you are growing it in a pot, water it thoroughly and then allow the soil to dry out completely before the next watering. In colder climates, Silver Dollar Plant can be grown indoors in hanging baskets. Xerosicyos danguyi can be propagated from seeds and cuttings. Plants grown from seeds tend to form caudex on maturity.