With the autumn season now upon us it is the time of year when we start to prepare our Den for winter visitors and no, I don’t mean people, but plants!
Some people choose to cook in them, sit in them, exercise in them and for those that have a passion for plants, grow things in them. From Bougainvillea’s to succulents, we have a place for them to stand and room for them all.
As we have come to the end of the summer, sad to say I know, there are many of us beginning to think about where we will over winter our tender plants, nurture our seedlings and turn our glazed rooms into tropical oases; this is considered all part of the life of our conservatories. Shhhhh……don’t tell the boss who is a firm believer that a Den is for humans and a greenhouse is for plants.
When you bring your plants inside, always be conscious of the change in room temperature that can occur from zero and below at night during winter periods to exceedingly high temperatures during the heat of the day. Decide whether the plants can be stood near a window or against a wall. Bringing plants from our patios inside continues the feeling of summer for many more months.
If you are still undecided and are looking for a special plant to grow in your Den, we asked award winning gardener designer and TV presenter David Domoney for some plant suggestions, they were:
Citrus trees, Pandorea jasminoides (Bower Plant), Passiflora, Jasmine Officianale, Bougainvillea, Stephanotis floribunda, Hoya carnosa (Wax plant), Tibouchina (Glory Bush), Strelitzia Bird of Paradise, Plumbago auriculata, Hibiscus, Date Palm, Kentia Palm, Maidenhair Fern, Boston Fern, Agave or Century Plant is classed as a succulent or cactus.
From David’s suggestions, my all time favourite has to be the Bougainvillea, with it’s wonderful paper thin flowers that remind me of lanterns that cascade down in a riot of vivid colour; this plant always reminds me of hot summer holidays abroad.
There is a plant out there for every occasion, and will brighten any corner, giving a glorious show in your Den.
Bougainvillea at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2012
David has a wealth of experience; you may have seen him of the recent series of Love your Garden on ITV1 with Alan Titchmarsh. David was awarded a Silver Medal at the Hampton Court flower show in 2011 for “The Naked Garden” and also the Grapevine Theatre at this year’s show, both sponsored by Anglian.
Whether taking cuttings from plants or growing seeds, we in the blog team with guidance from David have decided it was time to put our growing skills to the test. As in every democratic team, my Den has been chosen to carry out the growing experiment and to see how green my fingers really are.
We would like to grow a flower for Christmas and a vegetable for the spring, and after a lot of consideration and deliberation we have chosen Garlic for cooking and Hyacinths for colour and a wonderful scent for the festive season.
Garlic at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2012
In the next few weeks we will be organising the pots, bulbs and potting compost for our chosen plants and hope to keep you up to date on their lives. For me the hard part will be choosing the colours we would like for the Hyacinth flower and deciding how many bulbs we will plant for the Garlic.
After doing a little research I found these facts I wanted to share with you;
Facts about the Garlic Bulb
– Deciding when it is ready to harvest by the number of skins (sheaths or thin layers that surround the outside of the bulb) that you can peel off.
– Three skins and the bulb is ready to harvest.
– Four skins or more then you need to leave it to grow for another couple of weeks.
– Bulbs from the supermarket may have been treated to stop further growth, but we suggest giving it a go if you have any that have started to sprout, if you are unable to find bulbs at your local garden centre.
The Garlic Farm – Hampton Court Flower Show 2012
Facts about the Hyacinth
– There are three types of Hyacinth, single heads, double heads and multiflora – each bulb produces a number of flower stems with a wonderful array of flowers and an amazing scent.
– The word Hyacinth was first used in ancient Greek legend and mythology and was spoken in language over 4,000 years ago.
– It is a native of Turkey and the Middle East and was brought to Europe.
– The Hyacinth reappeared in the 16th century and has been cultivated commercially since then.
– The Hyacinth is cultivated for the perfumery trade
What ever you do and as long as you get enjoyment from using your Den all year round, use your special room just the way you would like to!
How do you use your Den? Why not send to us a picture of your winter guests!