Are you looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? Maybe you are you looking for a project to keep you busy over the holiday season? Here is a project that tastes as good as it looks. It will either make the perfect gift or perfect addition to any sized garden.
Add a bit of fun like this novelty gift-card made from a small ornament (in this case a small watering can) and you have the perfect package for someone special this festive season.
Follow these simple steps to create your own…
Step 1: Select a nice broad bowl and some salad greens. When choosing what lettuce to use I opt for non-hearting varieties (don’t grow into balls like Iceburg lettuce) that can be harvested leaf-by-leaf. Here I have chosen Cos lettuce varieties and Mizuna.
Step 2: Make sure that the pot you select has a drainage hole (essential!) and fill with potting mix. The one used in this project is a certified organic mix of which there are a few on the market.
Step 3: Fill with the potting mix to the top and then lightly firm down with your hands to give yourself a lip of at least 1cm to make watering easier.
Step 4:Remove your seedlings from their punnets and work out which are the larger growers (to put in the centre) and which are smaller.
Step 5: I have added Violas to this bowl which will colour up both the pots as well as the salads made from them (the flowers are edible). Check at your local garden centre what edible flowers are in season. Thoroughly water in your creation to settle all of your tasty little friends!
Step 6: You can also add a bit of fun! This little watering can makes a great gift card (as well as reminds the recipient - in this case Mum, to water!).
Follow these steps to create a beautiful herb pot that makes either a great addition to any home or a lovely living gift this Christmas. The selection of herbs is up you and can be customised to what you use most.
Visit your local garden centre and collect small pots or punnets of the herbs commonly used in the kitchen, potting mix and a suitable pot to house them all. In this project I have used a terracotta strawberry pot that are available at most retailers in various sizes. I have also included some seasonal annuals in this planting for a bit of colour (plus the Viola flowers can be used to brighten up salads!)
Monkey Grip was designed with space conscious living in mind. With more and more people living in town houses and apartments due to proximity to cities and work, housing is becoming smaller and more compact. Monkey Grip is a system of linking pots which utilise space not currently available to common house pots.
The pots are designed to hang from typical structures found within in the home, such as beams, rafters, handrails and standard plant hanging hooks. Each pot then joins to the other to form a chain of potted plants, creating a beautiful column of foliage and minimising clutter on the floor.
The pot’s unique shape not only enables the plants to be linked together to form a chain, but also houses a water reservoir in the bottom with a simple wick system that allows water overflow to be saved and wicked back to the roots of the plant; minimising water consumption in today’s water conscious society.
The pot’s unique joining system pays homage to the children’s game, ‘barrel of monkeys’ and are designed to be used with standard plants to ad beauty, or to grow herbs and edible plants.
We are currently experiencing some extremely windy weather across the eastern states. Below are some tips on dealing with damage caused to plants by wind and ways to prevent any further problems:
Wind Burn Whilst people are most aware of the drying effects of windy weather on our skin, wind also has a drying effect on plant foliage, especially spring growth which has not yet hardened off.
Prevention: Keep plants, especially potted ones well watered during periods of high winds. Look at re-locating any potted plants out of harms way. Foliar applications of Yates “Droughtshield” also protect against this form of wind damage by putting a polymer coating on the leaf surface.
Rubbing Damage Windy weather is a time where you can check the effectiveness of your pruning techniques in removing crossing branches through winter. Physical rubbing of stems and branches damages the plant making an ideal entry point for plant pests and diseases.
Prevention: Always keep a close eye on your plants to make sure that there are no crossing branches that could rub against each other and cause damage. Any branches that have been damaged should be cleaned up with a sharp knife.
Breakage This catastrophic failure is the most common in standardised top heavy plants (Roses etc) and also on grafted specimens. It can also be caused by long-forgotten wire plant ties that have been left on the plant too long, causing it to cut into the plant as it grows.
Prevention: Make sure that staked plants are allowed some movement when planted to help increase their taper. Movement will thicken the trunk/stem and protect the plant in times of high winds. Using three stakes and tying loosely to all three is ideal. Standardised plants need to be properly staked to limit movement as they are an exception to the above rule.
Instead of using wire plant ties use “Budding tape” or other plant tie that allows for expansion of the stem.
Cure: If you have had your plant snap in half you can attempt to tape it back up with budding tape to form a tight, weather tight seal around the stem. Doing this as soon as damage is noticed is critical for success. Electrical tape can also make for a handy quick-fix used in the same way. Remove any excessive foliage that will reduce the strain on the damaged branch. Small splints can help take the weight in the interim till the branch recovers. Ties and splints should only be removed after several months.
I visited the Springtime Flora Festival yesterday. This event is held annually in Mt Penang Parklands, Kariong (Near Gosford, NSW). I have been to many in the past, having worked at most over the last few years during my time with the Garden Clinic. Not working at this years event has allowed me to have a much better look around than in previous years.
What is great about these shows like these is that many growers of interesting and varied plant material attend with plants for sale that are often hard to come by at your local nursery.
As independent nurseries and garden centres become lighter on the ground it has become much harder to source this varied plant material except via mail order or shows and festivals such as these.
If you get the chance I encourage you to get out and check it out over this weekend. Details can be found at www.florafestival.com.au
(Above: A Bromeliad expert gives an informative talk at ‘Expert Central’
(Above: Most plants are available for sale and often at very reasonable prices.
(Above: Plenty of beautiful Orchids on display and for sale.
Check out these awesome planters we have found from Urbio. (Watch the video)
Each pot is made of eco-plastic and is equipped with large neodymium magnets that is strong enough to hold both the pot and your plant onto a (ferrous) metal wall or one of their modular wall plates that can easily be mounted to any wall. Mount just one Urbio pot, or fill your wall with them.
A great way to improve your plant/life balance! Currently they can only be ordered on the web but hopefully this is a sign of cool things to come :)