theharmoniousgarden


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it’s all about the grass

I’m so impatient at this time of the year, in this dreary pre-spring gap. I just want to get out into the garden and make a start on this summer’s gardening plans! Winter planter pots, stunning as they may be (especially my own awesome ones), are just not enough. In my quest for some green-themed gratification, I was flicking through photos of last summer’s vacation in the Baltic, and was reminded of how well they do grass there.

It could be said that in some places, grass is relegated to the role of providing a functional surface for walking on (or in some instances to fill boring horizontal spaces). But in Riga, Latvia, grass takes centre stage. From spiky grass with big puffy heads stealing the show in pots, to swirling plantings of textured grass alongside verbena, it was one amazing festival of wholesome green stuff during my visit to Latvia’s capital last August.

Riga

IMG_6404IMG_6403IMG_6402Riga park

So if there’s one thing I’ve taken from my trip to Riga, it’s be kind to your grass. It can be amazing ;-). I hope you’ve enjoyed this silly and slightly demented post. I’m going to put it down to a likely vitamin D deficiency, most certainly caused by the dreaded February.

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what a cac(tus)!

Each time I pass my local florist where I see rows of brightly flowering cacti, I can’t help but wonder what the secret is in getting these spiky delights to bloom. Despite a great show of colour when I purchased it, my own cactus (which I’ve previously featured on my blog here), stubbornly refuses to flower – no matter what diet and living positions I offer as way of enticement.

So the other day while passing, I spontaneously went in to see if the florist could offer any tips on getting cacti to flower. “Excuse me, ma’am”, I started. “I’ve been admiring your colourful cacti, and can’t help but……” “The flowers are fake” she shouted, abruptly cutting me off. “They are pinned onto the cacti. They come like this from Holland.”

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Sure enough, on closer inspection, the flowers were made of plastic. True to the florist’s word, they were rudely pinned to each little cactus, in a fraudulent display of gaudy colour. And as my own cactus glares at me, triumphant in its prickly green glory, I am still no closer in knowing how I can coax it to flower.


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potted bling

Last night my family and I put our Christmas tree up. Our anxious wait is finally over, and the tree looks fantastic!

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But why stop there. What about the planter pots, we pondered. Surely they would look good with some seasonal decorations? We’re not convinced the neighbours will agree, but you can form your own judgement, because here they are in all their bling glory!

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man pot

Struggling with garden related gift ideas for that special man in your life? Look no further. Made up of rusty browns and silvers, this autumn planting will complement your fella’s manliness, and bring a lovely autumnal vibe to your garden space.

Also included is a tough nasturtium determined to make it to winter, but the planter mainly features Bronco grass, brown flowering Rubella, Silverdust and white cyclamen. Assemblage time: 15 minutes. Enjoy!!


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greetings

I’ve recently been considering a new hobby, and in these austere times have been carefully weighing up my options. However it seems that a solution has been at my fingertips all along, and I have decided to start a blog!

So what am I going to blog about? I’ll feature some of my own urban gardening attempts, but mostly the garden creations of others – gardens of all shapes and sizes  that catch my eye for some reason or another.  Beginning at the age of 5 when my mum gave me responsibility for a small garden (there is a Kodak Moment of me standing proudly in front of a newly planted garden bed!), I’ve always had a passion for gardening, and appreciating the horticultural efforts of others. My philosophy is that anyone can have a garden, no matter whether it be indoors, on a balcony, in pots, or in the ground (even if that’s on a temporary basis, as I have in my rented London property!).

In this my first post, I’m featuring a pot containing a mix of  cactus and succulents that I have by the front door as a sort of prickly welcome to guests and deterrent to would-be intruders. These plants all have special sentimental value having accompanied me on the long journey across the sea from Ireland, and were effectively the beginnings of my London garden. The cactus, a rejected birthday gift for a newly acquired, but not-yet-sure lover, the aloe, kindly given by a work colleague to treat a burn injury, and the delicate silver succulent, a native ground cover from rugged County Clare, are all thriving in their random grouping together. They’ll soon need to come indoors as autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this entry, and stay posted for more plant-based posts!!

JR