ALOE vera

Always referred to as a healing plant Aloe vera will sit comfortably on any windowsill. Not only is it handy indoors to soothe any kitchen or sunburns, this succulent will purify the air of formaldehyde and benzene, found in varnishes, floor finishes, and detergents.
They last for years and years and ‘pup’ regularly so that you will be able to naturally grow as many as you need to.

 

 

 


Nano Gardening

As space is at a premium and the gardens of city builds are smaller than ever, outdoor space now means balconies or for the really determined, Community Gardens.
Nano gardening allows gardeners to not only plant up, but to plant in a very considered and pre-planned way.
Smaller gardens means vertical gardening including climbers and hanging plants as well as Indoor, Window Sill and Skylight planting.
Now, while you could browse around and collect plants with interesting foliage, you could also consider that growing your own food and medicine is certainly not out of the question.
Indoor Nano gardening gives us the edible garden, mainly in the kitchen, which allows nano-gardeners to nurture in small spaces.

No more vege patch hidden away at the bottom of the back yard, kitchen gardens can be visually pleasing, useful and able to be displayed like trophies in the window cabnet.
While it just so easy to adapt many of the Culinary herbs to indoor pots to flavour the cooking or cocktails, it is also very easy and convenient to grow many vegetables this way as well.
The vegetable plants can be beautiful, edible and useful for entertaining they are also infinitely more brag worthy due to their oddball nature.
While the range of herbs and vegetables that can adapt easily to Nano Gardening is huge, I will begin the discussion by choosing one.

Sweet Potato.
Not the plant you were probably expecting but one of the easiest and most beautiful vegetables to maintain and propagate indoors.
It is possible to arrange the growing plant in several ways to suit the space and the format of your choice.
Firstly, it will need light for several hours during the day.
Secondly, they will need to grow in dirt or potting mix to ensure good quality tubers.
Understanding the nature of the Sweet Potato is key to success. It is actually a vine that will ramble along and cover as much space as you allow, so as our parents used to say, ‘give you inch and you will take a yard’ applies to the Sweet Potato.
The plants will naturally run horizontally but if they encounter a vertical surface they will be just as happy going up.
Unfortunately, the more they ramble, the less they produce tubers.
So, for everyones sake it is best to keep them from straying.
Once established in a pot (the right size for a good sized tuber) it will vine outwards.
This is the time to place a pot of potting mix or soil underneath the vine. Using a ‘U’ shaped piece if wire to hold the vine in contact with the soil lock the vine in the middle of the pot but allow it to continue to grow.
Depending on the space that you have available, you can continue this process along, zigzag, upright or if using hanging pots, up and down a set of drops. Just rinse and repeatas many times as you want to.
Remember that the tuber will grow from the point of contact with the soil so the size of your tubers will be governed by the size of the pot.
(And, yes, it is possible to grow square tubers)
When the vine has reached your space allocation it is necessary to prune it off to create that ‘full stop’.
Feed and water each pot individually and every now and then probe around to watch the vegetable develop into a healthy Sweet Potato tuber.

 


The Cottage Garden

A Cottage Garden needs to be planned to provide many years of glorious garden backdrop without a great deal of work.
Your plants are the biggest feature of the garden , but the plan is what makes it all come together.
Once your architecture is laid out and and you know just where everything else is to go you can begin to add mulch, as a soil improver, which breaks down in a few months.
There is no screaming hurry to get everything built and constructed because it will take time to prepare the soil and then plant your precious seedlings or seeds.
Pacing yourself at this time is important.
Apply tea tree mulch over the garden beds to preserve moisture loss while the green mulch is breaking down.
A well structured Cottage Garden has a variety of environments from open full sun dry soil to partly shaded moist soil to wet and boggy.
All areas can be addressed, beautifully.
Usually the drier soils and therefore the dry loving plants are higher on the property but yours will always be unique.
You may need to add sand in the dry areas to maintain good drainage once you group the plants with similar requirements.
By it's very nature, Cottage Gardens reduce the amount of lawn that needs to be maintained and the inclusion of pebble or paved paths can drop that maintenance even further.
Watering can therefore be done weekly and be a pleasure to do rather than a chore.
As I mentioned previously, you can establish your garden while you are waiting to have the gazebo constructed, but always remember to allow access to the building site that does not include stomping all over your carefully planted seedlings.

Explore the range of seeds available for your Cottage Garden: