Yes, I'm excited it's Christmas. And not just for the Christmas dinner, catching up with friends and family and crisp country walks. I'm excited because our Christmas plant collections are finally here, and I can't wait to share them with you.
Here's the big reveal about what you'll find inside our large plant collections this month. I think you're going to love them! You'll also find most of these plants in our medium and small plant collections too.
We've tried to carefully balance the most beautiful blooms the season has to offer with a mix of traditional and non-traditional Christmas colours. Yes, you'll find lots of reds and greens, because there's a lot of that in nature right now, but you'll also see stunning pure white flowers, delicate burgundy violas and perky Christmas primulas to add a splash of really bright Christmas colour.
White spruce a.k.a. BABY CHRISTMAS TREE!
Yes we couldn't resist putting in a real whole Christmas tree in our festive boxes. Who doesn't love one of these for a bit of festive cheer, not to mention the amazing pine fragrance that comes with it?
The miniature tree we've included is the Canadian Spruce, also known as the White Spruce. It's Native to North America, originally from Alaska, and was introduced to the UK in 1700. It is now often used as a Christmas tree, due to its ornamental qualities, and the fact that its needles are blunt, and its ability to retain needles (so no more pine needles getting stuck on your foot on Christmas day = yay!).
Hellebore Niger a.k.a. Christmas Rose
We promise to always bring you the best flowering blooms, all year round, and you can’t get better than a Christmas Rose, a.k.a. Hellebore Niger, at Christmas. I am so in love with this plant, and am sure you will be too.
This stunning plant should continue to flower until February, but should not need deadheading. As the flowers fade, they remain attractive.
An important thing to bear in mind, however, is that you need to take real care when handling this plant, as the roots and seeds are known to irritate the skin. So please be sure to wear your rubber gloves when planting up, and keep children and pets away from this plant.
Originally from Japan, China and Korea, this Skimmia is a shade-loving evergreen that adds year-round colour to your garden. In autumn and winter, the female plants produce berries (if there is a male plant nearby), which birds love to eat. In spring, you’ll see reddish-pink buds, and in summer it produces creamy white flowers.
Primulas are known as spring bedding plants, but in winter they are ideal as container plants. Most common beddings plants flower throughout the winter during milder spells, before putting on a vigorous growth in the spring. In winter, these plants provide a welcome splash of colour when few other plants are in flower. If you continue to dead-head them throughout the winter, they will continue to flower.
During the middle ages, primulas were used to make teas and other beverates, and even to create love potions.
The words ‘Pansy’ and ‘Viola’ are often used interchangeably. The difference is that pansy is given to plants whose flowers have three petals pointing down and one pointing up, and flowers with three petals pointing up and one down are Violas.
Pansies have some nutritional value. Their petals are often coated with sugar and used on cakes as garnishes. The petals and stems of violas contain high amounts of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that can improve the immune system and overall health. In fact, the flower has more vitamin C than most other vegetables.
If you continue to dead-head violas, they will continue to flower until May. If they are buried by snow, you may notice the flowers disappear for a time. They should bounce back once the snow disappears.
Cyclamen are an extremely popular indoor and outdoor plant througout the Autumn and Winter, because they are so easy to care for, and because they provide such an amazing splash of colour. They are also generally quite resistant to pests, which gives you one less thing to worry about.
In fact, cyclamen is so popular that now, as a result of harvesting for horticultural reasons, it is sadly, endangered in the wild. Conservation methods have been implemented to prevent wild cyclamen from becoming extinct.
Cyclamen prefer shady conditions and thrives in cooler temperatures. It will sometimes bloom all winter, if conditions allow. Some of the leaves will turn yellow; simply remove these at the base. They are perennial plants, although they can appear dead in summer and it can be tricky to get them to rebloom the following year, so by most hobby gardeners, they are generally treated as an annual and replaced each year.
Cyclamen are used to symbolises departure, so are the perfect gift for someone who is retiring or relocating.
Cyclamen are also toxic to dogs and cats, so please don't let moggy and fido eat them.
So we decided not to include any holly (too prickly, who wants to be dealing with that?), we did want to nod to at least one Christmas hymn with the inclusion of ivy in these boxes. Ivy is such a fantastically versatile plant all year round.
Ivy thrives in cold and dark environments. This makes it an extremely popular plant at all times of year. However, in Autumn and Winter, it really comes into its own to add reliable colour and texture to many container gardens.
It is a wonderful plant which can be trained to climb walls, or to tumble elegantly down the front of containers and hanging baskets. Of all the plants in any collection, it is an extremely reliable grower, in almost any situation. This variegated variety is especially gorgeous at this time of year.
And this is what it all looks like together!
All these plants are hardy and thrive in well-drained soils. They all require similar planting conditions, so they are ideal bedfellows for a gorgeous Wintery container garden. Furthermore, their colours contrast and compliment one another beautifully, to ensure a bright and colourful display right through the darkest days of winter and out the other side.
The plants in this collection won't grow much at this time of year, so they should be planted as close together as possible in order to provide the most spactacular and lasting display.
In case this has piqued your interest, you can order your very own small, medium or large plant collection here: View our lovely Christmas plant collections
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