The plastic plant boom: here’s how to grow the real thing – for beauty, better air and biodiversity | Life and styleSales of plastic hedges, shrubs and lawns are rising rapidly, but they are bad for the environment and not necessarily low-maintenance or low-cost
‘There are some very convincing plastic plants now.’
Photograph: JaCrispy/Alamy Stock Photo
Low-maintenance, evergreen lushness and an instant garden – it is easy to see why the sale of plastic plants is bursting into life.
Light without fire: the medium spicy Fairy lights.With literally hundreds of varieties, in an almost infinite variety of flavour, use and spice-level, I believe there must be a chilli for everyone – even people who think they don’t like chillies!
“In winter it’s difficult with the light, and plants need light,” she says.
A blackbird feeds on ivy berries.Finally, it has beautiful black berries that offer an invaluable food source for birds through winter, and well into spring and early summer.
The bamboo-leafed raspberry, Rubus henryi.I like my neighbour, and I like my neighbour’s garden, but I also like my privacy.
When I was about 16, my biology teacher showed me a tradescantia cell under a microscope.For the life of me I can’t remember what we were looking at: stomata or the effects of plasmolysis, perhaps?
‘Electric’ onions are suitable for autumn planting.You have two choices with growing onions and shallots: you can either sow in early spring or plant as sets.
How to plant sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes that you can buy in a store are often treated to prevent them from sprouting, so it’s best to get yourself some roots sprouts or “slips” from your local gardening shop.It’ll depend on the variety you have, but you can expect about five to ten tubers per sweet potato plant.
How do watermelons grow?Unlike most crops, watermelons grow on vines that grow out of the initial sprout and can grow to be six metres long.
I’m often asked, why giant vegetables?Charlie's simple guide to growing giant vegetables1.
When planting dragon fruit, you can grow the plant from either seeds or stem cuttings.
Fuchsia magellanica often appears as an escapee in hedgerows.Photograph: Getty Images
If you are wondering who is eating all the berries of your fuchsia bush, it’s me.
Winter Density is ideal for small spaces.I love a mixture of crisp lettuce, rocket, the sweet anise of chervil, and a little mustard or mizuna.
Serried ranks of blue-green leeks are the mainstay of the winter kitchen garden.Cultivation
Leeks are one of those crops that, once established, need little time lavished upon them.
Wrinkled crinkled crumpled cress in flower.Photograph: Courtesy Alys Fowler
Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled cress: has anything ever sounded more pleasing to grow?