HTA Plant of the Moment for December
What better way to celebrate the season and bring festive cheer to your garden than with two traditional Christmas favourites – Holly and Ivy. Countless cards carry their image, often with leaves touched by frost or covered with a crisp layer of snow, and your garden displays will have even greater appeal.
Both plant families offer a wide range of wonderful evergreen varieties, with many boasting beautifully variegated leaves. Fruits and berries provide seasonal food for hungry birds, but if you want a few sprigs to enjoy indoors you’ll need protect berry-laden branches with pieces of tightly fastened fine netting or fleece to keep birds away.
TOP FOUR FAVOURITE HOLLY VARIETIES
‘Golden King’ – Berrying female variety
‘Silver Queen’ – Male variety
‘J.C. van Tol’ – Self-fertile berrying female variety
Hedgehog Holly (Ilex ‘Ferox Argentea’) – Male variety
TOP FOUR FAVOURITE IVY VARIETIES
‘Sulphur Heart’ (also sometimes called ‘Paddy’s Pride’)
Hedera colchica ‘Dentata Variegata’
‘Glacier’ – versatile variegated variety, often used in indoor arrangements
‘Ivalace’ – attractive crimpled and lobed green leaves
Houseplant of the month: Anthurium
Attractive to look at, easy to look after, Anthurium brings a real personality to the home. It can give a serene feeling in white, whilst the brightly coloured varieties have a lively appearance. Although most people think that the coloured part is the flower, it’s actually a coloured bract. Anthurium’s flowers are very small and are all found on the spike.
Sales and display tips for Anthurium
Red, white and green anthuriums are ideal for a fresh, contemporary December arrangement. Display them with some Christmas decorations, keep it sleek and modern: black shiny pots, silver and gold. Give the plant a bit of room: the profusion of stems and flowers look best if they’re unrestrained. Anthurium has attractive, thick roots which lend added value to the plant’s appearance in a glass pot or vase. Small pot sizes can be wrapped in peat moss (kokedama), or add sparkle by placing it on a plate or dish as an alternative Christmas bauble.
Plant of the Moment is supported by National Garden Gift Card. With over 90,000 plants and products available at hundreds of garden outlets nationwide, anyone, anywhere in the UK can spend HTA Garden Gift Cards on pretty much anything to do with gardening.
Thanks to Adam Pasco and the Flower Council of Holland for the information contained in this article.