The Chelsea flower show is the world's most famous gardening event, but houseplants are starting to make big inroads into this fixture in the horticultural calendar. I visited the show to check out the indoor gardening displays in the Great Pavilion, and met up with friend of the show Alys Fowler. Here's a summary of all my Chelsea interviews:
- Ian Drummond of Indoor Garden Design shows me around the stand he put together in partnership with houseplant mega-seller IKEA: I find out how easy it is to grow Sansevieria in water and why plants in the office are good for you.
- Alys Fowler and I cover everything from the dearth of peat-free houseplant compost, the difference between perlite and vermiculite, and how to keep a Begonia luxurians alive.
- Jo Jackson of Ottershaw Cacti gives me a tour of the delightful display of succulents, including Beaucarnea recurvata, Senecio rowleyanus, Haworthia truncata, Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii and Echeveria 'Compton Carousel'. Follow them on Instragram as @cacti_dan.
- Robbie Blackhall-Miles (who you'll remember from On The Ledge's bathroom plants episode) introduces me to the world of Aspidistras beyond A. elatior at the Crug Farm Plants stand, including the unmistakeable A. 'Uan Fat Lady' (pictured below). Robbie also recommends trying Oreopanax from Crug Farm as a big bold houseplant for spots with limited light.
- Every Picture Tells A Story is a nursery specialising in bromeliads including air plants, Vriesias, Neoregelias and more. Julia Carder explains how to look after these intriguing members of the houseplant world.
There were so many pictures I want to bring you, I thought I'd just stack them up at the end of this post, so scroll down for more pictures while you listen to this episode. They should be in (roughly!) the right order.
Want more Chelsea interviews?
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Question of the week
Callie from the US wanted to know why her lemon tree's leaves were going greeny-yellow after the plant had some spells outside in the sunshine - I suggested that the plant may be suffering from some sunburn and cold exposure from the sudden move. It's always worth 'hardening off' houseplants gradually by increasing their exposure to conditions outside over a period of days, starting them in shade and moving them to brighter spots (if necessary) once they have adapted. There's a good RHS guide to growing citrus and some problems you may face here.
On The Ledge talks, live show and houseplant chats
I'll be making an appearance at Gardeners' World Live in Birmingham on June 14 on the Blooming Interiors stage - check out the schedule here. Next week (episode 51) I'll be talking to my fellow GWL presenter and Gardeners' Question Time regular Matt Biggs about all things houseplant.
I am also going to be at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on the afternoon of July 4 giving talks on houseplants in the roses theatre - do join me if you can. And on the evening of Friday October 26 I'll be bringing a live show of On The Ledge to the RHS London Urban Garden show, with special guests including Alys Fowler and all kinds of leafy fun! Put those dates in your diary NOW!