Gardening: All colours say 'I love you'



ON Mother's Day, this Sunday, think of me - I'll be in my usual Sunday spot at the nursery.

No wonderful breakfast or lunch prepared by my sons, but I do have a great time watching the tots coming in with their dads, making the difficult decisions.

Colour is top of the list and generally the choice isn't what mum would like, but the tots' favourite pink or yellow.

Our homes are now full of appliances that come on sale somewhere or other, when it is easy to whip out the credit card, leaving nothing left for families to pick for Mother's Day.

I confess, I'm happy with "I love you" plus a hug, which never really happens, the hug I mean.

I won't be suggesting a bunch of chrysanthemums or a potted plant for myself, but find that a potted chrysanthemum is still popular, particularly for grandmas.

Modern mums and younger grandmas, like me, love cyclamen.

These colourful winter plants are great for colour inside for winter, although to prolong their lifespan a little care should be taken.

Water under the leaves, not on the crown, and only when necessary (droopy flowers are a good indicator).

Cyclamen should be occasionally popped outside in a sheltered spot at night to freshen up, especially if you have them in a heated room, which is often the case during winter.

One of the hardiest indoor plants are anthuriums which range in colours from white, pink, through to red; their glossy leaves are great foils for the long-stemmed flamingo flowers that last for many weeks.

Like cyclamen, anthurium provide great colour without requiring a lot of effort.

Cymbidium orchids do well inside and are favoured for their long strappy leaves and their tall stems of blooms look superb.

Once flowering has finished, orchids need to be kept in a semi-shaded position outside, or they can be planted in the garden.