GFM Network News


Mexican false heather (Cuphea hissopifolia) is covered with flowers.

Cuphea has been hybridized to be used outdoors

Once grown only as houseplants there are now more vigorous varieties that do well outside

As plant hybridizers are creating new varieties, more and more plants that were once grown solely as houseplants are making their way outdoors. One such plant family is the Cuphea genus. There are over 100 varieties of Cuphea, including a couple of species varieties that are useful outdoors as well as some hybrid varieties perfectly

Evening Scented Stocks are combined here with dark-purple petunias.

Evening Scented Stocks will provide wonderful perfume at night

The pleasant aroma will more than make up for this rather nondescript plant

Plants that provide us with sensory delights in the garden are much sought after like those that exude wonderful scent to the surrounding air. Most highly scented plants emit their perfume abundantly in the evening and overnight and the Evening Scented Stock (Matthiola longipetala) is no exception. During the day this nondescript plant, whose flowers


We urban gardeners envy the space available to rural gardeners for growing lots of vegetables.

Planning and planting the veggie garden

Whether it’s a large patch or a smaller one, there’s a few things that will help to make it a success

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to connect with nature and to gain a supply of good-quality food, and for those who prefer organic, growing your own veggies ensures control over what techniques (and chemicals) are used. There is great satisfaction in being able to grow some of your own food and I

Calendula is a great annual for a patch garden.

Using patches of annuals in the landscape

Perfect for those hard-to-plant areas they will add colour and be inexpensive if using self-seeders


There are always spots in the landscape that are a bit troublesome when it comes time to plant them — especially large rural landscapes where the space is almost unlimited, but the budget isn’t! Even in smaller urban gardens there are usually spots where the growing conditions are less than ideal. One remedy for such

This colourful tall Amaranthus is positioned right at the front of a border.

Using tall annual flowers in a border

Instead of using smaller plants to edge a border try some taller ones


Flower borders were once quite formal and planting them required careful planning and precise placement. This very formalized way of planting annuals is rarely used now except in large public gardens. Nowadays, beds and borders composed solely of annuals are very rare as most gardeners have switched to using perennials with just a few annuals


Clubmoss can be used in many ways indoors.

Clubmoss is a versatile interior plant

Whether used as a soil cover, in a terrarium, or a stand-alone display, it will be a unique indoor feature

Living ground covers are more naturalistic than inorganic ones, and are useful not only in the outdoor garden but indoors as well. Many of us have large, indoor foliage floor plants like scheffleras, palms, dieffenbachias, dracaenas, and fig trees, sometimes using sphagnum moss or raffia to cover the soil surface, but there are plants that

The cyclamen
 has both attractive
 bloom and foliage.

Cyclamen makes a great gift at springtime

Vibrant-coloured blooms and attractive foliage make for the perfect potted plant

One of the prettiest gift plants is the cyclamen. Its vibrantly coloured flowers and exquisitely patterned heart-shaped leaves make it an attractive potted plant to give to a relative or friend. Florist cyclamen are hybrids developed exclusively for use as pot plants; they are not meant to be used in the outdoor garden. If you

The daisy-like blooms can be orange, yellow or red.

Start some tithonia seeds for added colour in the garden

This member of the sunflower family is also very drought tolerant

A few weeks ago, I was looking through the seed display in the local hardware store. One of the flowers in the display was something I had grown a long time ago but have not grown since — tithonia. As I held the seed packet, deliberating whether to buy it, I tried to figure out


English primulas produce vibrantly
coloured blooms.

Primulas provide pots of colour

Only suitable for indoors in our climate, they will provide a breath of spring

I recently came upon a lovely display of primulas for sale. There were red and orange ones, bright-golden ones, several shades of pink and even one with white blooms. I chose the pot with the dark-purple blooms with the buds just opening, rather than one with mature blooms. When buying any flowering plant, choose one

Blooms of dragon wing begonias add colour to the indoor winter garden.

Adding colour indoors with dragon wing begonias

Once these plants start to bloom they will continue right into spring


I am currently enjoying a great display of begonia blooms in my sunroom and this will continue right into spring. They do not begin their winter indoors by producing any colour however, as I usually just bring in cuttings or small offshoots from the parent plants, and these take time to develop attractive foliage or