Beautify your Palm Springs property for a quick sale with these healthy desert plants

Garden containing healthy desert plants
If California is known for anything, it’s for being home to the Hollywood film industry as well as the largest number of health-conscious consumers. In fact, diets have been named after the state! If you’re in the process of sprucing up your home for a quick sale and the garden leaves a lot to be desired, why not kill two birds with one stone and give your property instant curb appeal by adding beautiful, low-maintenance edible desert plants known to promote better health?

Not only is California known to be the epitome of a health-conscious community, they’re also big on sustainable living. You’ll probably find more thrift stores and recycling centres per capita in California than in any other state. Yes, California is the most populous state however, if you factor in proportions of recycling activities per 100 people, California leads the nation by a long shot. Create an eco-friendly garden by growing plants that require little or no irrigation. Get tips from about planting and caring for edible, desert plants.

Chia flowerscredit


One of the most popular health food ingredients on the market today is chia seeds. Health conscious people do everything from putting them in smoothies, sprinkling them on salads to adding them to home-made bread. The plant that produces the seeds – Salvia hispanica – belongs to the herb family. It requires a lot of direct sunlight, something the Coachella Desert has plenty of! Chia seeds are extremely high in the Omega complex of fatty acids, vitamin B1 and niacin. Chia plants produce beautiful blue flowers that will enhance your landscaping and grow well in rock gardens.

Agave tequilana and cactus plantscredit


Have you heard of the sweetening power of agave nectar? Not only is agave a natural sweetener much healthier than sugar, but the plant is high in fibre, necessary for healthy digestion. Did you know that agave is also used to distil tequila? Is it any wonder that many Central & South American homes sport this ground-covering succulent on their lawns and gardens?

Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear

Prickly pear, or Opuntia to give it its proper name, is a hardy cactus native to South America. Not only is it an attractive, sculptural plant, its pads and fruit are edible. It’s very low in fat and calories and high in magnesium and vitamin C. The deep-growing roots of the prickly pear helps prevent soil erosion.

Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is famously used as a natural remedy for soothing sunburn and as a moisturising ingredient in beauty products. It’s also claimed that the extracted juice helps support good gastrointestinal health.

Creating a lovely garden with healthy desert plants, you’re sure to increase curb appeal instantly, especially to those looking to move westward for a more beneficial lifestyle. Add value to your property and get healthy in the process!


Get their look: Tropical look courtyard garden

Tropical look courtyard gardencredit

This tropical look courtyard garden is something we could happily live with. Our garden is a of a similar size and is laid with granite setts. We’re never going to have manicured lawns and large, cascading perennial borders. However, it does lend itself to this kind of look – an intimate, welcoming space. Perfect to accommodate relatively small scale beds, some containers & pots, a seating area and perhaps a barbecue.

The garden pictured above is located in a built up part of London – arguably the warmest area of the country. Tropical plants such as bananas and palm trees are easily grown in the capital. Up here in the rainy, frost-prone North they need a little more care & attention.

We love big, showy, architectural plants; they’re contrarily suited to small-scale gardens. Our garden is quite sheltered, but damp & shady in parts too – and often very cold in the winter. Some plants do well… others not so keen.

When we first moved to our current house 15 years ago, we planted a black bamboo in the ground and it’s flourishing – reaching heights of about 20 feet! Other tropical (or tropical-looking) plants that we’ve managed to successfully nurture in our decidedly temperate back garden include Fatsia Japonica, Rheum palmatum and Gunnera manicata.

  1. Phyllostachys Bissetii (Bamboo)
  2. Musa basjoo (Japanese banana)
  3. Canna indica (Indian shot)
  4. Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (Taro or Elephant ear)
  5. Agapanthus Africanus
  6. Hedychium Densiflorum (Ginger lily)
  7. Dicksonia Antarctica (New Zealand tree fern)

Get their look: Tropical look courtyard garden | H is for Home

4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

Many recent studies indicate that time spent in and amongst nature plays an instrumental role in reducing stress and improving general health & well-being. Fortunately, due to modern advancements, it’s not necessary to go into the woods to spend time with nature. You can do so in the comfort of your own home, office or garden.

No longer are we limited by climate, rainfall, space, and soil conditions when it comes to growing plants. The advancement in modern techniques and technology enables virtually any available space to be transformed into a plant haven. Here are four new gardening trends to consider.

Vegetable seedlings

  1. Growing herbs & vegetables indoors

Indoor gardening techniques and equipment have improved in leaps and bounds over recent years. People are often choosing (or being forced) to live in smaller spaces without large gardens, whilst at the same time the demand for local and organic food has increased tremendously. Hence, many are opting to grow their own herbs, salads and other vegetables such as pak choi and chillies indoors. You can also grow your own herbal plants for infused teas, soaps or medicinal treatments. A windowsill is a perfect site for all this. You might also have a small balcony area that you can dedicate to these plants; or, failing that, grow plants under lights or use aquaponic systems.

Swallow greenhousecredit

  1. Greenhouses

If you do have some outdoor space, it doesn’t need to be large or expansive in order to grow your own food. You can have a Swallow greenhouse installed in your backyard or flat roof terrace. These greenhouses are specifically manufactured to help grow delicate plants that require specific conditions. They are constructed of timber that is heat-treated up to 215ºC, protecting the construction from rotting. Hence, you can be assured of the durability of Swallow greenhouses as they’re built to handle cold and damp weather conditions with ease. If you’re considering installing a Swallow greenhouse in your backyard or other potentially suitable space, pay a visit to the site

Cacti and succulent house plants

  1. Jungle and desert-inspired interiors

A trend that has been gaining momentum recently is grouped collections of house plants. If you browse magazines and interiors websites, you’ll see that many home-owners are using house plants to decorate their homes – arranged in wonderful assemblages of various sizes and shapes. Many have broad, glossy, architectural leaves and others cascade down from shelves and hanging planters. This gives quite a jungle-inspired feel and they’re currently all the rage.

The same can be said of cacti and other succulents. Again, they’re arranged in concentrated collections for maximum impact. Various pot colours & sizes – and using alternative containers such as up-cycled tins can add further interest. When decorating your home, consider these bold and intriguing house plants – for both the natural air purification benefits and to make a real interiors statement.

Click Grow house planting kit

  1. Hi-tech gardening tools

There’s some great new technology on the market for the both the experienced and aspiring gardener.

There is a growing range of apps available for your smartphone or tablet. There are plant identifiers such as the RHS ‘Grow Your Own’ which tells you what fruit & veg you can grow; when to plant and harvest and what pests and diseases you may encounter. There are also a number of podcasts that you can download and watch to improve your gardening knowledge.

The Parrot Flower Power plant monitor is a little device that you stick into your plant’s pot (either indoors or out) and it monitors and analyses the growing conditions. It sends you alerts to your smartphone via an app to let you know if the plant needs more or less light, water, warmth or even if it needs to be re-potted!

If there are rooms in your house that get little natural sunlight, you may find it a challenge to grow plants successfully. This dilemma has now been solved. There are now planting kits that come with integrated LED lights to ensure that your plants get all the light they need.


Price Points: Plant hangers

Plant hangers | H is for Home

We recently inherited a magnificent spider plant specimen with at least a dozen or so plantlets arching outwards & downwards. It currently sits on a window ledge in the stairway and isn’t being shown off to its maximum potential.

It would look stunning suspended from the ceiling so we’re looking at the array of plant hangers available online. #1 is the classic cream cord macramé plant hanger that was ubiquitous in the 1970s… and I really love it. I remember making loads of them when I was a child. #2 is a colourful crocheted version… but it’s a DIY version – and I can’t crochet for toffee! #3 is my favourite of the lot; elegant and minimalist, with just a trio of black strings and a lovely brass container – it will display the foliage beautifully.

  1. Macramé plant hanger: £15, Etsy
  2. Flower Power crochet-your-own plant hanger: £29.00, Wool and the Gang
  3. On Interiors large brass hanging plant pot holder: £34.50, Trouva

Get your home ready for summer

Summer still life

Springtime is usually seen as the season to give your home an overhaul, but for us, this part of the year is merely the precursor to the most inspirational season of all – summer. Whereas spring is the time to get things tidy and to give your home a thorough cleaning, summer presents the opportunity to create an entirely new design on the clear canvas of a newly spring-cleaned home.

Paint cards, piantbrush and paint roller

Sometimes, all it takes is a new coat of paint on walls, doors and ceilings to completely refresh the look of your home, and we love any opportunity that allows us to go wild with different colours and shades. The summer palette is all about light, breezy hues which relate to the colours we’re currently seeing during the sunnier days of the year. Create a continuous stream of light which carries through the windows and into your living room, bedroom; and, in fact, any other room in your home by painting walls in a sunshine yellow. If you prefer the textures and patterns wallpapers can provide, opt for lighter shades with intricate patterns rather than papers with huge block designs. The more delicate the design, the more summery the feel.

Light-filled bedroom

It’s long been known that natural sunlight is a fantastic mood enhancer, and so you should ensure you make the most of summer’s lighter, brighter days by ensuring your bedroom captures as much natural light as possible. Swap heavy curtains that served their purpose during the winter for lighter, translucent drapes to maximise the amount of sunlight that enters the room. Treat yourself to brand spanking new furniture and take a look at the Bedstar range of wooden beds in white which will bring a fresh summery look to your bedroom. White furniture will really brighten up the room, so look out for wardrobes and drawers in a glossy white finish to complete your bedroom in a contemporary, seasonal style.

Bottles of herbs with tomatoes

Adorning your home with blooming house plants is a fantastic way of having a constant reminder that summer’s here, even on the not-so sunny days. Select colours and species that make your heart sing, and of course, ones that match your carefully considered colour scheme. Decorate your kitchen windowsill with herb pots to add fragrance to the room and extra flavour to your cooking. Plants are extremely versatile in that they can perk up any room in the home, and you should feel free to mix and match the types of plants you place around your home. Pet owners should be aware that some plants are toxic to animals, so do research which ones are safe to be around your little critters.



Price Points: Windowsill propagators

Windowsill propagators | H is for Home

We’re on summer time – the nights are getting shorter, the days are getting longer. The earth is warming up, it’s time to get some seeds sprouting. Some seeds can go straight out into open ground or outdoor pots & planters. Many other seeds are a little more delicate and need a helping hand. Windowsill propagators are the perfect tools for the job.

This week, I’m finding it hard to choose the best of the three, each has its own plus points. The cheap Jiffy comes with biodegradable ‘pot strips’, so there’s no need to disturb the fragile little roots when planting out. The mid-range Marshalls offering comes with trays that can hold up to 48 cells, so pricking out won’t be necessary. The Super 7 has a heated tray which means that seeds will germinate earlier, more quickly and more successfully. Quite an asset if your windowsills are as cold as ours!

  1. Jiffy 20 strip windowsill propagator: £6.00, Suttons
  2. Windowsill propagator kit: £14.95, Marshalls
  3. Garland Super 7 windowsill propagator: £25.99, Keen Gardener