Araucaria heterophylla and Araucaria bidwillii comparison

Hello and welcome to another episode of 'Walking Talking Gardeners'. This is a short and sweet video to two wonderful trees we came across in at  Palheiro Gardens, Madeira. Both are from the same family as the popular Monkey puzzle tree, but both are surprisingly different in habit and structure. That being said all three species are capable to reaching huge size.

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Hello and welcome to another episode of 'Walking Talking Gardeners' with English horticulturists Simon and Lorna. Join them as they discover the delights of the Bishops Palace garden, situated with the confines of Chichester Cathedral. The Palace itself is currently the residence of the Bishop of Chichester.

You can visit the garden at West Street, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1RP or approach by Canon Lane, which is through an archway half way up South Street on the west side.

You may be surprised to learn that construction began on the cathedral in 1076 making it one of the oldest in the land, however the garden is looks in part to be situated within Elizabethan architecture.

Since 1976, The Palace Gardens have been leased to the city council and are now a public park surrounded by the Roman city walls offering views of the Palace, Cathedral and Bell Tower. Within the park is a large area used for growing fruit and vegetables which is currently managed by local charity Grow Chichester. A large portion of the gardens have been retained for the private use of the occupants of The Palace



Hello and welcome to 'Walking Talking Gardeners' the new YouTube channel from the Garden of Eaden' featuring English Horticulturists Simon and Lorna. It is early days and improvements to the channel are on-going but we would love you to join us as we walk around gardens of note from the UK and the wider world. Let us know what you think or what you would like us to talk about in the comments and if you would like to see more content then click like or consider subscribing to the channel.

So why not join us now by clicking on the above image as we discover the delights of Jardim Municipal do Funchal in Madeira.


Like many of us who holiday in tropical or Mediterranean climates it is easy to become tempted into buying bare root, plastic covered exotics at the airport as a souvenir of your travels.  Now depending on the country you are in, or from, the plant species you have purchased and the import laws relating to bring in unlicensed plants without the appropriate paperwork, you could inadvertently be breaking several laws. So it is always best check your governments relative websites for details before buying. For the UK check out the following link:

How to pot on and grow bare root Bird of Paradise
However, assuming your paperwork is correct and you have managed to bring home a Bird of Paradise stem carefully wrapped in cellophane just what do you do with it? Well you need to act quickly as the longer the plant is without roots the risk of it drying out through desiccation increases. Remember that the roots have been cut back to the stem and your Bird of Paradise will need to grow new ones to prevent the stem from drying out and dying.

To begin with, remove the cellophane protecting the roots as soon as you get home. The roots are freshly cut and as such can be at risk from water borne fungal infections if condensation starts to build up inside the packaging. It would be wonderful of the suppliers gave the roots a dusting of anti-fungicidal powder but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Bird of Paradise plants grow a large root system and does not like it being disturbed, so when potting up use a much larger pot than you would usually choose. Fill with a good quality compost such as a 50:50 mix of John Innes No.3 and Multipurpose compost. Be careful when planting so as not to damage any new roots or side shoots, and try to match the pots soil-line to that of the Bird of Paradise. It won't be clear but do your best.

Water thoroughly and then move to a warm, shady spot out of direct sun. Do not put into a green house unless it is outside of high summer temperatures. Water again ONLY once the top couple of inches of soil has dried out and never tug on the plant to see if it has rooted! Under favourable conditions new roots will begin to form in a couple of weeks. 

Overwinter your Bird of Paradise plant in an unheated greenhouse or cool conservatory and harden off for 10-14 days before placing back outside in full sun once the threat of late frosts has past. Feed monthly during the growing season and if you are lucky you may get your first flower spike in 4-5 years. If you pot your Bird of Paradise into a larger pot DO NOT DISTURB THE ROOT SYSTEM! Potting on can also delay flowering by at least another year


The night-scented stock - Matthiola longipetala is a hardy, bushy annual primarily grown for its ornamental blooms and fragrant, evening scent. Native to the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia, it is is low-growing and highly branched in habit with long narrow, grey-green leaves. It has single, four-petaled purple to white flowers, which are approximately 1 to 2 cm wide and carried on 45-60 cm spikes in July and August. The blooms open at night to reveal a delicious, heavy scent, reminiscent to some gardeners of vanilla, rose, spice and even cloves!

Night-scented stock will thrive in any good garden soil in a position of full sun, although they will also tolerate partial shade if necessary. However, to perform at their best the soil should be a slightly alkaline, fertile, medium loam. If the soil is poor then it may need to be enriched by digging in plenty of well-rotted farm manure or garden compost. Staking may be necessary for tall specimens and any leggy plants growing in the shade.

When purchasing packs of seedlings in the spring, only plant out the healthiest examples. Any which have been allowed to dry out or have suffered rot damage will produce premature and dwarfed flower-spikes. They can be grown in containers  or directly into the front of beds in areas where their scent will be enjoyed the most.

Later on in the spring once the plants have become established, apply a pinch of pre-packed dried blood fertilizer or some other fast acting, high nitrogen fertilizer around the base of each plant. This will improve both the plant and its flower size.

Water regularly, and when the flower buds appear provide a liquid soluble fertilizer every week or so encourage blooming. Remove flowerheads as soon as they begin to fade in order to encourage further blooms to develop.