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Welcome to the Plants at Work (formerly efig ltd) website  - the association representing Interior Landscapers by promoting the use and benefits of Interior Plants.
 
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We are delighted to announce that after 17 years, efig is rebranding. As of 22 January 2018 we are known as the Plants at Work  Ltd - plants@work 
 
The reason for this change is to make our association more relevant. plants@work says exactly what and who we are and clearly states what our main aim is, to supply businesses with first class interior planting to improve their workplaces aesthetically and for wellbeing.
 
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Spring Surprises: February Garden Plants of the Month

on Wednesday, 06 February 2019. Posted in News

It's so good to hear spring mentioned though we think it is a little soon to believe that there is no danger of bad weather.

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However we can cheer ourselves up with 'Spring Surprises' like hazel (Corylus avellana Concorta'), rock cress (Arabis), primula (Primula aucalis) and Aubrieta all of which are perfect for those who can’t wait to bring their garden to life. Not only do they bloom early, but the latter two provide a second round of flowering later in the year. While Hazel offers an attractive green backdrop that changes colour in autumn and reveals the decorative twisting branches in winter. So these garden plants don’t just surprise in the spring, but all year round.

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Origins
All the Spring Surprises are early bloomers and have their roots in Europe. Rock cress comes from the Caucasus mountains, Aubrieta particularly grows in southern Europe in mountainous regions between rocks and stones. And Hazel has been around humans for centuries: not just for the nuts, but also because a host of spiritual protective properties are attributed to the plant.

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Hazel is usually offered as corkscrew hazel. The unusual corkscrew branches are beautiful to look at in themselves, and the plant flowers on the bare wood with hanging yellow catkins packed with flowers. Only then does the pale green, slightly curling foliage appear. Because corkscrew hazel is a slow grower, it is grafted onto the trunk of an ordinary hazel which serves to boost the growth. Corkscrew hazel can reach a height of 2 to 3 metres.

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Primula has bright green sturdy leaves and cheerful flowers in white, pastels, as well as vivid colours such as red and purple. There are also bicoloured cultivars. They all grow to be between 10 and 15cm high, and approximately 20cm across with a warm yellow heart to attract insects. Primula is one of the first plants to flower in the spring, rapidly providing plenty of colour for the garden and patio, and likes to be a bit sheltered. This all-rounder is suitable for use in containers, beds and rockeries.

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Aubrieta is a strong ground-covering bedding plant which also does well in containers. Alongside blue, it also comes in purple, lilac, violet, pink and white. They all like a dry and warm spot and do very well in rockeries, around walls and between paving. They remain low (10-15cm) and primarily grow sideways ( maximum 60cm).

Rock cress is offered in violet. The most common species is Arabis caucasica, but there are many species each with slightly different colours or slightly varying leaves. As in nature, they do best on fairly poor soil in light spots. Rock cress combines very well with Aubrieta: the colours complement one another and together they create an extravagant floral carpet for the approach of spring. The dimensions are similar to those of Aubreita.

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What to look for when buying Spring Surprises

  • Pot size and plant must be in proportion.
  • Rock cress, Primula and Aubrieta must be ripe enough to show buds.
  • The soil should be slightly damp. The plants should not have any yellow or drooping leaves.
  • If rock cress and Aubrieta have been packed too closely for too long, botrytis can occur, particularly on the leaves where they have touched one another.
  • Corkscrew hazel is offered in potted (larger sizes) and pot-grown (smaller sizes) form. In both cases the plant must be well-rooted and firmly grafted.

Images of Spring Surprises 

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