Winter garden: rock orchids, echavaria, cyclamen

Winter isn't the most exciting time for gardens. So much pruning and dying back! But there are little things you can do to spruce things up without resorting to pansies and colour pots (as sweet as they are). I just replanted our front window box with wintery silver succulents, cineraria and a white cyclamen. Cyclamens should either be planted somewhere protected outside in winter or potted inside and left out at night (they love the cold).

And we have finally hung the incredible dendrobium speciosum (Sydney Rock Orchid/NSW Rock Lily) over the back door, and despite its lack of flowers (it blooms late Winter/Spring) it's provided such a nice punch of green in the space. And we get to water it from the spare bedroom window above! So now's the time to get an epiphyte orchid and nestle it in a tree, rock or hanging basket and wait for it to flower in a few months. Or buy a terrestrial orchid, such as a Cattelya or Phalaenopsis and have it in the house for 3 months to get you through the season. (PS - The orchid man at Orange Grove markets, Lilyfield, is perfect for such a purpose!) HF.