There is a plant which has been grown in Europe for over four hundred years and which I believe originated in North America. It is often referred to as the penny plant but it is perhaps more widely known as Honesty.  It belongs to the family Cruciferae and has as its relatives such stalwarts as the cabbage, brussel sprouts, and broccoli. In other words a member of the cabbage family.  Honesty, or to give it its proper name, Lunaria annua, is an annual plant. I suppose the name penny plant was derived from the shape of its seed pod which is oval, flat and produces plants up to three feet high. They will need to be given a light covering of sifted compost. The flowers I would describe as very attractive and are normally purple, but don’t be surprised if they turn out to be lilac or even white. English gardeners often cut the flowers when they have produced seed pods and hang them upside down in a dry garden shed, but in a tropical climate they may get mildew. I have had moderate success with growing honesty, and if you can get your hands on any of the seed from nurserymen in the USA or the UK they are worth a serious try.

The nasturtium has large seeds and produces spectacular flowers which nowadays have a wide range of colours. The seeds are like wrinkled peas, and are just waiting for a drink of water to plump up and produce roots and shoots. I generally put them in a glass of water for a few hours to give them a drink. I’ve seen this plant thriving in the heat of the south of France and throughout Italy during the summer, when the temperatures can certainly be as hot as in Guyana.   I have known growers in Guyana who have had success with nasturtiums and I believe that they may do best if grown in a box or pot where they can be protected from the most intense heat of the day. Definitely worth a try.

There are two main grasses which are used in fine ornamental lawns and in special areas like the lawn tennis court. They are the varieties of Bermuda and savannah grasses. In the tropics they are planted, not sown. Sowing grass is just asking for trouble with our rain intensity. Seed is too expensive to waste by having it all washed away. Planting grass is the most effective way to establish a lawn, although it will take a few days to settle down.

Many people without a garden (or with only very small balcony or patio) have discovered to their pleasure that there are a surprisingly large range of plants which can be grown successfully in containers. The more attractive the container the better the plants look. Even plants which will grow into sixty foot trees can play a useful role in making a balcony, room or patio attractive, although many of these will eventually outgrow their accommodation.

However, long before that stage is reached they can give great joy. The Ceylon willow, Ficus benjamina (I suppose one must now refer to it as the Sri Lanka willow) is a fine and graceful tree for the house and doesn’t grow too quickly. It’s a close relative of India rubber tree Ficus elastica and its varieties enjoy worldwide popularity as house and office plants as does the dumb cane (Dieffenbachia), the spider plant (Chlorophytum), and the Russian violet (Episcia). The last two named are excellent for growing in hanging baskets on the patio. Happy gardening and may your God go with you.