Hungry to flower

Keen gardeners get impatient at this time of year. Bulbs have been poking their noses through the soil since autumn, and we want them to grow a bit more and open their flowers to show that spring really is on the way. But they are not going to be rushed. Rain, hail or snow will […]

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It Caught My Eye

As well as the big Flower Shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court, the RHS runs smaller events in London at their Lindley and Lawrence Halls, just off Vincent Square. The first of these is held in mid February each year. You come in from a bleak landscape to be confronted by a kaleidoscope of […]

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How do climbers hang on?

As the weather has turned bitterly cold, nothing new is coming into flower just now, so I have decided to start looking at the way plants grow and their possible uses in the garden. From time to time, I get asked for recommendations for a climber that don’t need support. This may sound like a contradiction […]

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A Rainbow in December

Those of us with acidic soil have the advantage of some of being able to grow the best spring-flowering shrubs and trees – camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. For those with less favourable conditions, even smaller varieties can be grown in ericaceous compost in large containers. But there is a camellias species that means you don’t […]

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Getting Physic-al

Whether you believe in climate change or not, the autumns here in the UK are staying milder for longer. Growing up in a Devon coastal resort, I remember we often had our first frosts early in November, but even living inland now, it can be a month later before the thermometer drops below zero overnight. […]

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Sumptuous and Hardy

It’s autumn, and to keep the colour going, the gardener turns to plants of doubtful hardiness. Annuals struggle on, desperate to set seed before the frosts kill them off, dahlias flaunt in the borders before midnight chimes, while chrsyanthemums dash in, arriving at the last minute before the curtain falls on another gardening year. But […]

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