Always site your glasshouse in your sunniest spot, goes the gardening wisdom, and quite rightly too. There is little point going to all the trouble of buying and erecting a structure perfectly designed to capture every ray of sunlight and drop of warmth if you then plonk it in the lee of a building or […]
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Also known as Fringe flowers and Poor man’s orchids Schizanthus are a glorious way of filling a glasshouse with summer colour. Coming from S. America this small genus related to potatoes derives both common and scientific names from pretty pansy like blooms. These have split corollas and look much like orchids, and even more like […]
Fresh tomatoes eaten straight from the plant, are one of the great pleasures of summer. So to get the best from your plants, keep them well shaded, ventilated, fed and watered throughout the growing season and ‘pinch out’ the stem just above the fourth truss to ensure that the fruits ripen. Feed with Epsom Salts […]
Strawberries are possibly the plant, or fruit that just about everybody wants to grow. And with the extortionate price of these fruits in the shops and the deliciousness of these rich red fruits, it’s no wonder that everyone wants to grow them. When a bowl of strawberries at Wimbledon contains a handful of fruit (usually […]
New research confirms that ‘perfect for pollinators’ plants can contain potentially toxic pesticides – so what can gardeners do about it, and how can we improve the odds for insects? A year ago I interviewed Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at Sussex University, about his six-year study into the effects of pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids or […]
The tomatoes that started in the greenhouse need planting out now – a little late but life and half term had their own ideas, so a couple of weeks ago I potted them up into big pots to keep them ticking over, and now is the moment to get these big brutes into the polytunnel. […]
True-blue is an evening star because it glows as night falls. I’m not talking cottage-garden, wishy-washy, ‘so-called blues’ in shades that hover between mauve, lavender and grey. Many campanulas, lavenders and hardy geraniums, for instance, come in these softer colours but tend to look a milky grey in evening light. Radiant blues, on the other […]
This charming greenhouse beauty was described by Linnaeus as “Mere weeds, found on old walls and stony ground, they have no beauty and are of the easiest culture”. Back then he named it as a Parietaria it then became a Helxine, and now it is Soleirolia soleiroli. The common names are even more prolific, it […]
Over the years I have made a lot of gardens in many parts of the world. They have embraced all sorts of styles and situations from the very formal, to the wildly unkempt from the classical to the modern. However, I think I confidently say that the garden we have made for Horatio in Scotland […]
Remove dead or fading flowers from ornamental plants to encourage a longer flowering season. Most can be removed by snapping them off between your finger and thumb or removing them with scissors. It is a particularly useful exercise with roses, because you can wrap your hand right round the petals, gathering them all before they […]
Your greenhouse can revolutionise your garden, because it’s possible to grow a whole range of slightly tender plants, because you can raise them from cuttings. Many of these slightly tender plants come into their own from late-summer onwards, so they extend the season right up until winter beckons. This helps late-flowering pollinators (and gardeners) to […]