The beautiful flowers of Ranunculus asiaticus have been cultivated for centuries and are especially good for growing in modern frost free greenhouses. With their long stems and perfect form their blooms are both excellent for cutting or adding colour to a foliage display especially in early and mid summer. Credited with coming from Persia these […]
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Peppers, chillies and aubergines should be sown this month. Gardeners who find, that theirs haven’t ripened by late summer, usually sowed too late. The third week in February is ideal; mid-March is fine and the first week in April is the limit. They need light, warmth and constant temperatures for germination; if you can’t provide […]
If there’s one plant that makes April special in my garden it’s Erythronium californicum ‘White Beauty’. The creamy flowers have six upturned petals that fly outwards to form a wide lily shape. Seen from above the petals display a cool hint of green as they meet the stem, catching the same glint of green found in the […]
Here in New England, winters can be frigid, with temperatures sometimes dropping below 0oF (-18oC) and snow that can get three or four feet deep. If you, too, live in a cold winter climate and have greenhouse plants that must stay above freezing, you’ll need some form of greenhouse heat. For years, I used an […]
Right now, my breakfast table is piled with gardening catalogs for my reading pleasure. And yet, I must ask—in this digital age, why do nursery folks continue to go to the time, trouble, and expense to put these colorful collections of plant offerings into my hands? “Our customers aren’t futurized,” one nursery employee wryly notes […]
I was lucky enough to spend a few glorious days in the greenhouses at West Dean at the height of chilli season last year. I was attending the annual West Dean Chilli Fiesta, which was started up to celebrate this moment in the year when their greenhouses are full of fiery colours and even more […]
Ultra-local, infinitely renewable, and people- and planet-friendly, could gardening be the key to regenerating our town centres? If I owned a clutch of glitzy, can-only-get-there-by-car garden centres, I’d be worried. Not about tremors from our ongoing political crises. Not about the meteorological unknowns that climate breakdown is foisting upon us (bad weather means poor sales, […]
Jean Vernon explores some of the plants that you can nurture under glass through the depths of the British winter. One of the main reasons for having a greenhouse is to extend the season at both ends. This is especially important over winter and as the season progresses into spring. With the protection of a […]
Some years ago I wrote a book titled The Art of the Kitchen Garden about the evolution of fruit and vegetable growing and cookery from the 15th to the 18th century. Greenhouses evolved in part, I learned, from the introduction in the 17th century to Europe of the exotic pineapple, which quickly went from oddity […]
I’m always happy to get amaryllis bulbs as Christmas gifts. In January and February, when there’s not much a Midwesterner can do in the way of gardening, it’s a joy to have something to water. It’s even more joyful to see the first green sprouts. Paperwhite narcissus bulbs are another popular gift. So are bulb […]
These stately palms have long been seen in many fin de siècle drawing rooms, as backdrops on film sets and at all sorts of large events, indeed as often as simply decorating conservatories and greenhouses. Discovered on Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales this Australian palm, Howeria, rapidly became incredibly popular […]