You see something unfamiliar at the garden centre, look at the label to see what it is, and read: ‘plant in well-drained soil.’ If you’re me, you put it back down again. And then repeat, and repeat. Because plant labels never say anything else. I’m sure it’s an ‘insurance policy’ on the growers’ part, so … Continue reading ‘Plant in well-drained soil’ – the frustration of plant labels
In the USA, tomorrow is the start of Festival of Camellias month. I've only just heard of it, but sounds cool to me. In the UK, I think February should be Festival of Crocuses month. After a prolonged spell of downpours, showers, drizzle, raining cats and dogs, and deluges, it’s back this week to warnings … Continue reading February is Festival of Camellias month
If you are about to design a new garden, a new bed, or just thinking of filling in some gaps when winter ends, here are a few useful tips. Cover v smother If you have bare earth between shrubs and would rather it wasn’t all dandelions, the idea of ground-cover plants seems a good one. … Continue reading Garden design – some ‘do nots’ for your plot
The Twelve Days of Christmas gets reworked many ways. Here’s a version that may be appreciated by any gardener who grows fruit and veg. Although as I’ve had to cheat a little with the photos (to be sure of only using ones that have no copyright issues), I’ll have to ask purists to forgive me! … Continue reading A gardener’s Twelve Days of Christmas
December may not seem a natural time to plan a new garden, if you live in northern climes. But if you've just moved house or want to ring changes, it's a great time to sit down with a mug of coffee and a notebook – and plan before you plant Here are a few Down … Continue reading New garden advice – tis the season to plan before you plant
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever; Its loveliness increases.” The poet John Keats may have admired musk-rose blooms and trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon For simple sheep, but beauty can come at a cost to the natural environment. The first time I visited New Zealand, I was amazed at the … Continue reading Not everything in the garden is rosy – a piece on classy weeds
Alpine plants have to cope with extreme conditions, like the 'lunar landscape' of Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand. I can't help admiring their tenacity.
It’s that ‘in-between’ time of year at the moment. It’s 17ºC in the afternoon sun, I’ve just picked two dozen raspberries, the gazania are only just (finally!) coming into flower, and most trees are still green. But, there’s a nip in the air when the sun goes down, the days feel so much shorter, and … Continue reading Season of mellow fruitfulness – and lots of cobwebs
Orange isn't a colour I've ever chosen for a garden before, being more into blues and pinks. But I'm coming round it it. Summer returned in time for the bank (public) holiday weekend. And the brightest flowers in my garden at the moment are ones that cost me nothing. The cosmos tango were free with … Continue reading The garden is bright, the garden is orange – and pollinators love it
Soil type and landscaping are among the first things to consider in a new (to you) domestic garden.