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  • Why you need a water feature in your garden. Six reasons to go with the flow

    Six reasons why you need a water feature in your garden – and in your life!

    Do you suffer from the worries of 21st century living? Mental or physical health problems; emotional stress; anxiety; high blood pressure or insomnia? Or perhaps you feel your life simply needs to tune into the calmness of nature? There are many reasons why water in the garden is a positive addition on many different levels, and not just in a 'cascade' sense!

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  • Five best herbs and vegetables for the kitchen garden

    Ready, steady, grow your own! Here’s five of the best for the kitchen garden

    So, the major growing season is upon us and danger of frost will soon be a thing of the past. There’s no time to waste down on the vegetable plot and the sooner you start growing, the faster your crops will be making their way to the kitchen table.

    Are you a newbie to kitchen garden vegetable growing? Here’s our selection of five easy crops that can be sown and grown now.
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  • Why you should love having a small garden

    Gardening in small spaces brings huge pleasure

    A small space isn't the gardening disadvantage that you might think! There are so many people who are put off from buying properties with tiny gardens or courtyards. Let's face it, most average modern houses  are set in small plots. But even the most enthusiastic of gardeners can gain great benefits compared to those with big gardens. So why should a small garden NOT curb your affection for a home?
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  • Peaches, nectarines and apricots: how to grow exotic fruit in the UK

    Can you grow your own exotic fruit such as peaches, apricots and nectarines in the UK?

    Thinking of planting a fruit tree? No doubt you'll consider an apple, plum or pear. But how about something more exotic?  Did you know that you can expect full sized fruit from even tiny, patio-sized fruit trees such as peach, nectarine and apricot?  It’s all about the variety of tree and the rootstock. Here's a simple guide to get you started, it's a lot easier than you might think.

     

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  • 10 of the best flowering cherry trees for spring in the UK

    So many different flowering cherry trees to choose from, but which one’s the best?

    April and May are the peak periods for tree blossom, during which time the majority of flowering, ornamental cherry trees will be covered in blousy blooms. But which is best? With so many to choose from, you might want to utilise the coveted Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit (AGM) to help you select. We’ve sorted ten of the best AGM ornamental cherries – one of which could come to a garden near you. After all, this is the perfect time in which to plant!

    Larger ornamental cherries

    Prunus avium 'Plena', Plena, wild cherry, cherry tree, ornamental cherry, flowering cherry, cherry, tree, blossom, spring blossom, flowers, spring, The ornamental strain of the wild cherry, Prunus avium 'Plena' has the most glorious white double flowers in spring. This is a tree that needs space.

    Got some space to fill? Consider Prunus avium ‘Plena’,  (above) which has double white glorious flowers in mid spring. This is the double-flowered variety of the wild cherry and it is a sight to behold once it wears its white mantle. It’s healthy and easy to grow. Give it space, however, as this tree has the potential to grow up to 20m tall.

    Prunus padus 'Watereri', Prunus padus, cherry tree, ornamental cherry, flowering cherry, cherry, tree, spring blossom, blossom, flowers, spring, garden, gardening, plant a tree, perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus padus 'Watereri' is also known as the bird cherry. It's a year-round tree for those wanting more than a one-season wonder.

    Prunus padus 'Watereri' is also known as the bird cherry. It’s not strictly what you might expect from an ornamental cherry, but equally as impressive. This is a medium tree, growing eventually to a height of up to 12m. It produces long plumes of white flowers which are almond-scented and loved by insects.  This is a useful parkland tree with good autumn colour so it has two-season appeal. Also known as Prunus ‘Grandiflora’.

    Prunus 'Kanzan', Prunus, cherry, cherry tree, flowering cherry, pink blossom, blossom, spring, flowers, tree, garden, gardening, perfectplants.co.uk, RHSAGM, rhs, choose a cherry tree, choose a flowering cherry, Prunus 'Kanzan' has massive pink appeal! Its pink double spring flowers appear in late April when it looks like candyfloss!

    Prunus 'Kanzan has wonderful deep pink, double flowers in late April (above) and this medium-sized tree can reach a height of up to 10m, with a similar spread. It's a popular choice for those looking for pink, fluffy clouds of blossom! In fact, this can be considered one of the most popular cherries because it is laden with blooms in spring. The bronze foliage appears afterwards and this turns orange in the autumn. A good tree for avenue planting or as a specimen tree.

    Medium flowering cherries

    Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram', pink blossom, flowering cherry, cherry tree, cherry, tree, blossom, spring flowers, flowers, gardens, gardening, rhsagm, plant a tree, Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram’ has deep pink single flowers which are loved by beneficial garden insects.

    Prunus 'Collingwood Ingram’ (above) has deep pink single flowers which are displayed in profusion during spring and are great for beneficial garden insects. It is a small to medium tree, growing to about 8m tall and has a neat, proportionate spread of about 4m. This tree forms a columnar, neat shape and it has bronzy spring foliage that also gives great autumn colour.

    Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ , Prunus, cherry tree, Rosea, ornamental cherry, blossom tree, spring blossom, blossom, tree, garden, gardening, RHSAGM, Perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ has an upright, vase-shaped form, despite the tree being part of the pendulous range of Prunus.

     

    Reaching a similar height is the graceful, pendulous form of Prunus pendula f. ascendens ‘Rosea’ (above). The branches have the most unusual upright form, despite this tree being part of the pendulous range of Prunus. The vase-shaped tree grows to around 8m with a similar spread.  The single, shell-pink flowers open from red buds in mid spring.

    Prunus 'Shirofugen', flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, cherry tree, cherry, tree, garden, gardening, blossom, spring blossom, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, A spreading small cherry tree, Prunus 'Shirofugen', has glorious double pink flowers.

    Some flowering cherry trees spread outwards more than they grow upwards and Prunus 'Shirofugen' (above) is one example of these.  It’s a glorious flowering cherry that matures as a small to medium sized tree. Its maximum height is around 8m, with a spread of 10m. So, it needs space to stretch out its branches. This will enable a great view of the pale pink double blossom. Beautiful.

    Prunus 'Ukon, ukon, prunus, cherry, tree, cherry tree, prunus cherry, blossom tree, blossom, flowers, white blossom, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, spring, garden, gardening, Prunus 'Ukon' has white, semi-double flowers with glorious magenta centres in spring.

    Another similarly shaped ornamental cherry is the fabulous Prunus 'Ukon' (above) with its white, semi-double flowers which have glorious magenta centres in spring. The flowering cherry tree grows to a small to medium height of up to 8m, with a spreading shape extending to about 10m.

    Diminutive ornamental cherries

    Need something a little smaller? There are many people who have small gardens or even courtyards and there's no reason why they shouldn't enjoy a blossom-fest too!

    Prunus 'Shogetsu', blushing bride, prunus, cherry tree, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, spring blossom, blossom tree, flowers, spring, prunus, cherry, tree, gardens, gardening, rhsagm, It's easy to see why this flowering cherry has the name of 'Blushing Bride'! More correctly, Prunus 'Shogetsu', is highly popular because of the blousy flowers, white blushed with pink.

    Consider Prunus ‘Shogetsu’ (above) which is also called ‘Blushing Bride’ because of its wonderful white double flowers which are blushed with pink. It grows to a height of around 5m, with a wider spread of up to 8m. It could create a rather charming canopy in a courtyard. Always consider the root growth, however. Raised beds provide an option for those without much space.

    Prunus 'Yoshino', Yoshino, Yoshino cherry, cherry tree, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, blossom tree, blossom, flowers, weeping tree, weeping, pendulous, cherry, prunus, tree, spring flowers, garden, gardening, rhsagm, perfectplants.co.uk, Prunus ‘Yoshino’ is often called the Yoshino cherry and also the weeping Yoshino. It's a rather fine, weeping tree with single white or very pale pink flowers.

    Then there’s Prunus ‘Yoshino’ (above), often called the Yoshino cherry and also the weeping Yoshino. It's a pendulous, weeping tree with single white or very pale pink flowers.  This small tree reaches a height of up to 5m. Ideal for a small space, you could even put a seat underneath in readiness for a shady retreat in summer!

    Prunus 'Pendula Rubra', Rubra, weeping cherry, small tree, cherry, cherry tree, prunus, flowering cherry, ornamental cherry, garden, gardening, rhsagm, weeping, pendulus, plant a tree, spring blossom, pink, blossom, blossom tree, perfectplants.co.uk, The small, weeping cherry, Prunus 'Pendula Rubra', has drooping branches and it reaches a maximum height of only 4m, with a similar spread. Ideal for even a courtyard and some people even manage to grow these trees in large pots.

    Smaller still is the tiny 'Pendula Rubra' (above), a drooping, flowering cherry which is diminutive in size, reaching a maximum height of only 4m, with a similar spread. Ideal for even a courtyard and some people even manage to grow these trees in large pots. The size can be contained with careful pruning. It produces lovely, single, deep pink flowers in spring which are a delight to insects as well as to the eye.

    DON'T DELAY! Plant your spring blossom tree now and you might still be able to enjoy the fluffy spring show!

    You can view even more flowering cherries here: Perfectplants.co.uk

  • Best flowers for spring, can you guess which wins the vote?

    Favourite spring flowers for garden lovers

    There are many icons of spring and most of us feel uplifted by the sight of daffodils raising their cheery faces towards the sunshine. Many of the flowers we see in March and April come from bulbs. But there are also some noteworthy perennials that  are stars at this time of year. Which species do you think wins the popularity vote?

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  • How to open your garden under the NGS National Garden Scheme

    Ever thought about opening your garden to the public? How to join the NGS open garden scheme.

    You don’t need a garden that looks like Hampton Court in order to open it up to the public. Your garden could be of interest to others, provided it is considered to be ‘worth visiting’ and to be exceptional in certain respects. The criteria for open gardens is ‘quality, character and interest’.  The National Garden Scheme (NGS) reputedly recommends that the garden needs to 'offer 45 minutes of interest to visitors'.

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  • It's never too late... or too early... to dip a toe into the allotment

    Ever fancied having an allotment? Why it's becoming a growing trend

    Have you ever fancied having an allotment? Now’s a great time to get involved in your local community growing area, should you be lucky enough to have one. It seems that ‘grow your own’ has enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past decade or so as people appreciate the value of organically-grown, top quality produce together with the enormous satisfaction that can be gained from the entire growing process.
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  • Six jobs to do in the garden now that meteorological spring has arrived!

    March has come bowling in 'like a lion' and temperatures are well down into the minus figures. HOWEVER, as soon as the Beast from the East has abated, there's not a moment to spare. Here are six garden tasks to attend to as soon as possible -  because we all know that the month can end 'like a lamb' and soaring temperatures will result in a fantastic growth spurt  outdoors.

    storm emma, snow, winter, storm, temperature, cold weather, spring, meteorological spring, uk weather, winter weather, snow showers, The first day of spring! Air temperatures are well into the minus figures across the UK, with the advancement of Storm Emma making it feel like Siberia

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  • Why you need to plant Clematis in early spring

    Clematis are the vertical stars of the garden and there's good reason why you need to plant them within the next two weeks

    Spring is Clematis time! These versatile climbers are bursting into growth and most are showing new shoots, even though you might not have noticed. Why is this the best time to plant some of these spectacular climbing plants? Continue reading

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