1. Keep cool in the garden and seek out the shade

    Head for the shade during sizzling summer days

    There are many ways to try keeping cool during hot, dry and sunny weather. Some are obvious and others, less so. Garden umbrellas are probably the first line of defence. Put up several before the sun rises, and not only will the shade provide a mini-refuge, but the air flow around the umbrella will create a little breeze too. You don’t need a fancy stand, some garden parasols, such as the Eazy Shade from Cave Innovations, come with multi-function clips and clamps so that they can attach to chairs and tables. Read more
  2. Horseflies, mosquitoes and things that bite in the garden. Help!

    No flies on me (normally), but how can I keep horseflies away?

    The hot, dry summer provides ideal conditions for many things. Some plants love the weather, including cacti; succulents; alpines; ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantea; Agarves; Bougainvillea; Portulaca; Oleander; poppy; lavender and most silvery or furry-leafed plants. Read more
  3. 12 ways to plug the summer flowering gap

    Why is your garden bare, dry and jaded? Here's some tips to perk up your plot in July and August

    As much as gardeners tend to love summer (because they can spend all those luscious daylight hours outdoors), the time is approaching when garden beauty starts to dwindle.  Many spaces begin to look barren, with dry soils and parched plants without much in the way of colour. What can you do this month to perk up your plot? Read more
  4. We are all in love with cacti! What's going on in the world of prickly beasts

    Why are cactus plants so popular?

    Never, before now, has there been such a strong following of all things ugly, prickly, statuesque and, well, weird, in terms of house plants. It seems that we just can’t get enough of cacti. Why? You can’t stroke or hug them without a little fear; you would be wise not to brush against them; they can poke you in the eye and leave little prickles in your fingers. They come in blobs; towering spires; squat, dumpy mounds; neat little droplets; grotesque, monster shapes and more. Read more