1. The story of leylandii, are these conifers friend or foe?

    Carefree conifers, should we love or hate this evergreen hedging and screening tree?

    Did you know that there are almost as many leylandii conifers in the UK as there are people? The numbers are estimated to be in the region of 55 million. That’s a lot of fuel to fire up hatred, but why do we love to despise this plant, which is correctly called x Cuprocyparis leylandii? It’s all about perception, but also size. People do tend to plant this tree inappropriately, then they neglect to keep them under control.

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  2. Is it time to think outside of the box, Buxus sempervirens?

    Box blight and box moth are devastating tiny hedges and stylish topiary. What can you do about it?

    Are there alternatives to box, the highly popular small-leaved evergreen, Buxus sempervirens? Not every case of so-called box blight is actually that. Did you know that Buxus sempervirens is also affected by another little demon called Box tree moth? It can defoliate the shrub quite quickly, and is often first noticed as fine, webbed strands within which the moth larvae feeds. They subsequently develop into hungry green caterpillars. buxus sempervirens, buxus, box, box hedging, topiary, box blight, box tree moth, box caterpillar, formal gardens, hedging, Buxus has been used for topiary and detailed hedging for centuries because its small evergreen foliage responds well to clipping. Read more
  3. Six reasons why you should LOVE ivy.

    Hedera is a humble ivy plant with so much to offer. Six reasons to LOVE this evergreen.

    Ivy is an unsung hero of the plant world that has so much to offer that it’s difficult to know where to start.
    1. This is a plant that can be used indoors and out.
    2. It’s as hardy as they come and can be used to climb, to trail, or as a groundcover.
    3. It’s great in shady places (even on a north-facing wall) and can be used equally successfully in sunny spots.
    4. It has many different forms, including variegated foliage in glorious tones of white, cream and yellow.
    5. What’s more, it excels at Christmas and in flower arranging and plant containers throughout the year.
    6. And it’s excellent for biodiversity and wildlife throughout the year.  

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  4. Cool Heuchera plants for a shady site: bright and beautiful in autumn and winter.

    Bright and beautiful Heucheras set shady spaces alight in all seasons

    Do you have spaces in your garden that are a problem when it comes to planting? Many of these might involve shade - particularly dry shade under trees. This is great! Every negative can be turned into a supreme positive if you look for it and this is where HEUCHERA take centre stage. The rosette-forming foliage plants are as bright and beautiful as any shrub or perennial with flowers. What's more, they can perform all year round too, making them a magnificent choice for so many sites. Heuchera can set your garden on fire if you let them.
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  5. Six fantastic ferns for the home. House plants extraordinaire!

    Six fantastic ferns for the home

    Ferns comes in all sorts of forms, from frilly and airy to glossy and structural. There’s a wide variety of ferns highly suitable for use as house plants. What’s more, these are excellent plants for filtering the air – being highly effective at removing toxins from the home and office.

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  6. Festive foliage for free! Gather your own Christmas wreaths and swags

    All things bright and beautiful. Free festive foliage decorations

    It’s just about time to deck the halls because the month of December is less than a week away. You will need to put 'decorations' near the top of the 'to do list'!  It is, of course, very easy to purchase ready-made door wreaths, rings and swags but you might be missing out on some fun! Stepping out to gather festive foliage really gets you in the mood for Christmas and it need not take as long as you might think.  There are dozens of plants that you can use for making Christmas decorations. In fact the gardens and hedgerows are teaming with twigs, leaves and berries that can all make Christmas bright and beautiful. You can harvest for free this festive season! Read more
  7. What do you know about tree ferns? These beauties are one of the oldest plants known to man.

    Have you been bitten by the tree fern bug yet?

    This bite isn’t something you might suffer from a nibbling plant pest, but an emotional desire to share part of a growing horticultural quirk. Tree ferns are rather amazing, elegant palm-like plants with huge fronds and they have become highly desirable. Why do we love tree ferns? Read more
  8. Box Blight: have you got it? What to do about buxus diseases

    Boxing clever, what can we do about Buxus blight and other diseases?

    Is there anyone who hasn’t yet been affected by box blight or any other problems resulting in Buxus becoming sick? You don’t have to look very far or particularly hard before noticing that the fungal diseases spreading around Buxus sempervirens is showing no signs of abating. In fact it’s unusual to see box that hasn’t been attacked by die-back or yellowing, especially topiary pieces and parterres. Read more