1. How to enjoy your 'normal' garden rather than wish for a Chelsea Flower Show spectacle

    Out of reach for most: the expense of a garden makeover

    During RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it’s both likely and understandable that the majority of people either visiting or watching the show won’t ever own a garden that could be viewed as anywhere near similar to the gardens on display. This could feel a bit depressing for many who would like to emulate the sights they enjoy at Chelsea. Few people have enough funds to redevelop their plots to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Main Avenue gardens at Chelsea can easily cost £250,000. For a garden that lasts barely a week.

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  2. Pick of the best flowering perennials and shrubs for spring and early summer

    Fill it with flowers!

    There’s no shortage of blooms at this time of year, and with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show looming (commencing 21 May), focus is firmly on flowers in the garden during this wonderful season. But there are many people who look wistfully from the side-lines, wondering why their own gardens aren’t showing such splendour. So let’s take a look at the best flowering shrubs and perennials for a marvellous May. If you set yourself a target to plant one specimen each month, choosing something that flowers in that particular month, your garden would gradually fill with flowering interest throughout the year.

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  3. HOORAY for Heucheras, the groundcover plants with pizzazz!

    Groundcover needn't be boring

    Heuchera are the eye-candy of the low-level planting storey and these stunners have enjoyed a gradual rise in the popularity stakes over the last few years. There are now very few gardens that haven’t managed to find room for this colourful foliage plant. It’s not difficult to see why, because Heucheras are capable of providing year-round colour and low-level interest. (Meaning a spectacle close to the ground rather than only mildly exciting.)

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  4. Once upon a garden - a story of everyday town folk who move house

    Once upon a time there was a modern house with a rectangular garden

    One day, during winter, new owners moved into the property and they took many days, weeks and months to decorate; put up shelves, purchase new furniture and technology and play with soft furnishings like children with Barbie dolls. When visitors came to the house, they were taken into many different rooms. “What do you think of the colour; the style; the ornaments; the furniture?” asked the owners? They drank tea (and sometimes wine or beer, depending on the time of day and the mode of transport). 

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  5. 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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  6. 3 easy steps to the 'no dig method' of gardening and why it can work for you

    The 'no dig method' of gardening is a growing trend, try it before the main vegetable planting season arrives

    So, here we are, more than three quarters of the way through January already. Grow your own enthusiasts and those with an allotment will already be champing at the bit, eager to start sowing and growing. Let’s look at what you can be getting on with right now. It’s a great month for preparing the plot. For some, this means digging. This helps to bury weeds and loosen the soil. Digging the vegetable garden or allotment in order to prepare for spring  growing and sowing is the traditional way to go about things, but with the benefit of ecological understanding together with science, it might not be necessary.

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  7. How realistic are New Year's Resolutions? Here's 5 top tips for success.

    How many people break their New Year's Resolutions?

    Are we setting ourselves up for failure when we make those New Year’s Resolutions? It seems that around 88% of people fail to achieve their goals, and by the end of February a high proportion can’t even remember what they resolved to change in their lives.  Here are the reasons why we do it and five top tips for success:

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  8. Six of nature's berry best baubles to brighten up the winter

    Christmas is about to take centre stage andit's good for the soul to rejoice in positive sights, sounds and celebrations. So let's not forget those that are taking place all around, unaided by LEDs. Nature has its own #festivedisplay which doesn’t need to cycle through various flashy patterns in order to impress. What’s more, berried bushes are for life, not just for Christmas. There are many wild creatures that depend upon the feast during deepest, darkest December.

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  9. A recipe for success as we enter the gentle downhill slope into Christmas

    Darkness has descended; winter is here.  Burying your head in the sand won't help. Your funds will shortly seep away like rainwater into a freshly-dug ditch. But this is a guide to help you start the ball rolling. A garden-lover's kick-start - how to enjoy the festive season starts here:

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  10. Which ornamental grasses are right for my garden?

    Ornamental grasses, why are they the swaying stars of the autumn border

    Every season brings its own garden wonders and, apart from the awe-inspiring colour of leaves, ornamental grasses are the stars of early autumn. Grass seed heads and flower heads look beautiful for months. They are more durable than most flowers and certainly delight the senses for a longer period of time than the beautiful show of autumn foliage. But did you realise that there are several different categories of ornamental grasses? Each grows into a form that is distinctly different from others. Some are more suitable for gardens than others, especially small spaces.

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