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Perfect Plants

  • What do you know about passion flowers?

    We’ve probably all seen passion flowers. They have a curious structure of radiating, coloured filaments circling a central, exotic arena. The flowers on Passiflora have a 3-D design. Nature is a clever beast and this flower guides pollinators to the nectaries. Native to  tropical America, pollinators include bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and moths. Here in the UK, these flowering beauties have to rely on insects, but they still provide an amazing spectacle.
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  • Luscious plants to keep you cool, what are they?

    Create a refuge from the heat with these perfect plants

    There’s a lot of razzmatazz out in the garden during these glorious long days of summer. But when temperatures soar, keeping cool suddenly feels more desirable. Plants are amazing beasts that have the ability to cool the air around them. This applies both indoors and out.
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  • How to identify a plant in 10 easy steps

    Simple plant identification , everyone can do it!

    We’ve all been there and done that. A plant that you know but just can’t remember its name. A familiar leaf or flower that you want to be able to reference by a title. Sometimes it’s on the tip of your tongue and other occasions you’ve discovered the name but then forgotten. Wise friends are always useful people to be with, when you are visiting gardens. But few plant names stick in the brain when they have been provided so effortlessly. So there’s no time like the present to take control of your plant word power!
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  • Don't take offence at a fence: do this one, simple thing...

    Everyone needs boundaries 

    Is there anything appealing about a standard, timber fence? Close-boarded, featheredge, palisade, waney edged, overlap… a fence’s purpose is to dictate a boundary and to provide some sort of screening and security. It’s just about essential in every garden, so the utmost respect should be shown to fencing specialists!

    But how does an orange-toned vertical collection of boards sound to you? Probably about as good as it looks. So let's do something about it...

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  • What to do with bird babies, fledglings in the garden

    Do these baby birds need your help?

    It’s part of the summer scene: parents and babies outdoors enjoying the weather. Human babies and small children need to be supervised at all times, but if you’re an animal such as a bird, a rabbit, a fox or a deer fawn, you have nature as your guide. It’s entirely natural for bird babies to fledge, i.e. to leave their nest once they are fully feathered, then learn to fly and survive in the big open world. What they don’t usually need is human intervention. This is sometimes difficult. You find a fledgling in the garden, hopping around and looking vulnerable. It’s tempting to interfere. Continue reading

  • How to deal with Japanese knotweed in your garden

    Japanese knotweed, is it as bad as you think?

    Who would have thought that the presence of a humble plant could affect house prices and sales? When it comes to Japanese knotweed, it seems that everyone fears this beast. But is its reputation well-deserved or are we over-reacting? Continue reading

  • Four fun ways to entice kids out into the garden for National Children’s Gardening Week

    Simple ideas for kids during National Children's Gardening Week, 25 May to 2 June!

    School holidays!  It's that glorious time of year when the space at home can be extended outdoors. But here in the 21st century there's always going to be competition. The Internet beckons with its hugely addictive attraction. Why we all find it so thrilling is a bit of a mystery, but everyone from tots to teenagers seem unable to resist the lure of a screen. This is why we need to provide even greater inspiration and adventure. Here's how to do it with the kids:

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  • 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.

    baroque style garden very posh! Your garden probably looks nothing like this baroque-style!
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  • The best flowering perennials and shrubs for spring and early summer gardens

    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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  • Five easy vegetables to grow in your kitchen garden

     Easy edibles

    So here we are in May already, the most glorious growing month of the year! If you are new to the idea of pleasurable gardening, there’s one thing to remember: it’s never too late to learn. Dabbling in soil can be enjoyed by toddlers through to centenarians. It’s known to be good for the mind and body, so if you’ve rarely tried growing things in your past there’s good reason to start growing edibles now! Continue reading

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