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Perfect Plants

  • Plants that can cope with extremes of weather

    Living on the edge: trees and shrubs to suit extremes of weather

    The warm summer weather hasn’t been easy for plants. They have made it perfectly clear that they are suffering. It takes only a little imagination to hear them calling for water as they reach out with wilting foliage fingers. Many have collapsed before the kind man with the watering can has noticed.

    annuals, plants, flowers, containers, pots, watering, drought, wheelbarrow, robertsbridge, garden, gardening, hosepipe, perfectplants.co.uk, The annual flowers placed lovingly into wheelbarrows outside a railway station look gorgeous, but they are rather labour-intensive to maintain during hot weather.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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?

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  • 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.
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  • Warm weather and water in the garden

    Perfect partners: warm weather and water in the garden. Why have a pond?

    When the sun’s shining we are all drawn naturally to water. Most people can’t resist dipping fingers into a cool pond and the sound of trickling and sprinkling attract people like a magnet. There’s a practical side to adding a pond to a garden too. Water, particularly if it’s moving, cools the air around it. Tempted to add a pond to your garden? DO IT!
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  • Do trees eat bicycles?

    Do trees eat bicycles, fences and any old iron?

    Well yes, and no! Trees frequently grow around objects, the most common of which are metal fences. The living tree has the most amazing capacity for self-repair and it will simply incorporate foreign objects into its structure. This act of edaphoecotropism, as it is called, is not harmful to the tree. The living tissue of the tree itself simply flows around an object and engulfs it. In so doing, the tree binds itself to the item and the connection actually becomes stronger as time passes. If you were to carve back the tree, you would find that the item inside will still be perfectly formed, not eaten but merely ‘consumed’! Continue reading

  • It's high pollen count time, what can you do about hay fever and allergies?

    Do you suffer from allergies such as hay fever or asthma?

    You can’t hide from seasonal pollen. It’s a plant’s method of fertilisation and without it, many will die out. Around one fifth of the UK population has some sort of allergy or intolerance and a reaction to pollen is one of the most common problems. Hay fever; as many sufferers know, is more than just an irritation. It can cause numerous debilitating effects including sneezing, blocked nose, watery eyes, lethargy, headaches, sore throat, coughing and even asthma. There's no doubt that allergies pose a big problem for sufferers.
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  • Ignore granny at your peril! Folklore can be better than science in your garden

    Garden lore: truth or fiction?

    The best nature and garden knowledge, some say, is that which is handed down from generation to generation. Garden folklore might not be the most scientific, but much of it has been tried and tested out in the fields and gardens over time. Since the Egyptians cultivated plants that they collected from Europe, in fact. There are folklore solutions to age-old problems that you might not find in an official guide. Sometimes, listening to granny gives you wisdom!

    Here’s a round-up of useful folklore, tips and thoughts that you might want to put into practice.
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  • Here's 12 simple ideas for your summer garden

    12 ideas for June and the summer garden

    Glorious June! With it comes the desire to make the most of the garden during all those long, pleasurable daylight hours. Whatever the weather, there’s no getting away from the fact that this magical month plays host to the longest day on 21st of the month, which can be viewed as the start of summer time. What’s not to love about balmy light evenings, fresh, colourful perennials, lush lawns and apples forming on the fruit trees?
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