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  • Why do we like plants more than we used to?

    Where and why do people buy plants?

    It is estimated that around two thirds of adults living in the UK pay a visit to a garden centre to buy plants, every year. For the majority, this is viewed as a pleasurable and relaxing outing. It might also involve a stop-off at the on-site café, if there is one. Therefore, a garden centre visit is a generally a leisure or lifestyle choice. Those wanting to buy plants in large numbers for specific purposes will normally purchase directly from the grower or trade nursery. But now, more than 70 per cent of the population prefer to shop online. It saves them the physical travel to a retail outlet. But does this shopping habit encompass plants too? Continue reading

  • Why is indoor gardening good for you?

    How to cope with dark evenings and why indoor gardening is good for you. 

    The clocks are about to turn, the fires can be lit and it’s time to enjoy cosy evenings indoors rather than out. There’s no reason to abandon your outdoor space, however. There are plenty of ways in which to enjoy indoor gardening whilst still appreciating your autumn and winter garden on the other side of the window pane. One of the most rewarding things you can do is to give yourself the visual treat of a little lighting in the garden. You don’t want to flood the space with artificial brightness, however. This disturbs the natural world and confuses wildlife.

    How to light your garden

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  • Which ornamental grasses are right for my garden?

    Grasses: 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 the moment. In fact, their moment lasts a long time. 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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  • The best bulbs to plant in autumn, here's a recipe for spring flowering success

    Enjoy our recipe for spring flowering success  - here's our top six bulbs to plant now

    The long, hot summer is gradually fading away, making September and October the perfect time of year to plan a spring flowering display. There's just one simple rule to follow:  plant bountiful bulbs! Bulbs are now available just about everywhere and they present an uplifting opportunity to think about new beginnings. Those spherical powerhouses will establish themselves in your warm soil, ready to burst into new life as soon as the season dictates.
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  • Oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus fruits, can you grow them here in the UK?

    A zest for citrus fruit, how easily do oranges, lemons and limes grow in the UK? 

    Who would have thought that oranges, lemons and other citrus plants would grow so well in the UK? There’s something amazing about the sight of fresh, vibrant fruits growing boldly on even small sized plants. Grapefruits, particularly, are a sight to behold, weighing down small branches with seemingly ridiculous comedy.
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  • Plants to suit your zodiac star sign. Which one are you?

    Zodiac plants - choose the right plant for your astrological star sign!

    Have you ever thought about how your star sign might be represented by a plant? Many people believe that the signs of the zodiac have a direct influence on the personality of those who are born under certain stars. Choose your plant to fit your personality and bring harmony into your life! Here are some suggestions from Perfect Plants:
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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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  • 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

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