In early spring, from March onwards, there's a pop of colour under the hedgerows, in gardens and on sunny banks. Spring flowers emerge, despite wind, rain, sleet and ice. It’s what they do. The harbingers of better weather will appear, come what may. They are suited to just about all conditions, with the exception of complete flooding, and will raise their merry little faces – providing some much-needed cheer.
Let's start with the Primula family. They are one of the nation's best-loved spring flowers and certainly deserve to be. But do you know the difference between primrose, cowslip, oxslip, primula and polyanthus?Read more
At times of celebration with a loved one - maybe a birthday or Valentine’s Day, it's a great excuse to have fun thinking outside of the box. What you probably don’t want to buy for someone special is something that can be found everywhere. Not everyone is a lover of cut flowers, chocolates, wine, Champagne, teddy bears or underwear. So you might want to engage in a little imaginative thinking. But first, what's the heart symbol all about?Read more
No doubt you’ve heard the term ‘mycorrhizal fungi’, but do you know why you need it in your garden? Especially during autumn, winter and early spring when you might be considering doing some bare root planting.Read more
Health and wellbeing is important and plants can be our stress-busting friends
We all know that plants are good for us, but some are even better than others. Both indoors and out, there are plants that aid health and wellbeing. Indeed, the act of caring for plants also has a positive, stress busting effect on the soul.
Passion flowers! What an alluring name. We’ve probably all seen them, with those radiating, coloured filaments circling a central, exotic arena.
The flowers of 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.Read more
Create a refuge from the heat with these perfect plants
There’s a lot of razzmatazz out in the garden during the gloriously 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. Do you recognise the family of plants from which the unfurling greenery is emerging?
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!
What can you do about Japanese knotweed in your garden?
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? Japanese knotweed. These are two words that strike fear into the hearts of homeowners!
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.Read more
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.)Read more