1. Ban the bugs! These 9 plants will help to deter insects in your home

    The weather has cooled after the mini-heatwave in August, but those hot, sunny days promoted a rise in insect numbers. If you are still swatting flies and wasps in your home, you might like to consider a little biological control in the form of plants. Some flowers and foliage give off an aroma that bugs would rather avoid. Fill your windowsills and kitchens with pots or vases of the following in order to help deter insects.

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  2. Are you a summer or winter person? Tips to help you cope with your 'off' season

    Summer in the garden. What could be better… winter, perhaps?

    The long days of summer bring a relaxed air of warmth that settles over homes like a drift of the most delicate silk organza. Outdoor life is woven into daily routine, charming all but the most ardent winter-type of personality. Is there such a thing? Indeed there is – in fact a surprisingly high number of people prefer the colder seasons. Love the brightness of summer? Some people can't bear it.

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  3. These luscious plants help 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 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?

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  4. Four reasons why you need to plant a rose in April or May

    There are dozens of reasons why including roses in your planting scheme is a great idea, but here's just four to whet your appetite for these beautiful shrubs:

    Firstly, in springtime, it’s gratifying to bask in the colours of the growing season and there’s a vibrancy which is much-needed after what seems like a long winter. But the spring doesn't last forever and there's often a flowering lull in June. Good gardeners are masters at planning ahead, so now is the perfect time to plug the June gap!

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  5. Plants that can cope with extremes of weather. Living on the edge

    The right plant in the right place is the thing to do. Choose appropriate plants for a dry garden as it's possible for them to survive without extra water. And use plants to soak up water in flood and waterlogged zones.

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  6. 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. Read more
  7. 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. Read more
  8. 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? Read more
  9. 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! Read more
  10. It's high pollen count time, what can you do about hay fever and allergies?

    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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