Houseplant for the month of October – Polyscias

Polyscias is a robust and easy to grow houseplant. Originally from the tropical rainforests in India. Isn’t it great to have a down-to-earth plant? This houseplant of the month has no understanding of why other plants have a need to be placed in the light and on display. They like light but not the midday sun so for them the background is fine and as they thrive well in a shadier …Read More

Plants to grow

You can grow just about everything in a greenhouse, providing you can give the conditions that suit the plants. The cold (unheated) greenhouse. This has no heat as a matter of course, though some temporary heating may have to be provided in exceptionally cold weather. The simplest uses to which it can be put are those of a cold frame, but there is a lot more besides that you can do. …Read More

Siting the greenhouse

Siting the greenhouse

Greenhouses are usually supplied with a plinth of the same material they are constructed with and this can be placed straight on to the earth or concrete where the house is to be erected, or, preferably, put on to a foundation and dwarf wall of bricks or concrete.
It is really a matter of personal preference whether you decide to concrete or pave the whole floor or leave borders down one …Read More


Heating and Watering a Greenhouse


If you decide to have heat in the greenhouse itself, and not just in propagating frames inside, you have several choices available. Natural gas, domestic fuel oil, and solid fuel heating are really only suitable for larger structures and work with water pipes in a similar way to central heating in the home.
Paraffin stoves are perhaps the easiest and cheapest forms of free-standing heaters and can vary from the very …Read More

Cold Frames

Cold frames

These are usually low structures, about 30 in. (750 mm) tall at the highest, covered with glass, horticultural plastic or polythene, but vertical ones which can be converted to tomato houses are also available. The walls can either be of transparent material, in the case of a low frame, or solid. The clear top of the frame (or front of a vertical one) is removable or openable and solid walls …Read More

Cloches - Gardening


These come in many shapes and sizes. Glass panes and clips are simple and can be dismantled for storage, but the glass is easily broken. Rigid plastic sheeting may be used instead but must be handled carefully, as it can scratch, which will eventually reduce light transmission.
Polythene sheet and wire hoops (tunnel cloches) are the most useful for covering long stretches. The materials are inexpensive but the polythene soon deteriorates and …Read More


In due season – September

The arrival of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness means that if you’ve been taking a bit of time off to enjoy yourself, you really ought to be easing yourself back into something of a gardening routine.

The ornamental garden. Continue to plant bulbs, biennial bedding plants and start planting lilies, peonies and red hot pokers. Many other herbaceous subjects can be planted this month, and early-flowering ones divided and …Read More

Bee hard at work

Butterfly and Bee Plants

Have you taken part in this year’s National Garden Butterfly Census? A great activity to get children involved with. The survey is aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment, it is really important to take some time out to think what plants you want to have in the garden next year, which will attract these insects!
We have chosen 5 top butterfly and top 5 bee plants especially …Read More

Fruit pests and diseases

Fruit pests and diseases

A whole book could be written on this subject alone. The problems that plague all types of fruit are so numerous and so likely to occur that it is better to take regular action before the trouble starts. If you use approved and recommended chemicals, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, the fruit should be quite safe to eat. Apart from viruses, which generally show up as distorted or mottled leaves …Read More


Other fruit

The two most often encountered fruits which do not fit the general categories are figs and grapes. Figs are hardy but need shelter and warmth if the fruit is to ripen. They are best trained fanwise against a wall, and pruning consists of removing unwanted, badly placed, diseased and dying wood in March. The embryo fruit is produced at the tips of well ripened growths made the previous summer, and it …Read More