Oak Tree

The ‘Green’ Gardener part 2

Indigenous wildflowers are vital to the ecology of an area, not just for their attractive appearance, but because they are host plants to many species of butterfly and moth. It is not easy to give over all or part of your garden to their cultivation though, as you will often see recommended. There is much more to growing wildflowers than scattering a few packets of seed or allowing the weeds …Read More

The ‘Green’ Gardener

It cannot have escaped your notice that ‘environmentally friendly’ is the phrase of the moment. Green is the ‘in’ colour, whether it be in relationship to cleaning products, constructional materials or horticulture.
Nowhere has this desire for a greener, more pleasant land had more effect than on the world of gardening. Most people are more aware of potential damage to the environment and are anxious for remedies causing as little harm …Read More

The Water Saving Garden part 2

If seeing your lawn turn straw-like every time the temperature rises and rainfall drops off worries you, you may be happier replacing it with gravel or paving. Paving a sunny spot will make the area even hotter, and this will have an effect on the plants you choose in the vicinity. If you cannot live without a lawn, a very high-grade mix will usually recover better after drought than an …Read More

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In Due Season – November

This is the month of clearing and planting. In all parts of the garden, move spent plantings and crops and compost or burn. Cut-down dead perennials and shred the prunings. Sweep up and collect leaves.
Many gardeners prefer to do the bulk of their rose pruning this month and in all but the very coldest parts of the country, if you want to leave the garden as tidy as possible for …Read More

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Suitable plants for container planting

Shrubs for permanent planting in medium and large tubs

Top fruit on dwarfing rootstocks. Not very windy sites.
Small acer (maple) species. Not very windy sites.
Aucuba (spotted laurel).
Bay {Laurus nobilis).
Berberis (barberry).
Camellias. Cool sites, ericaceous compost and lime-free water needed, not for exposed positions.
Ceanothus (Californian lilac). Not very windy sites.
Choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom). Not very windy sites.
Cistus (sun rose). Not very windy sites.
Cotoneaster.
Daphne. Not cold or windy sites.
Elaeagnus (oleaster).
Escallonia. Not cold sites.
Euonymus …Read More

How to plant up tubs, troughs and other containers (including solid hanging baskets and pots)

If you are only using your container for a temporary display — for example, summer bedding and winter/spring bedding (not hanging pots for the latter), a good soil-less compost will be quite adequate. In a reasonably large tub, or whatever, you can usually get two consecutive plantings from one fill-up of compost — say, a spring bedding scheme of wallflowers and bulbs followed by a summer one of geraniums, French …Read More

Wall Containers

Wall containers

Again, there is a wide choice available and while it is possible to improvise by screwing or suspending plastic food containers and the like on the wall, much more of the receptacle can be seen than in the case of those which stand on the ground, and improvised ones can look rather shoddy so it is perhaps better not to spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar.

Containers suitable for …Read More

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Free standing containers

In theory, as long as a thing is capable of holding a reasonable amount of compost, you can grow something in it, and you do not have to spend a lot of money on something specifically designed for the purpose. Here are a few ideas for improvised containers:

Plastic and metal ice cream and other large catering containers

These are not suitable for using outside in winter because frost can penetrate easily, …Read More

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The Invisible Garden continued

Mobile homes
Some sites allocate a small amount of garden per unit, but if the site owner or local authority prefers the public open-plan approach to the overall landscaping, there is usually still enough space around the home – on the paths, sitting-out areas, etc., to grow a wide range of plants in containers. Some mobile home manufacturers actually incorporate window boxes or other planting areas into their designs. The walls …Read More

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The Invisible Garden

Unless you are an obsessive plantsman, or want to spend every waking minute in an intimate relationship with the soil — and if you are, you would not have needed this blog in the first place — there is no need to feel deprived if you have, or intend to have, a home with no garden in the accepted sense.
As living space in the twentieth century has become increasingly at …Read More