You can tell that spring is on its way without even going out of the house if you have houseplants. Suddenly they seem to shake off their tired, dusty demeanour and show new promise, and if you’ve been longing for weeks to give them some attention, now is the time.
Houseplants are no different from those grown in the garden – they start into new life in spring, grow during the …Read More
March is when spring bulbs really come into their own. At the beginning of the month, late snowdrops and early crocuses herald the start of spring, and from then onwards there is a cascade of beauty right through until the alliums remind us that summer has arrived.
It is all too easy to forget spring bulbs after their performance is over, but to get the best from these invaluable plants, they …Read More
This is the Year of the Sweet Pea, so if you didn’t sow the seed in the autumn, now is the time to do it. Early in the month, sow in a greenhouse, conservatory, cold frame, or cool, light windowsill. Later on, if the weather has been mild, you can sow directly into the ground as you would with edible peas. If giving the plants an early start by starting …Read More
Are you intending to save money and grow your own bedding plants from seed this year? While many can be sown up to the middle of April and still give a good show, some types are fairly slow to germinate and grow on, and should be sown as soon as possible so they are ready for planting out in late May and early June. Pelargoniums (bedding geraniums), begonias and lobelia are …Read More
After a mere three days of unseasonably spring-like weather, suddenly everything in the garden is no longer lovely, but scruffy and screaming out for attention. The midwinter look is no longer fashionable.
So, what do I do first? Clear up the old stems of the Jerusalem and globe artichokes and asparagus, untwine the dead stems from the hop supports and rake up – again – last winter’s leaves that blow out …Read More
We spend a lot of time (and money) landscaping the garden, but when it comes to the patio, it can be a pretty bleak and utilitarian feature. Attractive furniture helps a lot to improve its appearance, but, above all, some decent containers of plants will lift it from the mundane to the stylish. Bedding plants are a quick and easy option, but if you haven’t time for a twice-yearly re-plant, …Read More
February fill-dyke – either black or white, so the saying goes, and it’s true that this month can be a very wet one. But with winter rains already well above average, and last summer being one of the wettest on record, any more rain will only contribute to the already saturated condition of soils in most areas so it’s a good idea to start taking steps now to improve drainage …Read More
I confess I always heave a sigh of relief when the prolonged disruptions of Christmas are safely behind us for another ten months or so, and I don’t make New Resolutions as such, but this year there is going to be one change to my gardening practices.
For years I have convinced myself that, where we live, at any rate, with potatoes at around £4 – £5 for a 25kg bag, …Read More
You are unlikely to find too many brightly-coloured, showy blooms at this time of year, but there are still plenty of shrubs to cheer up the season with more delicate flowers, and amazingly, so many of them have a sweet fragrance that can take you by surprise as you walk round the garden.
The pink-blossomed Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ often starts flowering before the leaves turn yellow and fall in November, …Read More
I’m beginning to sound like my mother in assuring everyone that after the 21st of this month, everything will be on the up – the days are drawing out, and all that. This morning it wasn’t raining, so I had a wander round the garden, and, to be honest, even I with a long gardening history behind me, was surprised at just how much is going on.
Daffodil leaves are already …Read More