The Marmite plant

Hydrangeas: love them or loathe them? Not always an easy question for me to answer. The very word conjures up images of fusty pom-poms of flowers in a dirty, granny-knicker pink. But recently I’ve begun to see one hydrangea in particular in a new light…

When I moved into my new house back last August, there were just two plants in the garden. One was an enormous dicentra (bleeding heart, now …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Q & A Time with our Gardening Expert Gareth Richards

Q: by Su Brandon – I have some guttering that I want to plant up. I want trailing plants but don’t know which are good for shallow soil.
A: Hi Su – lucky for you there are lots of trailing plants which do well in not much soil. Aubretia (sometimes called rock cress) will do well in a sunny spot and give you great masses of spring flowers. If your guttering …Read More

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The Chelsea Flower Show

An Enjoyable Day at Chelsea Flower Show! Last year Adrian went off to the Chelsea Flower Show and left me behind – this year it was the reverse, I went off and left Adrian behind. My friend Liz and myself both being keen gardeners were very excited about the day ahead of us until we were travelling through London in a coach with the weather looking anything but friendly. Thunder above us, …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 28-03-14

Q: Samantha Carmichael – Hydrangea that never flowers – help! Where do I clip it and when/is there anything I can do? One is three years old and the other is five. Thanks.
A: Hi Samantha – try giving your hydrangea a feed (universal feed, or a high potash fertiliser such as bonfire ash – have a look at this blog post for more info on feeding plants, and don’t prune it 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