Bat love

Poor old bats. No, I’m not talking about little old ladies who insist on going out shopping at lunchtime when you’re in a rush and paying for everything in the smallest change possible. They, quite frankly, can get lost. I’m talking pipistrelles, horseshoes, natterer’s and the other 14 different species of bat that we share our island with.


They (the furry sort) get a bad press. Being creatures of the night, …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 24-01-14

Q: Dorothy Fillery – I have a walnut tree in the garden that seems to have crumbling bark, a lot of dead wood and Ivy covering a lot of it. What can I do to help save it?

A: Hiya Dorothy, it’s difficult to answer this question without seeing your tree but I can offer you some general advice. If your tree is struggling, it’s best to remove the ivy from …Read More


Pruning Roses

Modern HT and floribunda roses produce the best flowers on young bushes. In pruning, you aim to encourage the production of young wood from the base of the plant, which left to itself, would eventually become an unhealthy and untidy tangle of old, diseased and dead wood, shortening its useful life considerably.
In addition, all roses benefit from the removal of very old, woody branches, those badly positioned, and dead tissue …Read More

Roses – After-care of new and established bushes

Roses – After-care of new and established bushes

Roses like a routine – mulching, pruning, feeding, deadheading, spraying. In addition they should be kept free of weeds. This is best done by hand, or light hoeing.
The subject of when to prune perhaps causes more argument between gardeners than any other garden practice. The autumn pruners (of whom I am one) say that unless you live in a very harsh environment, autumn pruning removes all unripe tissue liable to …Read More

Planting new roses continued

Standard hybrid teas, patios and floribundas are treated in the same way as their bush counterparts, the ‘base’ being the point at which the branches come out of the stem at the top.
(If you are planting containerized roses in full leaf, they will not require any pruning other than dead-heading until that autumn or the spring following.)
At this point, it is a good idea to soak the roots of dormant …Read More

Types of roses

Types of roses

Bush roses
These are roses of a bushy habit as opposed to ones which grow on a single stem. The term ‘bush’ usually applies to the bush form of miniature, hybrid tea and floribunda roses, but technically most shrub roses are ‘bushes’ too.

Standard roses
These are hybrid tea and floribunda roses budded on to a tall stock to form a ‘standard’. Miniature standards are budded on to a thinner and shorter stock. …Read More



Roses are still probably some of our most popular garden plants, although the attitude towards them has changed somewhat in the last decade. Hybrid tea and floribunda types have declined in favour, partly because of the skill required for pruning and partly because of the increasing popularity of the cottage garden which suits today’s more traditional architectural styles so well and which is better served by the less formal shrub, …Read More


Five tips for December – Gardening with Daphne Ledward

Five tips for December

Check all structures for wind damage.   The last few weeks have been exceptional in many parts of the country, and structures such as fences, stakes, pergolas and arches, particularly wooden ones, may have suffered.   Try to replace fences before they fall over completely and do more damage to the garden.   Knock in tree stakes that have worked loose and check all ties to make sure they …Read More