Guest Blog – Protecting Plants from Frost

Just like myself, most gardeners worry about their plants when there is threat of frosts. Frost can damage, harm and kill crops. There are some things you can do though for protecting plants from frost.

Frost often happens when the night is still and clear, when air temperature is almost freezing. When temperature is almost freezing, the plant’s surface temperature has a tendency to dip below freezing point. Under this situation …Read More

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

Muck & Magic

I have a confession to make. As a ‘professional gardener’ I haven’t used good old-fashioned farmyard manure in years. No trailers of stinky muck have been deposited on the driveway, there have been no sorties to stables with a shovel.
Now, if you read old gardening books this would be something of a heresy. After all, I love growing vegetables and roses. Victorian gardeners used to order manure not by the …Read More


Spring Cleaning Your Garden

After a week’s holiday I strutted around the garden on Sunday like a horticultural Victor Meldrew. Having said that, the cries of “I don’t BELIEEEEVE IT!” were generally ones of happiness rather than exasperation and despair. Pots of crocus (the sublime ‘Zwanenburg Bronze’) that I thought had come up blind were flowering at full throttle, showing their deep gold and bronze faces to the spring sunshine. Broad beans on the …Read More

Roses – Pests and diseases

Roses – Pests and diseases

Fortunately, if the roses have been planted correctly in good soil in the right position, root troubles are mercifully few.

Holes in the leaves, are also produced by cockchafers and leaf-cutter bees, which take bites out of the edges. As well as capsid bug, flea beetle, caterpillar, pea and bean weevil and earwig.
Damaged flowers can be caused by chafer beetles, tortrix moths, capsids, aphids or thrips.
Marked leaves and damaged young growths …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

Uses for Roses

Uses for Roses

For formal bedding schemes. The beds are usually of simple geometric design — circles, squares etc., each bed containing just one variety, unless the bed is very large, when the roses can be planted in blocks of one colour. Hybrid teas, flori-bundas, patio roses and miniatures are most suitable here.
For informal beds and borders. Most types of rose can be used in this situation. There are a lot of arguments …Read More