Berry close-up

Grow your own…mistletoe

Mistletoe is a strange and mysterious plant. Growing high off the ground with no roots and remaining stubbornly green throughout the whole winter, its white berries shine out against a backdrop of sombre greys and browns. No wonder it had such an effect on our ancestors, giving rise to an abundance of myth and legend. It’s one of the few plants whose folklore nearly everyone knows – a kiss under …Read More


Herbs are the icing on the gardener’s cake. They’re that ‘little extra something’ that you don’t really need, but yet… they’re one of the types of plant that almost everyone tries to grow. After all, what would roast lamb be without mint sauce made from leaves that were growing in the garden not two hours ago? What would roast pork be without sage and onion lending their subtle depths of …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

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

Ornamental trees

Looking after established trees, shrubs and conifers

Ornamental trees will take some years to reach the size at which they can support themselves. Until then they should always be adequately staked. You must check the stake regularly for rotting and replace it immediately if necessary. At the same time, make sure no parts of the tree have started to rub on it. If you do see this happening, wrap the branch where it touches with hessian or …Read More

Planting trees, shrubs and conifers

Planting trees, shrubs and conifers

As with all plants, you can plant bare-root stock during the dormant winter period, weather permitting, and containerized plants all the year round, again providing the weather is suitable — do not plant during conditions of water-logging, frost or drought.
The same method is used as for any other garden plant  – well dug and prepared soil, plenty of rotted organic matter, and planting holes large enough to take the root …Read More

Using trees, shrubs and conifers in the garden

Using trees, shrubs and conifers in the garden

As specimens in paving, lawns, etc. Well shaped, suitable shrubs and trees and most conifers are very useful for this. Trees and conifers look quite nice either singly or in correctly spaced groups. Be careful with shrubs planted this way – they can sometimes look fussy and make a lot of work mowing and trimming round.
In ‘specialist’ beds and borders. Whether you fancy this is largely a personal matter. You …Read More

Trees, Shrubs and Conifers

Trees, Shrubs and Conifers

This group is the backbone of any garden design. Properly chosen for the particular spot, they are indispensable. In the wrong place, they are a disaster.

There is always something to see. Even bare branches can be attractive. Most conifers, many shrubs and some trees are evergreen. A lot have very colourful or variegated foliage, often in addition to flowers or ornamental fruit. Some trees and shrubs have coloured bark.
There is …Read More