We’ve got Tulip mania – Adrian and I love them and really wished we had planted more last autumn. We are spoilt for choice with just so many varieties in such a wide range of colours and shapes – all of which are a must for any style of garden. Even the leaves of some varieties are very eye-catching with contrasting stripes. And what we like about tulips is that …Read More
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
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
Q: Clare Madderson – Hi Spalding me again. I have 15 pots in my front garden, a lot are covered in moss etc, would it be best to put fresh soil in each of them to start again, and also the bulbs that are in there i.e snowdrops etc, can I just transfer them to the new soil? Thank you.
Hi Clare, yes, it’s generally best to use fresh compost in your …Read More
February may seem like a strange time to be thinking about growing fruit, but it’s actually the ideal moment to get going if you fancy a summer full of luscious juicy berries.
There are lots of reasons to grow your own fruit. First and foremost (for me, anyway) it’s about taste. Nothing, repeat, nothing prepares you for the first home-grown strawberry you taste, properly ripe and still warm from the sun. …Read More
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
Q: Susan Purse – I always have plenty of flowers on my rowan (chinese lace) but never any berries, any reason?
A: Hi Susan, Plants can sometimes fail to produce berries for a number of reasons. Late frosts can damage flowers and they’ll fail to set. If the weather is very dry after flowering time, the plant can sometimes abort the young berries, meaning you’ll get no display later in the season. …Read More
Q: Valerie Glover-Hackett – Although I’m a seasoned – and usually successful – gardener, I have two bet noirs. No matter how I try, I cannot seem to grow cucumbers and Buddleias. The former seems to contract all sorts of virus’ and other pests, usually resulting in their destruction. The Buddleias are a different matter – I’ve always planted and pruned according to my books on the subject. I’ve tried …Read More
Q: Mary Savva wrote – I have peonies – when do I get rid of the foliage as they have finished flowering?
A: I would leave the foliage intact. Peonies have fleshy roots that benefit from being fed by their leaves throughout the summer. Also, the foliage colours up attractively in the autumn, adding interest to the border. Once this has faded you can cut the leaves down nearly to ground …Read More