Grow-How Tips for Late April

Ooh, things in the garden are really starting to put a wiggle on, aren’t they! The soil is starting to warm up properly, and the jobs can pile up quickly unless you keep on top of them. Here are some suggestions for the next couple of weeks: DIVIDE AND RULE It might seem a little late, but I have always found that this is a really good time to divide clumps of perennials like geraniums, astrantias, epimediums etc. which have just started into vigorous growth, and will recover really quickly from being split to make new plants, if you keep them

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Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi – I want a magnolia

How can anyone not love a Magnolia? Their lavish flowers declare in their classy way that spring has really arrived in all its finery. People like Caroline might assume these celestial-looking beauties are all the same but it’s NOT TRUE and you must be careful to choose wisely. Most are deciduous (lose their leaves in winter), and bear their blossom before the leaves emerge, which lets you fully appreciate the satisfying form of the flowers. Magnolia soulangeana is the one commonly seen in suburban gardens – though, having been bewitched in the garden-centre, many people clearly failed to realise how

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On the hunt for magnolias

Every area of RHS Wisley garden in Surrey has  ‘its moment’ some time in the year so it was with great intent that I set off last Sunday to take my annual tour around Battleston Hill, principally to look at magnolias. Unsurprisingly for this spring, it was wet, but en route to Battleston Hill there were some enchanting cameos of little groups of plants glistening with raindrops, such as these charming little sanguinarias nestling by the wall beneath the alpine glasshouses. And then these trilliums with their leaves washed clean. We entered Battleston Hill from the top, through the collection of

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