Going native to help our butterflies

We all want to encourage pollinating insects into our garden but how can we achieve this? Butterflies and moths are challenging as they have a two-stage life cycle, caterpillar and winged adult, whereas bees rear their young themselves so we need only to worry about feeding the grown ups. So I am leaving Elaine the simpler task of making recommendations on which are the best nectar plants, whereas I will take on the more intellectually rigourous topic of larval foodplants, (don’t think Caroline has moved on from her childhood obsession with stag beetles so goodness knows what her insect...

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Cherry blossom:What do you think?

It’s spring so which blossom is best? Some people swoon over cherry blossom but personally I wouldn’t give a cherry tree house room in my garden. Having to put up with its coarse leaves and those irritating horizontal circles round its bark all year round just for a week of some sycophantic pink froth of petals which it thinks justifies its existence. Tim once planted an unauthorised wild cherry next to our garage which grew into a monster, sending out its malign suckers to infiltrate every plant in a 10 metre radius. He’s been in the doghouse ever since. No,...

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So which primrose should you choose?

March is THE month to buy new primroses. The Primula genus is complex but luckily you’re starting with the most knowledgeable Growbag sister who can guide you through your choices. Lets start with the different flower forms; primroses can be single, double, held aloft on a elongated stem as a polyanthus, or there can be whorls of flowers on a single stem as in the candelabra types. Then there are the different species, some of which are native to the British Isles, and some which come from other countries but, given the right conditions, can be persuaded to grow here....

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Ten veg worth growing

Which veg are worth growing because they are so much tastier than anything you can ever buy?  I asked myself this as I am about to set up a garden veg club at work and need some star performers to wow my colleagues. My two sisters will be horrified that I have been put in charge of this project; true, I have never actually grown a vegetable in my life (that’s what Tim is for) but if E and C can make a decent fist of it – how hard can it be?’ Radish. We need some early success...

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