Grow-How Tips for Early November

November brings a real winter chill, and you may catch the scent of bonfires in the air as mistletoe and holly berries ripen in the trees. Here are some gardening tasks to keep you warm before you dive indoors for a heartening bowl of soup……….. TOO TOO TULIPS! November is the best time to plant tulip bulbs. The soil is now much cooler than in the early autumn and this lowering of the temperature reduces the risk of your bulbs developing the fungal disease called Tulip Fire. I have found that only species tulips like T.sylvestris, sprengeri or acuminata...

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Grow-How Tips for October

The lovely autumn leaves are starting to flutter and fall, and it’s no longer possible to ignore the shortening of the days now – our wonderful summer has come to an end at last, and we gardeners must think about winter-protection, as well as planning for next year, even while we are savouring the gorgeous colours and scents of autumn. CUTTING BACK The usual time for pruning shrubs like Lavatera, Buddleia and bush roses is early spring, and I will still be doing that during March next year.  But these plants can become big leggy bushes by the end of...

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Grow-How Tips for Early October

Oh dear! Summer’s definitely over now and we must bravely face the oncoming winter weather. The urgency has seeped out of the garden tasks, but there are still some jobs that can be done now, while we plan how to make our gardens EVEN better next year!… LOVE ME TENDER Those tender perennials that have been performing so well in our pots and containers all summer can yield us some easy cutting material now, which will provide us with lots of free strong plants for next year. And what’s more, they will take up a lot less space on your...

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Grow-How Tips for September

We’ve been lucky enough to stay on in Normandy for longer than other summers (oh how I’m loving retirement!), but the climate isn’t very different from most of England. It’s been windy here too admittedly, but nothing like this week’s damaging gales in Scotland (sorry to hear about that, Caroline). Our big pond is very low, though, and the garden is crying out for a few day’s solid rain.  Still, let’s get on with a few tasks while we are waiting for that to happen……. STUDYING DIVISION AND MULTIPLICATION I could never make head nor tail of these topics in maths at school...

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