Lilies, tree-shaping and tool-sharpening – tips for December

How to plant lily bulbs and how to crown-lift evergreen trees, as well as get some soul-improving tool maintenance done – these are the tasks I’m covering this week.  So take a break from the hectic Christmas shopping and menu-planning, and escape into the garden for a bit….   LOVELY LILIES FOR YOU If the ground isn’t frozen, now is a good time to plant some lilies in a sunny place (though it’s even better if their roots are in shade, and their heads are in the sun), to bring beauty and scent next year. First of all, don’t buy...

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Hardwood cuttings and hellebores – Grow-how Tips For December

There are some easy and calming garden tasks such as taking hardwood cuttings, tidying hellebores and pruning apple-trees that will provide a short escape from the mad and panicky festive fray that is now upon us,  and this is how to do them: HARDWOOD CUTTINGS Here is a very satisfying and simple way to make more of your favourite shrubs. You do need a bit of patience because these cuttings are unlikely to create a decent root system in less than a year, but honestly, it’s a doddle. Oh my goodness, there are SO many candidates for your attention: for example,...

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Grow-How Tips for November

Let’s be honest – once we’re deep into November, there is less temptation to get down and dirty in the garden. But if you wrap up warm and step out there, I can assure you that you will find satisfying jobs that will give you more of a cosy glow than tidying the crockery cupboard or watching daytime telly.  Here are a few ideas to get you started: PLANTING UP A WINTER POT Just because the summer razzmatazz is over, it doesn’t mean you can’t have some vivid colour by your door to cheer you through the cold months. There...

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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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