Grow-How Tips for April

Things are becoming exciting in the garden now the days are warming up! I have some tips for you on hardening off plants, pruning evergreens, and making a sweetpea wigwam, among other things….. ARE THEY  ‘ARD ENOUGH?! If, like me, you have been madly germinating all sorts of veg and flower seeds inside on windowsills or greenhouses, then watering them, pricking them out, potting them on, pinching them out etc. etc., you’re probably getting fed up with them as well as running out of space! It is dreadfully tempting to think they are big and strong enough to go out...

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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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Bellevalia romana

My head tells me that I should be writing about one of the many spring flowering shrubs that are looking so stunning right now, but my heart tells me to go for this beautiful yet seldom seen bulb that is such an eye-catching plant despite being quite small (8”-10”), and one that fits seamlessly into the spring tapestry. Over the years I have bought many interesting plants from Marina Christopher (Phoenix Perennial Plants), and this is one of them; having just looked up the date of purchase in my garden book, I notice that this was back in 2006!...

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Grow-How Tips for Early April

April garden tasks are almost endless. Sowing seeds, dividing plants, deadheading daffodils and that’s just the start of it!  So let’s get going with sowing tender veg, thinning perennials and tidying up ferns: SENSIBLE SOWING It’s terribly easy to feel you must sow all your annual veg seeds as soon as February morphs into March, and I totally understand the sensation that you have to GET STARTED on everything.  But there is a very good reason for holding back on some of them. A few, like runner and French beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, winter squashes and marrows, go charging off after germination, and...

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