Preparing for the Chilly Season – Grow-How Tips for Early October

A real change in the air now as the garden takes on its autumn colours. There’s plenty to do as you pack away the outdoor furniture and make sure that your plants are ready to face the winter. Here are some ideas for tasks such as sowing Hardy Annuals and broad beans, laying a soil mulch, and taking hardwood cuttings – all the sorts of jobs that are usually done in the company of an inquisitive robin round here at this time of year…….. HARDY ANNUAL SEED-SOWING Plants from annual seeds can complete their life-cycle in one summer and...

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Tulips v trilliums- what’s your Brexit choice?

That glorious phrase ‘hope springs eternal’ lies at the heart of every gardener’s planning.  A tricky sentiment with the current  political shenanigans, but when the bulb catalogues come thudding on to the doormat ….oh boy! Your mind can go soaring again imagining sheets of glistening crocuses, pools of dancing daffodils, acres of bright tulips…… I have perfected a technique over the years for dealing with these luscious brochures – I wonder if you do something similar? I go through the catalogue once and tick everything I like the look of (usually hundreds of things).  Then I go through it again...

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Erigeron karvinskianus AGM – Mexican fleabane

Everyone loves a daisy, but for me, this is the sweetest of them all. This has been such a wet week for most of us, and a few of the taller daisies in our garden (leucanthemum, rudbeckia, asters etc) are looking a little bedraggled, whereas the Mexican fleabane always looks cheerful! Apologies to those who know it well, (however you will understand why I have chosen it) but I am constantly amazed by friends and visitors to our garden who have never come across this erigeron. I first saw it at Great Dixter many years ago, swiftly obtained our...

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Broadwoodside, Gifford, East Lothian

If you’re able to visit Broadwoodside garden at Gifford in East Lothian you’re a/ extremely lucky and b/ unlikely to forget it. Broadwoodside is a private garden. It only opens around once year for Scotland’s Garden scheme but Anna and Robert Dalrymple will host groups of discerning horticulturists and on this occasion made our small party wonderfully welcome. The history of this special site goes back 500 years, but in 1998 it was little more than a pile of stones. Since then the investment of ambition; creativity; eccentricity; hard work and funding has produced what my hard-to-impress sister Laura...

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