Lythrum salicaria ‘Zigeunerblut’ – Purple loosestrife ‘Gypsy blood’

Given the heavy rain showers that we’ve had recently, and the very strong winds, I’m confident that when it is all over, there will be one plant that comes through it all unscathed. It may just be a form of our common native purple loosestrife, but it is one that can withstand any weather and will never need staking. At well over four foot, I call that commendable! Too often, at this time of the year, I make a foray into the garden and end up with armfuls of prunings and broken stems, then I must find stakes and...

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Enough is enough, time to cut back – Grow-how tips

August, and the hot colours of late summer are starting to glow in the garden. Holidays are in full swing, but there are still a few garden tasks to be getting on with, such as tending to tomatoes and vines, taking some conifer cuttings and picking pears….. TOMATO TIPS Tomatoes that have been looked after with some degree of care will go on and on creating new trusses of fruit. But much as you might like the idea of picking tomatoes till Christmas, the fact is that a lot of that later fruit at the top won’t ripen properly...

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10 Summer Stalwarts

It’s that time of the year when you need to rely on a core backbone of plants to burst onto the scene and provide volume and colour through the hottest months. Here in the south east where each summer seems to be warmer and drier than the last (sorry Caroline but it was your choice to live in Scotland….) we canny gardeners have had evolve our midsummer plant choices to include some newer drought tolerant introductions. 1. Veronicastrum. If you have an open airy spot you really can’t beat these North American prairie plants that build systematically through early summer and...

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Digitalis ferruginea AGM – ‘Rusty foxglove’

This foxglove is a jewel! I know I’m on to a winner when each time I pass a plant I find myself stopping and staring at the wonder of it, and my selection this week is no exception. It is also an absolute magnet for every passing bee which just adds to the interest The ‘Rusty foxglove’ is more likely to be a short-lived perennial than a biennial and can be encouraged to behave as one by cutting back the spent stem right down to the basal rosette. However, do leave at least one seed head and you may...

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