Grow-How Tips for May

What a wonderful time of year this is! And so much to do!  Let’s get on with repairing arches, tidying the spring clematis and taking some cuttings, amongst other things:  FALLEN ARCHES At the entrances to our cottage garden, we had put three metal arches, and since we had not paid a lot for them, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, under the weight of roses or honeysuckle for the past five years, they started to fall apart.  My husband Nigel, being a very resourceful sort of chap (he very rarely throws any item of hardware away!) had...

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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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Getting to grips with your clematis – Grow-How Tips for February

Mid-February and I just know that you are desperately in need of some tips on what to do in the garden at this murky time of year.  It won’t be long before you’re overwhelmed with spring tasks, so tick off a few now and feel that you’re ahead of the game! COPING WITH CLEMATIS Clematis-pruning is one of those subjects that can send shivers down the spine of many a keen gardener – What time of year to do it? How much to cut off? And most of all, what happens if I do it wrong, or not at all? So...

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Clematis ‘Black Tea’

If I wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep, I take a mental tour of the garden; and as it’s May I start by counting clematis. I get as far as C ‘Black Tea’ … beyond shadow of a doubt, it’s this week’s star plant and can only be described as ‘sumptuous’. It’s not just the depth of colour and subtle variations as the light changes, the flower petals have an amazing velvety texture. It grows to six to eight foot and is a prolific flowerer. It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century...

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