Halloween horrors

The end of October,  and the shops are full of skeletons and pumpkins as Halloween approaches. Don’t think that the horticultural world can’t join in the spooky fun though; there are plenty of botanical nightmares out there worthy of The Little Shop of Horrors. The carnivorous plants hold a special fascination –  monkey cups (Nepenthes), cobra plants (Darlingtonia), Venus fly-traps  (Dionaea) and the like. These lure innocent insects to their doom with their gaudy shapes and colours and scents. Horrified but intrigued, we watch as the fly buzzes nonchalantly towards mortal danger, like a young woman in a skimpy nightie walking through...

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Grow-How Tips for Early October

Oh dear! Summer’s definitely over now and we must bravely face the oncoming winter weather. The urgency has seeped out of the garden tasks, but there are still some jobs that can be done now, while we plan how to make our gardens EVEN better next year!… LOVE ME TENDER Those tender perennials that have been performing so well in our pots and containers all summer can yield us some easy cutting material now, which will provide us with lots of free strong plants for next year. And what’s more, they will take up a lot less space on your...

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Grow-How tips for early July

Here we are, deep into another glorious British summer, and our gardens hold the real promise of bright days and long evenings among the flowers, produce and greenery. This season is not as frantic as spring when it comes to gardening jobs, but there are still bits and pieces to be getting on with:   PLEASING THE IRISES The irises have been delighting us through May and June, and once they have finished their display, they really benefit from a bit of love and care every 2-4 years. Dig up the rhizomes (the fancy name for horizontal underground stems),...

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