How to have cheap romance in your garden

Nothing adds an air of intrigue and romance into your garden like climbing plants. Draping languorously with sensual tendrils and evocative scents. But they can be expensive….so here are our tips on when you can cut corners and grow your own, and, just as importantly, when you can’t. Let’s start with the classics: sweet peas, clematis and wisteria. The pea family can be grown easily from seed. Elaine was patronising about my fledgling sweet peas last week – I already knew that I had let my ‘Cupani’ and ‘Painted Lady’ babies get a bit leggy without her parading the photographic...

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10 garden projects to tackle before Easter

Let’s get 2019 off to a flying start by looking at some garden projects we can all get stuck into between now and Easter. Christmas can be tiring and New Year’s Eve can get a bit messy (particularly for my two sisters if the rumours are to be believed…) but we all know that gardening can rejuvenate our spirits, recalibrate our mental equilibrium and give us a green workout as well. So here goes, whether you’ve got a garden for the first time; only got pots on a doorstep or, like us, you’re creaking slightly at the hinges, here are...

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Want to prepare for winter, but not sure how?

Once upon a time, summer was a hot season and was followed by autumn, which was cooler and then winter, which was properly cold (back when baths were once a week; Christmas lights didn’t light up until December and no one had heard of the jet stream). But all that has now changed and we live in precarious climatic anarchy in which sunny, crisp autumn days, all mists and mellow fruitfulness, have been replaced by smorgasbord of remnant hurricanes borne on subtropical vectors interspersed with ‘weatherbombs’, (met office code for ‘We didn’t see that coming!’) All this makes ‘preparing for winter’...

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