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Scent and flowers for the festive season – Grow-How Tips for December

What with the weather being very regularly…..meh in December, some of my tips this week have a somewhat ‘indoorsy’ feel – herbs in window-sill pots, and bringing in bulbs to flower for Christmas, for instance, amongst such hardier pursuits as compost-heaps and mulching the Agapanthus………And don’t forget to click on to our Shop Page at the bottom of this blog…….. Pots of loveliness When you buy ‘prepared’ bulbs like narcissi or hyacinths, it generally means that they have already been given their required period of cold and dormancy, so that you can just grow them on indoors to enjoy their colours...

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10 best plants to give at Christmas

Let’s help the planet by giving plants as Christmas presents this year. If you choose wisely you can give something that not only looks lovely on the day but is a great investment for years to come (so this rules out those factory-produced poinsettias Caroline buys en route at a garage forecourt) As the most discerning sister you can rely on me to give top choices for plant gifts which not only show that necessary flash of festive colour in the depths of winter, and will do so for many winters to come….. Camellia ‘ Yuletide’ – Top of the...

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Rosa × odorata ‘Bengal Crimson’ AGM

Last night the temperature fell to -3.2 degrees, yet still this china rose is in flower. Okay so it’s not a blaze of colour as in the summer months, but I’m so impressed by its persistence. On any given day during this very damp grey autumn I have counted at least a dozen flowers, and many more buds, on our rose. I read that city dwellers get flowers all year round which doesn’t surprise me in the least (there is a good specimen in the Chelsea Physic Garden). So, I’m aware that ours would benefit from a little more...

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Tucking in the Tulips – Grow-How Tips for November

Now every shop on the High Street has stocked up its Christmas aisle, and you’ve been panicked into buying your first gifts for nearest and dearest, get some little gardening jobs done before the mayhem really kicks in. Planting tulips, pruning vines and cleaning labels can all be on your to-do list this month……. TIME FOR TULIPS Your daffs should have been planted by now, but tulips like the outrageous T. ‘Estella Rijnveld’ in the feature pic, should be planted now in November, when they are less likely to pick up a nasty little disease called Tulip Fire. I...

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