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Serratula tinctoria var. seoanei

It is often said of plants: ‘should be more widely used’, or ‘not often seen in gardens’, and I am pretty sure I know why you could say that of my choice today. It is at its peak in October, and often into November, so it’s not going to make many sales in nurseries and even less in garden centres, because the plant buying public, if they do make a trip to either, are turning their thoughts to buying spring bulbs or (I daren’t even mention the ‘c’ word), to the forthcoming festive season! So, this late flowering, hardy member...

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Chains of Cheerful Chillies! GrowHow tips for October

Whoa, it’s properly autumn now, isn’t it! Even in the south we have had some seriously wet and windy weather recently, but there are still jobs we can do indoors, such as drying chillies and planting amaryllis, so let’s get on with them…….   STRING ‘EM UP! We became very excited about our chilli crop this year in the new greenhouse. One called ‘Orange Wonder’ has done particularly well with dozens and dozens of small green-then-orange fruits with a medium spicy heat to them. They fairly glow among the leaves and are almost worthy of a place in your greenhouse...

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A History of Gardening in 50 Objects by George Drower

As regular readers of our blog will have come to realise, of the three of us I am the one with the most inquiring mind, the fact finder, the researcher. So my holiday reading on our recent break to the Hebrides was a copy of the recently published ‘A History of Gardening in 50 Objects’ by George Drower. Don’t be put off by the word ‘Objects’. It’s original title was ‘Gardeners, Games and Grubs: The Stories of Garden Innovations and Inventions’ and although this is clearly more cumbersome it does convey the sense that the subjects of each chapter...

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10 tasks to prepare for winter

So the weather has shot a couple of opening salvos in the form of named storms, the Sun is predicting the coldest winter for 30 years (Elaine won’t have seen this headline, she pretends to only look at the Times newsfeed ….) and there’s a restless feeling afoot that one should be doing something to prepare …probably a hangover from our Neolithic forebears who would be gorging on hairy mammoth to lay down a layer of winter fat and lining their caves with dead leaves and bracken. Here are a few jobs that will satisfy that primeval urge.  1. Bring...

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