Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ – Winter flowering cherry

Unlike many of its springtime show-off cousins, this is an understated and elegant small tree, and one of the best for winter interest in the smaller garden. Deciduous and spreading, its leaves show good autumn colour, and they are followed by delicate, semi-double, white flowers tinged with pink, which can appear intermittently throughout late autumn and winter, only being halted by periods of frost. I like to see this winter flowering cherry grown as a specimen, in sun or part shade, and preferably against an evergreen background which best shows off the flowers. If you can enjoy it from the...

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Out with the old….Grow-How Tips for January

New year, new beginnings – hurray! And even in the deepest days of winter, you can get on with some tasks that will make you feel that spring is on the way – clearing things up ready for the early bulbs, pruning the shaggy shrubs, ordering seeds………. Sprucing up for early spring There are plenty of bright little treasures to find among flower borders and winter bedding, but they can become lost among rotting leaves, dead flowers and general debris.  Things like aconites, early primroses (‘Barbara Midwinter’ is a gorgeous little carmine star), miniature iris like the ethereally pretty I. histrioides ‘Lady...

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Growbags’ Christmas quiz

Yes at last it’s quiz time! Elaine’s been persuaded to set aside her dreary winter tasks (does anyone else actually wash their greenhouse?) and Laura’s obsessive bulb-planting has briefly subsided leaving a tiny window for FUN! We’ve put together a gardening quiz for you to dip into over the Christmas hols. You can click on the button at the very end to get the answers….. Laura will be testing your plant identification skills, Elaine will be testing your brain power and I, well I’ll kick things off with this one: 1. What is the very best thing about Philotheca...

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Malus domestica ‘Sturmer Pippin’

If you spot an apple tree still bearing fruit at this time of the year, chances are it will be a Sturmer Pippin. This is a very late cropping variety that was highly regarded in the Victorian period because it keeps so well on (and off) the tree; it will remain hanging on into January if the birds don’t get there first! This is a useful late apple to grow, because in September and October there are so many other autumn treats from which to choose. So exactly when you harvest the fruit depends upon geographical location, location in...

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