Aeonium arboreum

Watering can be an industry in itself at this time of the year. During my increasingly frenetic morning and evening activity with the watering can, I throw my Aeonium arboreum grateful and admiring glances in equal measure as I rush past, making a mental note to water it in a few days time! With their bold, architectural structure, aeoniums not only make a big aesthetic contribution to the group of plants in pots outside our front door, they demand very little in return, and I can’t imagine being without them. There are many different forms, one of the most striking being Aeonium...

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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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Gifts that grow on you – or not!

What is a garden exactly? Can you have a ‘garden’ without a human element? You perhaps know that the etymology of the word is ‘enclosure’ (Middle English from Anglo-French and Old High German), but an enclosure of what?  One thing for sure is that it is a heck of a lot more than just plants.  There are stories everywhere, layer upon layer, about the provenance of the plants, and they add immeasurably to the pleasure of anyone deeply involved in the creation of their outdoor space. You do usually remember who gave you what. I will certainly remember that...

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Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’

There is a faint lull in our garden in the middle of June, many summer flowering plants are poised for the next act, but right now Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’ is the show-stopper. It has been flowering for several weeks already and will continue to do so for many more to come … and it is truly eye catching. Three or four years ago I decided to test out a few different penstemons, so I bought plug plants, probably 20 or so different ones. Already, by the second season, ‘Dark Towers’ had filled the top slot, no question. It is...

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