Six spring plants to lift our spirits

Firstly a big welcome to all of you who’ve signed up to this, our regular Saturday blog, on the back of Elaine’s daily ‘DigYourOwnaForCorona’ posts – there is a link below if you haven’t experienced them. Her message to the nation is that we all can grow our own veg this summer if we just follow her orders (and let’s face it, if Caroline can, any of you can).Unfortunately the success of this campaign has gone to E’s head and she’s now acting like a diva: ‘oh all right I’ll do the radio interview, but it does mean cancelling...

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Sowing seeds: mollycoddling versus tough love

As with most hobbies you can choose the level of challenge you wish to set yourself when it comes to gardening. Take seed sowing for example: you can choose just to sprinkle annual seeds onto the bare ground in March or April and rake them in, or germinate some tomato plants on your kitchen windowsill – even Caroline managed this last year.    But as your interest grows, you will need to learn and understand more about plant biology and ecology. Seeds have inbuilt mechanisms, often embedded in their tough seed coats, to make sure they only germinate when...

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Eight great new products for 2020

‘A boutique exhibition exclusively for the garden media’ How could we resist an invitation to attend a new garden products fair last week. So nice of garden industry suppliers; they even let Caroline in. We have each chosen new products from the fair for you to look out for this year. Obviously my main interest was in scientific advances for the environmentally aware gardener, but at times it was difficult to concentrate when the other two were larking around (see our feature picture above). Take slug control. None of us want to use pellets that might have effects on...

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What are your boundaries?

We all need boundaries. E and C regularly exceed theirs, so I’m not sure how much you can trust their judgement even with horticultural ones but I’ve come up with some examples of how we have chosen different plants for different purposes on the boundaries of our garden. Our front garden borders a busy road so there was no subtlety here, we needed some evergreen heavyweights that were view-screening, noise muffling and fume-blocking: in went a mixed belt of laurel, yew and holly that was left to run riot for 20 years. We took a completely different approach on...

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