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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Growbags on tour

When Caroline said that in a fit of madness, she had booked the 3growbags to give a talk at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, my first thought was a calm and thoughtful ‘WHAT!!?!’ I was overwhelmed with questions – ‘What will we talk about? Who will come? Would we master Powerpoint? Would Caroline behave herself?’ And, most relevant of all, ‘What happens if I curl up in a terrified heap muttering Latin plant names, and dribbling a little?’ But then Caroline, who is also our grimly bossy editor, said I could tell people about the creation of my...

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Darmera peltata AGM – Umbrella plant

Now, I realise the photograph of my chosen plant this week may not be everyone’s idea of a horticultural gem, but with each year that passes I become more fascinated with the seasonal change that is autumn. There is an allure beyond the beauty of colour; gentle decay can also be a fascinating, eye catching process and the umbrella plant illustrates this perfectly. Darmera peltata has a long season of interest. It is a vigorous, hardy, herbaceous perennial (to about 1m.) which is happiest in damp or boggy soil, preferably on the edge of a pond. And it is...

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