Clematis Violacea Venosa

Clematis ‘Venosa Violacea’ AGM

It all began on a very windy day in February when I noticed that our aged Chimonanthus praecox was being blown sideways under the weight of a winter flowering clematis and a honeysuckle. So, I did a bit of emergency topping there and then and made a note to finish off the job in the spring when the clematis had finished flowering. To cut a long story short, I then took a long hard look at the rest of the border and decided that our out-sized Itea ilicifolia and a far-too-tall Rosa glauca needed a long- overdue hard prune as well.  As often happens, one thing leads to another and before I knew...

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Sorting out the flowery chaos – Grow-how tips for July

By mid-July, the spring freshness has usually left the garden, but we can start to enjoy the fullness and scents of the true summer flowers like lilies, salvias and verbena, and begin to harvest the fruit and veg we sowed and tended so hopefully early in the year. Let’s get on with a bit of that harvesting, as well as cutting back currant-bushes, and thinking about how to tackle a temporarily neglected garden…….. Help! The garden’s a jungle! I’m sure I’m not alone in coming back to a garden that I wasn’t able to reach or tend during the...

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Spuds for Christmas, and the sex life of melons

Wow, Elaine has taken us for a wonderful canter through everything we should be picking, feeding and watering in our veg patches in July. So with the planting season transitioning to the harvesting season, well done to all of you who gave it a go for the first time this summer. As the season draws on, we are gradually moving our vegetable tips back over into Elaine’s fortnightly Grow How column but there are still going to be times when the old girl misses a trick so this column will still pop up from time to time. For instance,...

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What to grow in a glasshouse

Caroline split up with her boyfriend when she was 20 and petulantly moved from Sussex to the Scottish Highlands. ‘She’ll be back’ we thought but no, over four decades later she’s asking for our advice on what to grow in the glasshouse attached to her new home north of Inverness (our feature pic). Luckily for her this is my specialist subject, so she’s in safe hands here. Any sort of protection which increases the warmth and lessens the depth of frost in winter whether this be greenhouse, conservatory, sunny porch or polytunnel opens up new possibilities for the botanically...

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