How to have cheap romance in your garden

Nothing adds an air of intrigue and romance into your garden like climbing plants. Draping languorously with sensual tendrils and evocative scents. But they can be expensive….so here are our tips on when you can cut corners and grow your own, and, just as importantly, when you can’t. Let’s start with the classics: sweet peas, clematis and wisteria. The pea family can be grown easily from seed. Elaine was patronising about my fledgling sweet peas last week – I already knew that I had let my ‘Cupani’ and ‘Painted Lady’ babies get a bit leggy without her parading the photographic...

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Sod it – where are those seeds?

Outside the garden is still being battered by the return of ‘the beast’ but the days are lengthening and we can all indulge ourselves in a bit of remedial therapy by getting some new plants on the go. Seeds of many northern hemisphere plants are best sown in autumn so the winter rain and cold can trigger a natural breaking of dormancy when longer days and warmth arrives, but annuals and plants from warmer climes should generally be sown in spring. So in my case it’s time to track down all those packets of seeds I’ve been hoarding over...

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