Echinacea pallida

10 stonking colour combinations

We’re talking about which plants look great together this week so obviously I’m going first. Laura is only interested the provenance, the botany, the rarity value and the drama of single specimens. Interesting (she yawned) but the horticultural equivalent of self-indulgent navel-gazing as far as I’m concerned, and I have grave suspicion that Caroline’s idea of plant combinations is how many different colours of Busy Lizzie she can get in her supermarket trolley. Now I, their big sister, have always been about the legendary ‘bigger picture’ – i.e. I don’t care so much about how ‘choice’ a plant is,...

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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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Growbags shout Hip Hoorah!

When I proposed that we write about different rose hips for this week’s blog Caroline’s response was ‘Oh, is there more than one sort then?  Honestly I ask you, how can someone who can spot a ‘Happy Hour’ sign half a mile away be so unobservant about the natural world? Rose hips are one of autumn’s most attractive phenomena, and lend that all important ‘dash of red’ that artists have long known will give a lift to otherwise soft and fuzzy scenes, and there is a whole community of different ones, mainly arising from species roses, which are the...

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Grow-How Tips for June

What a wonderful time of year this is! The longest day is around the corner and summer is beckoning us on. It’s no hardship to be out in the garden pottering and here are some of the jobs you could be doing: YOU AND EUPHORBIAS Euphorbias have been delighting us through the spring with their zingy flowers, but it’s time now to cut off the flowered stems right down to the bottom. This will encourage the lovely glaucous foliage to expand and ripen ready to carry the flowers next spring. Please, please use gloves for this job, even if...

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