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Grow your best ever M UST DO dleja shrubs

O Stool vigorous bu

straw berralk ies This week! O Sow seeds of hard

O Prepare outdoor
y annuals
seed beds
rt Christine W den
with expe O Adjust soil acidity
for fruit
Plant corms O Prick-out chilli se

Amateur of gladiolus O Grow your own m


Toby wages war
on an appalling
stink on the
veg plot

Lift and
Nows the time
as plant crowns
push up shoots

Keep cats
off your soil
25 MARCH 2017

Follow expert advice

from Toby Buckland

Plant new
Plant exotic
Lucy explains how
to get a great crop
of early spuds
Best varieties
Take cuttings & how to grow
of devils ivy
This amazing house plant
is simple to propagate and
10 essential care tips
makes a stunning feature for a top class lawn





This week in and SAVE up to

25 March 2017 56%

0330 333 1113
and quote: 11XP or go to
48 Plant alstroemerias

4 10 tips to get your lawn in
great shape for spring

7 Sow seeds of hardy annual

owers direct in the soil

22 Divide perennials 8 Step-by-step guide to planting

gladioli corms in pots

12 How to plant a small shrub, plus

Marianne Majerus

pruning buddleja

13 Prick out chilli seedlings into

individual pots

13 Prick out chillies 15 How to sow your free cornower

and schizanthus seeds

30 We show how to create a modern
style garden

38 Anne Swithinbank explains how to

grow hydrangeas

4 Love your lawn 40 Planting ideas to help you make a

sensory garden

Tim Rumball 48 Allgrowing

you need to know about

Expert advice
Editors letter 10 Peter Seabrook
Modern lawnmower benets
ART of my job as Editor of this last years stems in early spring to the
16 Lucy Chamberlain

P magazine is to check that the

information we give is correct. It
can be tricky, because I dont have all the
lowest bud effectively stooling the
plant. Very different from Annes advice
I needed to know who was right quickly, 19
Protect blossom, plant early spuds
Anne Swithinbank
How to grow devils ivy
answers and many of the people who but I cant go around challenging
write for us are the best in the business. A
certain amount of tact is called-for.
information supplied by our experts.
Then it occurred to me to ask another 20 Bob Flowerdew
Organise your gardening time

Anyway, I was reading Anne expert John Negus, who answers many Tamsin Westhorpe
Swithinbanks feature on hydrangeas of our Q&A enquiries. I emailed details of Divide perennials, plug plant care
(see p38). A bit on pruning caught my my conundrum, and his reply made me
attention: Take off old ower heads by
cutting back to the topmost pair of fat
laugh out loud.
Anne is correct. So is your wife.
28 Graham Clarke
Birds of prey in the garden
buds in spring. Remove more than this
and you are cutting away this years
Macrophylla (mop head) varieties are
pruned as Anne describes. Paniculata 35 Christine Walkden
How to grow great strawberries
owers, warns Anne. species like you have are stooled cut to
Now, my wife Kath prunes the
hydrangea in our front garden. Shes done
within 4in of the base in spring. New
shoots ower at their tips in summer.
67 Toby Buckland
Keep cats off your soil
it for about ve years, and it always Isnt gardening a fascinating pastime?
owers beautifully, and she always cuts Have a great gardening week. Regulars
Get in touch! Q
Experts helpline:
58 We test six garden bird baths
and pick the best
Q 0800 915 9891
QWestover House, West Quay Rd,
Q 01202 440840 Poole Dorset BH15 1JG (12-1 Monday - Friday) Ideas from a formal cottage
garden in Oxfordshire


Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Ruth Hayes

TopTip I always spend a complete day

around the end of March just Scarifying and
The easiest way to feed, weed,
focusing on my lawn, and
putting it right after the spiking lawns
moss-kill and thicken a lawn ravages of winter Getting air and oxygen to the grass
is to use a combined product
there are several on the
market. The soil should be
damp, and you will see the
effects within a
few days.

Apply a moss killer such as

1 lawn sand. In 2 weeks moss
will turn black. Rake it up using
a spring-tined rake, or use an
electric scarifyer on large lawns.
All TimeInc.

Lawn care in the spring

After our wet and frosty winter, Ruth offer some lawn
care advice to help get the best possible grass in 2017
F you want your lawn to be the best it hosepipe ban. This, admittedly, does

I possibly can be in 2017, start its

annual maintenance now. In one day,
you could set the scene for your best-
ever grass year!
Over the coming months you will need
seem a tad unlikely so far this year).
But to get that top class grass we all
desire, there are a number of jobs that
need doing just the once and now is the
time to get on with them. 2 Now spike the soil to get air
to the grass roots. Drive a fork
to mow and edge the lawn every week, The three most important of these are into the lawn every 6in (15cm), at
and water it if we are lucky enough to get scarifying, spiking and feeding. Do them least 4in (10cm) deep. Scatter JI
a period of hot, dry weather (and we dont in this order, in close sequence, to get the No3 compost over the surface.
find ourselves on the receiving end of a best result from your efforts.

Step p Seeding over bare patches or thin grass

by ste

Now is a good time to sow fresh Break up the hard surface of the soil. Sprinkle the grass seed evenly over the
1 seed over any bare patches. Start by
removing any weeds by hand.
2 Do this is with a hand fork. Then level
it and tread over it lightly to rm it.
3 bare area. For the best results, follow
the guidelines on the packet.


Tip: If you see worm casts on your lawn, wait until they
are dry and then brush them away with a brush. Dont tread
on them or flatten them as weeds will grow.

Four ways to improve edges Cutting heights

Sharp border edges create a smart garden in no time at all Cut without damaging the lawn

The years rst

cut needs high
mower blades
All TimeInc.

The basic way to tidy the lawn edge is Remove all of the cut grass and other
1 to use a pair of edging shears to cut off
the lanky strands. This should be done
2 debris by hand. This can then go on
to the compost heap. Only then will the
every time you mow the lawn through lawn start to look tidier. Once you have
the year. This rst real edge-trimming done this, you will be able to see if the
of the season, however, may need extra side of the edges have collapsed or need
effort to cut through thicker tufts. to be recut with the half-moon iron.
FOR the rst cut of the year, raise
the height of the mower blades to
the highest setting, so that the grass
is just tipped. When grass is long
(and wet) following the winter lull, if
you cut it too short you will stress it,
and encourage possible diseases to
set in. Youll also clog up the mower
in no time!
As spring progresses, gradually
reduce the height of cut until the
desired height is reached. For most
back garden lawns this will be 1in
A half-moon edging iron will create You can purchase and install
3 a perfect, vertical edge. Hold the
handle vertically with the semi-circular
4 wood, metal, stone, brick or plastic
edging, to protect the edges and give
(4cm) in spring and autumn, and
-1in (13-25mm) in summer.
For ne bowling green-like
blade at a place close to the edge, and a permanently neat end to your lawn. lawns, this height of cut from spring
push your foot down on the tread. Pull The plastic edging pictured comes in 4ft to autumn is -in (6-13mm) but it
back on the handle slightly to remove a (1.2m) lengths for clipping together and wont wear so well.
slice of edge, and work along the bed. knocking into place with a mallet.

Gently rake over the area so that I like to place nylon netting over the Water the patch well. New shoots will
4 some seed is under the soil. It will
germinate, but be safe from hungry birds.
5 patch, held in place by plant labels. It
helps keep bird, cats, and people off!
6 start to appear in a week, but dont
walk over the area for about eight weeks.











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Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Ruth Hayes

TopTip Step p Sowing

Raked soil is often used by by ste night-
cats as a toilet, so deter them
using a layer of twigs or a
harmless chemical scented stocks
deterrent such as Sow direct for a stunning show

Weed the bed and remove debris.

1 Rake it to a fine tilth, lightly tread
the soil, and water with a fine spray.

Check seed packets

for sowing requirements
before sowing.
All TimeInc

Colourful hardy annuals

For swathes of colour sow hardy annuals, says Ruth
If broadcasting seeds, you can
CANT think of a cheaper or easier dug, weeded and raked to a fine tilth all
I way to fill a border with colour than
to throw down a packet of annual
seeds. Just one packet will fill a
decent area, but two or three packets,
sown in drifts across the bed, will give the
you need is a way to make little drills in
the surface and some dry sand to set out
areas to create those drifts of colour.
The trick is to divide your bed into
irregular shaped and sized areas, one for
mark out their designated areas
using sand to draw partitions.

wow factor we all crave. each flower variety.

Hardy annuals dont perish if we get If you keep the areas regular in shape,
some late frosts, but half-hardy annuals you will always end up with flowers
may. Half-hardies should be raised under noticeably growing in rows. But if thats
cover and planted out in May/June. what you want, then go for it!
If you have the ideal border empty, Heres how I sowed my bed last week:

Alternatively, make drills. They

Plant a perennial now Plant perennials as deep as
their rootball, and water
3 can go in different directions, to
create a more natural look.
well afterwards
Q Planting perennials now makes
sense. The soil is warming up, and you
can spot gaps left by plants that didnt
survive the colder months.
Q While plants are standing in water,
to give their rootballs a good soaking,
dig a hole as deep as the pot.
Q Slide the plant from its pot, and
tease out the roots before placing the
rootball in the hole.
Sow seeds, then rake them over.
Q Inll with soil, and rm down. Water
well and add a layer of mulch. Dont let
the plant dry out, and keep it pest- and
4 Label, and mark out the sown
area to stop people trampling on it.


Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Marc Rosenberg

Buy corms now while

stocks are plentiful

TimeInc. unless credited

Main image: Alamy

Gladioli are valuable for adding Im starting my gladioli corms in

height and colour to borders pots, in a frost-free conservatory

Plant gladioli corms now adding height at the backs of borders, or

growing in containers.
Gladioli corms hate being sat in heavy,
Vulgar? Not now! Gladioli are back in fashion, says Marc wet soil, so I prefer to start mine into
HANKS to Australian comedian youre tending your gladdies are a thing growth in large pots, in the safety of a

T Barry Humphries (better known

as Dame Edna Everage), gladioli
were once regarded as the height
of horticultural vulgarity as fashionable
as an avocado bathroom suite.
of the past. Just like the dahlia, also once
regarded as an ugly duckling, gladioli are
making a comeback.
Clever breeding has led to stronger
plants and a more sophisticated colour
frost-free greenhouse, conservatory or a
bright, cool room of the house.
Actively-growing clumps of young
plants can be hardened off and planted
out from May onwards. See below for a
Luckily, cries of Hello Possums while palette, making gladioli a must-have for step-by-step guide get corms going.

Do it! How to start gladioli corms in a pot


Buy corms now: Buy corms while Store safely: To avoid corms rotting, Prepare a container: Choose a big,
1 stocks are plentiful at garden
centres. Corms sold loosely are often
2 or being exposed to cold night
temperatures, store in a cool, frost-free
3 deep pot with plenty of drainage
holes. Part-ll with multi-purpose
bigger than those sold in bags. place until youre ready to plant. compost, rming the compost gently.

Plant corms: Holding each corm Provide support: Taller gladioli can Plant out: Harden off then plant
4 with the pointy end facing up,
plant 8in (20cm) deep. Leave as much
5 need staking. To avoid damaging the
corms at a later stage, insert supports at
6 out when frosts end. Feed every
two weeks with high-potash fertiliser
space between corms as possible. planting time. Top-up with compost. (tomato food) as ower spikes form.


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Listen to Peter's

Gardening Week
free podcast every
Thursday. Search for
'This Week In The
Garden with Peter
Seabrook' on

with Peter Seabrook, AGs classic gardening expert iTunes

Peters tips for

spring lawn care

The latest lawn seeds are

packed with technological
advances for strong growth

Worn lawns are improved by the
A little lubrication is virtually all
1 addition of some new lawn seed
either in spring or the autumn.
it has taken for more than 60
years of smooth lawn mowing
from Peters trusty Ransomes Ajax

The thinking lawnmower

From Ransomes to Robomow technology in lawn
mowing and care and has come a long way, says Peter
HIS year sees the 70th were made to last, though: indeed Im still

T Anniversary of Gardeners
Question Time on radio and the
50th for Gardeners World on TV.
Well be looking at the huge changes in
gardens and gardening over those years
pushing my Ransomes 12in (30cm) Ajax
over two lawns each week and have done
so for years with the mower going in for a
service just the once.
This year sees the introduction of the Where lawns are badly infested,
Bayer Garden

in the Horticultural Trades Association

Back Garden Exhibit at Chelsea Flower
Bosch Indego robotic mower which can
be controlled from anywhere in the world
2 apply a selective weed killer
rather than a general weed and feed.
Show in May. with a smartphone. It mows in straight
Take lawns for example. In 1947 lines to give the light and dark mown foot
suburban gardens would have had a print, remembers where it has got to (if it
simple push mower and perhaps a heavy needs to take itself off to recharge
batteries) and even monitors the weather
so it mows more frequently when
A robotic mower conditions are wet and warm.
There have been considerable
can be controlled improvements in cultivars of lawn
grasses too. Back in the 1950s rye grass
with a smartphone was for grazing cattle, while today we
have deep rooted, fine-leaved rye grasses
that are hard wearing and valuable
constituents in lawn grass seed mixtures.
roller. Fifty years ago (it seems like only And lawn fertilisers now come in slow

yesterday) saw the first Flymo hover release form with mini-granules that
mower and since then weve seen the continue to feed the grass for months, Rotary and hover mowers are
introduction of electric lawn rakers,
battery leaf blowers and robotic mowers.
releasing more feed when temperatures
and moisture are high and then shut down
3 better than cylinders at cutting
long grass and turfed banks.
The machines from the 1940s and 50s when temperatures drop. Clever stuff.


Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Ruth Hayes

TopTip Pruning your

Before choosing and buying butterfly bush
a new plant, check its growing
requirements, and how large
it will ultimately grow, to
make sure it ts in with your
garden, and is planted
with enough space.

Q If left unpruned, Buddleja davidii

also known as buttery bush
soon become unruly, and take over
their corner of the garden.
Q To keep plants healthy and
Mulch after planting to shapely, cut them back hard now,
All TimeInc.

lock moisture in the soil

before they really get into their
spring growth.
Q This is known as stooling, and
Planting a small shrub involves pruning branches hard
back without cutting into the old
wood where no shoots are forming.
Ruth uses the better weather to plant a colourful Hebe
Q Hard pruning keeps the shrub
PRING is a great time for planting The Hebe came from Garden Beauty size manageable, and encourages it

S new shrubs, as the soil is damp

and warming up, and the ambient
temperature is rising.
I planted a Hebe Heartbreaker. This
pretty evergreen grows to around 3ft (1m),
( 01489 550 830,
uk), who specialise in mail-order plants.
Hebes will grow in most poor to
moderately fertile, free-draining soils.
Improve heavy clay soils with lots of
to put on strong, new growth from
the base which will ower well in
summer and bring the butteries
Q As with all shrubs, after pruning
tall with a similar spread. Its leaves are garden compost and grit. feed with a slow-release organic
edged with cream, and turn pink in cold Planting small shrubs is relatively easy, fertiliser, and mulch with well-
weather. It produces attractive, lavender- but remember to check them regularly, rotted compost or manure.
coloured flowers in summer. and dont let them dry out.

Step p Place trunk guards

by ste
around tall shrubs
and trees if your
garden is visited by
deer and rabbits.

Stand your shrub in water before Dig a hole as deep as the rootball,
1 planting, to saturate the rootball and
make it easier to slide from its pot.
2 and slightly wider. Plants wont
thrive if set too high, or too deep.

Plant a shrub in
five simple steps
Water the plant well, and then mulch My soil is thin and chalky, so I added Slide the plant from its pot, place it
with a layer of organic matter. This keeps 3
a layer of well-rotted manure to the
the soil damp and helps suppress weeds. bottom of the planting hole.
4 in the hole, and inll with a mix of
soil and compost. Firm it in.


Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Ruth Hayes
Always hold seedlings
by their leaves when TopTip Step p Pricking
pricking out
Chilli seedlings are robust,
by ste out chillies
and thrive in multi-purpose
or John Innes No 2 compost. Robust seedlings have grown and
More delicate seedlings now need their own containers
need John Innes No1 .

Fill 3in (7cm) or smaller pots with

1 compost, water it and make holes
in the compost using a dibber.
All TimeInc

Pot up chilli seedlings

Ruth moves her robust seedlings into their own pots
Using a plant label, or old spoon,
HE chilli seeds I sowed in the To pick up the seedlings, slip something
T middle of February have
germinated and grown into
healthy young seedlings.
They are growing in propagators on a
warm windowsill, and have developed a
thin and flat, such as the end of a plastic
plant label or a teaspoon, under the roots.
Lever the little rootball from the soil,
and keep the plant steady by carefully
holding its leaves. They can then be
carefully lever a seedlings
rootball free of the compost.

pair of proper leaves each, so are ready moved into their own pot of compost I
to be pricked out into individual pots. used multi-purpose, as chillies are pretty
The key to successfully completing this robust plants and grown on.
move, without damaging any plants, is to Place the seedlings somewhere light
avoid touching their delicate stems, and warm, out of hot, direct sunlight, as
which are easily crushed. this can scorch the leaves.

Gently hold a leaf between

Its your last chance to sow your leeks 3 thumb and finger, and transport
the seedling to its own pot.
Q This month is your last opportunity
to sow leeks if you want big, strong Sow leeks in deep pots or root trainers,
plants for autumn. They are easy to and pot on until they are large enough
grow, just needing a weed-free site, to plant out
regular watering, and plenty of sun.
Q You can sow them in situ, or in deep
pots, before pricking them out and
potting them on until they are 5-7in
(15-20cm) tall, and looking robust.
Sow seeds
Q They can then be planted out in generously
rows, and puddled in placed in Firm the seed in gently, so the
planting holes and well watered so the
soil falls around them and supports
them. This helps avoid soil falling in
between their layers.
4 plant is supported. Water and
place it somewhere light and warm.


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Gardening Week
with AGs gardening expert Ruth Hayes

How to sow
inside and out
Q Cornflowers
Outsid g
sow i n

TopTip 1 Rake soil to a ne tilth, sprinkle the

seeds evenly across the area and
lightly rake over them.
Schizanthus can be grown as
indoor plants. When seedlings
reach the size that they can be
handled properly, pot them
individually, rst to 5in (12cm)
pots, and then to 6in
(15cm) pots.

Water them in and label.

Im raking the soil to a ne
2 Seedlings appear in 14-28 days.
Thin seedlings to 8in (20cm) apart.
tilth before sowing my
cornower seeds direct
All TimeInc

Q Schizanthus

Sowing this weeks free seeds Insideg

Ruth shows how to sow cornowers and angel wings
WO yes two free packets of Its seeds can be sown direct in the

T seeds this week! Your seed-

sowing season continues with
the beautiful cornflower Blue
Ball (which will bloom from July-Sept),
and Schizanthus Angel Wings
garden where it is to flower. It does
best in full sun on well-drained soils,
including those that are dry, of low
fertility or chalky.
The schizanthus, also
1 Sow the seeds thinly on moist seed
compost. Lightly cover the seeds
Mix (which blooms Jun-Sept). known as angel wings or
so they are in (6mm) deep.
The cornflowers produce poor mans orchid, come
masses of true blue flowers. in a mix of pinks,
Delightful in borders and Carefully maroons, reds and
cottage garden settings, hand-sow the near-white, usually
where they will attract with yellow centres.
seeds on to
butterflies and bees, the the surface of Plants grow to about
long-stemmed Blue Ball the compost 16in (40cm) high and
flowers are good to cut for a almost as wide, and
vase indoors. The blooms can make an attractive border
also be dried if desired. plant, a good cut flower and a
I love seeing these cornflowers with fine conservatory plant.
bright yellows and oranges just some Occasionally nip out some of the Water, and place in a temperature
cornflowers and calendulas loosely
placed in a jam jar on the kitchen table is
buds when they are small. This
encourages the plant to produce more
2 of 15-20C (60-68F). Keep moist.
Seedlings appear in 14-28 days.
enough to cheer me up for a month. stems and grow even bigger.


Gardening Week
with Lucy Chamberlain, AGs fruit and veg expert

TopTip Step p Looking

Its difcult to protect blossom by ste after
on bigger fruit trees, so
consider just wrapping a few
individual branches in eece
choose ones with plenty of
blossom! Uncover them
in warm spells.

Frost damages blossom. If forecast
TimeInc. unless credited

A soft paintbrush tickled in the

ower centre will transfer pollen move potted fruits under cover.
from ower to ower Cloak garden plants in thick eece.

Protect fruit blossom

Lucy has a few ideas to ensure good fruit crops
LOWERS in the fruit garden look tied in horizontally and pruned to form

F great, but theyre also essential

for good yields.
In March and April the majority
of our fruit crops will be in bloom, so what
can you do to ensure that these precious
fruiting spurs will yield far more heavily
than those that arent. Hopefully youve
been following my advice over the past
weeks and months, pruning your trees
and bushes to maximise flower numbers.
flowers transform into fruit? Plenty! The So you should now be looking at masses
main role of pruning and training is to of blossom. Heres how to turn those
encourage lots of flowers. Stems that are flowers into fruit: If your fruit needs a pollination
2 partner, provide one. Hand-
pollinate fruit under cover.
Sow glasshouse cucumbers
IF you resent forking out for supermarket
Seeds sown now (circled) will cucumbers which go off very quickly
produce great glasshouse cues welcome to the revolution! Home-grown
cucumbers last far longer, cost less and
above all, taste better.
A heated or sheltered greenhouse helps
these vigorous vines to romp away and
produce prolific crops (outdoor cues dont
get sown till May). Choose for a mildew-
resistant variety like Passandra or
Femspot and decide whether to grow
long, conventional cues or mini snackbox
varieties (the latter crop heavily).
Sow seeds individually in pots of moist
seed compost, place in a warm If owering is poor, the tree may
propagator (20C) and expect
germination in 7-14 days. Keep warm and
3 be too young, many have been
pruned too hard, or overfed nitrogen.

moist Ill tell you what to do next later!


Next week: Lucy shows how to prick-out
seedlings, keep forced strawberries on track, plant
oca (right), mulch fruit trees and take herb cuttings

When green
shoots appear
rake earth up
around them

Plant early potato

tubers in trenches.
Set tubers 12in (30cm)
apart, with 24in Add sulphur chips at the rate
(60cm) between rows recommended on the packet

Boost soil acidity

if necessary
ARE you a fan of blueberries and
raspberries, or perhaps youve got a
Plant early potato tubers cranberry, gaultheria or lingonberry
on your plot? All are delicious fruits!
ANCY tucking into a steaming tubers in large pots these will avoid the These berries all need acidic soil to

F bowl of melt-in-the-mouth new

potatoes in mid June? I do, thats
why Im getting my first early
tubers in the ground about now. New
potatoes are my favourites. Theyre first
frosts and mature even earlier than those
planted outside. You dont need large
barrels small pots 10in (25cm) wide,
12in (30cm) deep, are easier to manage
and 8-litre potato bags are even cheaper.
grow well. The time to check and
adjust it is now, just as the soil is
warming up, and its easy to do.
Just purchase a soil pH testing kit
from a garden centre, establish the
to come out of the soil, beating potato Plant one tuber, 5in (12cm) deep, per pot. pH level of beds growing these plants
blight attacks in July or August, and they To grow spuds in the soil, dig trenches and, if needed, adjust the pH to make
taste unbelievably good. 8in (20cm) deep in the most sheltered, it more acidic.
Potato foliage will die back if hit by sunny part of your veggie patch. Space Sulphur chips acidify the soil and
frosts. Thats the gamble with first early first early tubers in the bottom 12in are readily available at good garden
varieties. Consequently they need a (30cm) apart, covering them with soil to centres. Check the dosage rates on
sheltered site and ask experienced make 5in (12cm) mounds over the rows. the packaging (clay soils need more
local gardeners whats the earliest time Green shoots will appear in two or three sulphur than sandy ones to lower
you can safely plant out. weeks. Rake soil up around the leaves to pH), and apply accordingly.
If you have a greenhouse plant some keep frost off, or cloak plants in fleece.

Prepare seedbeds outdoors Weed then rake soil

to a ne tilth. Feeding
THERE are lots of benefits to sowing disease attack, too. With the soil warming is not necessary
seed directly outdoors in the soil. No in many counties, now is the time to fork
fancy (costly) propagator is needed; the over bare areas then rake out stones and
tricky hardening-off stage is avoided; large clumps of earth to prepare a bed for
your shed isnt cluttered with compost; your sowing. With spring soil likely to be
and many crops prefer it! wet, do this task the morning before you
Sowing root crops like carrots and want to sow, then rake again every few
parsnips in modules, for example, has hours. This helps create a crumbly rather
disastrous effects on taproot than cloddy bed. Rigid plastic or glass
development. Salads bolt at the cloches also help dry out and warm up
slightest whiff of becoming rootbound. wetter soils. Once your seedbed
Crops sown outside grow hard and resembles breadcrumbs, draw a shallow
stocky, making them more resilient to drill and sow your chosen crop.


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Gardening Week
with AGs indoor plant expert Anne Swithinbank
Feeding indoor plants regularly
Day to day
is important to keep them
looking healthy Step p care of
by ste devils ivy

Give a general purpose liquid

1 fertilizer at half the normal
strength roughly once a fortnight
while the plant is in active growth.

Devils ivy is said to be
poisonous to cats, so keep
All TimeInc.

plants well away from their

usual play, feeding, prowling
areas. Sensible precautions
will avoid hefty

The devils ivy vet bills!

2 Plants cling to a moss pole with

aerial roots, but keeping it moist
Epipremnum is ideal for shady corners, says Ruth is tricky. Wet it occasionally, but
watering the pot is more important.
OR the shadier corners of a house, other vertical surface, stems climb,

F we turn to plants whose natural

habitat is the gloomy, humid floor
of a tropical rain forest. One of the
best is Epipremnum pinnatum Aureum
also known as devils ivy, from the arum-
clinging with aerial roots and producing
larger leaves to 30in (75cm) long,
irregularly slashed around the outside. In
the house, plants usually remain juvenile
but enthusiastic and Ive known one grow
lily family. Originally from the Solomon happily around the back of a piano.
Islands in the South Pacific east of Papua Should you want a better behaved
New Guinea, it is now grown in tropical plant, try the closely related Scindapsus
gardens worldwide, and as a house plant. pictus Argyraeus, the silver vine or satin
As a youngster, devils ivy swarms over pothos introduced from Borneo in 1859. Use a long stem for cuttings. To
the ground, producing juvenile heart-
shaped leaves to 6in (15cm) long, green
Its less vigorous and produces neat,
heart-shaped leaves decorated with
3 make a tip cutting trim beneath a
node where leaf meets stem, and use
splashed with gold. On finding a tree or silver smudges and a silvery rim. stem chunks, each with two nodes.

Keeping devils ivy healthy

Q Although shade is tolerated for a Q Pot young plants on to larger
while, good but not direct light will containers in spring. Prune invading
maintain healthy growth and enhance stems when necessary, cutting beyond
leaf colours long-term. a leaf (use them as cuttings).
Q Normal room temperatures (not Q Create moss pole extensions using
near radiators) suit epipremnum with canes, moss and nylon shing line,
Set cuttings in multipurpose
a minimum of 50F (10C).
Q Allow the surface of the compost to
train stems around strings xed higher
up or allow plants to drape and trail
4 compost/grit mixed 50:50. Bury
aerial roots, keep growing point near
after theyve reached the top.
begin drying out between waterings. the surface. Cover with polythene.


Gardening Week
with Bob Flowerdew, AGs organic gardening expert

Bobs to-do list

Top Tip for the week
Have a walk around the
garden in twilight and make
notes of what still needs
to be done later
in the week.

The sun can suddenly turn
1 surprisingly hot in spring so keep
an eye on greenhouse ventilation.
TimeInc. unless credited

Bob has set up a system to ensure

he keeps on top of gardening jobs

Outdoor plants in small pots can

Every job has its day 2 remain dry despite rain. Theyll
need careful watering.

Keeping on top of tasks is easier with a routine, says Bob

IP hip hoorah, its summertime back on, which ensures that I get most

H again! Well, British Summer

Time. The extra hour is so
valuable to us gardeners.
Suddenly theres light enough in the
evening to get some jobs done. The only
regular jobs done within each week or so.
It all started when I found Id adopted
Feed on Friday as a prompt. If I fed
liquid feed to my container-grown plants
only on a Friday I found I seldom forgot
bugbear is theres never enough time to or doubled up by accident. I then added
get all the jobs done, so some get Sow on Saturday, which worked really
overlooked... well as previously Id often missed
Pot on seedlings, plugs and
Of course, every day I attend to
watering and harvest whatever is ready
sowing windows by being busy with
something else. Thinning, trimming and
3 modular young plants well
before they become pot-bound.
dead heading are now due on Tuesdays,
with transplanting and potting up on
Each day has Thursdays; and of course weeding just
has to be Wednesdays. Monday stands
a primary for machinery and is my day for getting
the grass cut for the week ahead. Thus,
allotted task each day has a primary allotted task, and
once this has been done I can tackle
whatever appeals or is most needful.
Then there is the most important part of
as these are tasks that must never be each days routine: the twilight
deferred. And huge seasonal jobs such as walkabout. I visit every part of my
hedge cutting are seldom forgotten. No, garden, and while its always too late to Apricot and peach trees need
its the regular jobs that are pressing but
not urgent that get overlooked. However,
actually do anything, I can make notes of
what needs to be done. After that, its time
4 their fruitlets thinning ruthlessly
as soon as these have set.
Ive found it a boon to have routine to fall for a huge mug of tea, and biscuits.


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Gardening Week
with Tamsin Westhorpe in her country garden
Tamsin has decided to lift and Most clump-forming perennials are
divide a spreading iris that easily lifted with a garden fork
doesnt t her border plans

Baby plants
will be potted up
and given away
to friends
TimeInc. unless credited

How to divide perennials

Tamsin lifts and splits before the growing season takes off
HERE are plenty of good reasons are not in full growth. Leave it until early elsewhere and to give away. The iris lifted

T to divide clump-forming
perennials now. One is to
rejuvenate plants, and another is
to make room for more. Its great to
propagate your favourite plants for
summer and youll be putting your other
perennials at risk as you work in the
border. Your new divisions will also need
lots of TLC. As a guide, plan to divide
plants every three to five years.
easily with a border fork and I could then
break the plant apart. In some cases,
youll need to prize plants apart using two
back-to-back garden forks and you might
even need a sharp garden knife to divide
selling at charity events or to give to Do you remember last May when I very compact clumps.
friends, and it also helps to control a plant created a purple and orange border with The heart of the plant is often woody
thats taking over. dahlias and kniphofias? At the back of this and unproductive, so this can be put on
March is a good time to do this as plants border is a clump of iris that is too large the compost. The new plants, meanwhile,
are just about to go into active growth and and the flowers dont match my scheme, can either be planted into their new home
division is more successful when plants so Ive lifted and divided them to plant straight away or potted for planting later.

Propagating rodgersia is easy

ARE you looking for a reliable foliage At this time of year youll see the new
plant for a moist soil? If so, look no further bulbous rodgersia pups bursting out
than Rodgersia pinnata Superba. of the ground. If you find a plant with
Now is prime time to ask gardening plenty of these pups simply cut one
friends if they have one of these striking off and pot it up.
plants and if they do its the perfect time The mature clump in my garden has
to do a bit of plant swapping. If youre in a plenty so Ive carefully removed them
gardening club you could put out a with secateurs, and in some cases a
The plump growing tips on rodgersia request for this plant at your next get- small pruning saw. Each pup is
make great new plants together. Gardeners are generous people removed with a small amount of root
and are often happy to share. and then potted up.


Tip: Dont forget to sow your tomato seeds now, or look
out for starter plants to grow on. For a sweet taste that the
kids will love go for Gardeners Delight

Growing-on economy plug plants
Create a great summer display on a budget buy mini plug plants now to pot on
THERES no denying that buying mature
summer bedding plants in May can be
very expensive. So to put on a good show
while sticking to a budget you can buy
mini plug plants now.
Ive treated myself to some
osteospermum (African daisies) and
petunias, and the task now is to grow
them on. Follow my step-by-step guide
for success:
1. Take a good look at the plug plants to
make sure theyre in good health before
buying them. Youll nd many sizes of
plug plants on offer, but the smaller ones
are often the best value. Use a pencil to
2. Ideally your plugs need to be potted make planting
on as soon as you get home, but if not Place your mini plug plants on holes in the
nd a convenient place for them on a a cool windowsill and water them new pots
windowsill avoid a very bright south-
facing aspect. Choose a cool room and
avoid a windowsill with a radiator below. pull them out hold them by a leaf never
3. Nows your chance to recycle the army the stem. Using a pencil or your nger
of small pots you have cluttering up your make a hole in the compost and gently
shed. Fill them with multipurpose or plant them in their roomy new home.
young plant compost and place them in a 5. Water, label, and place in a bright, cool
drip proof tray. room. In a few weeks they may need
4. Carefully push the young plants out of potting on again before planting out after Dont forget to label plants
their tray or starter pot it you need to Jack Frost has left us for the year.

Fabulous farmyard manure for free

LIVING in rural Herefordshire theres
no shortage of farmyard manure. This Visit your local riding stables and
valuable, natural product offers the ask if you can help muck out
gardener plenty to smile about. Its the there could be rich rewards
ideal ingredient for a compost heap and
adds valuable nutrients to garden soil.
If you live near a farm or stables offer to
go and muck out that way youre very
likely to get your supply of manure free of
charge. I recently lled my car boot with
bags of horse manure after an hour of
voluntary mucking out.
The most important thing is to compost
your fresh manure. Use it straight away
and itll be too rich for plants and youll
also have problems with weeds.
The sure-re way to kill off weed seed
in manure is to put it on a hot compost
heap. The centre of the heap needs to
reach 55C and be turned regularly. Id
then leave it to rot and steam for at least
six months before applying it to the
garden. So pull on your wellies and grab a
pitch fork theres work to be done!


Gardening Week
with Tamsin Westhorpe in her country garden
Dont over-feed
Choose a tree with
only one, strong your pond sh
central leader
WATCHING sh glide about your pond
can be very relaxing. We have about
ve mature goldsh in a raised pond
and without them the formal feature
wouldnt be half as interesting.
This pond is home to only a few
aquatic plants, so our sh need their
diet supplemented. In a natural, well-
balanced pond additional food is less
of a priority.
During the winter they dont need
feeding as the food will remain
uneaten and this can rot and pollute
the water, but with the weather
warming up goldsh start to
become more active. Once the water
temperature starts to creep over 10C
they need feeding.
Spend time looking at the
shape of trees and shrubs Until spring is reliably warm only
before you buy feed lightly. Feed what the sh can eat
within a few minutes. If its left on the
surface for longer youre over-feeding.

Shape up or ship out Feed pond sh only

sparingly early in
the year
TREES and shrubs are a long-term decorate the garden for decades. He has
investment, so before opening your a good eye for a plant and hed picked out
wallet some thought needs to go into those with a strong framework.
which ones are right for your garden. When selecting trees and shrubs pull
Create a list of the plants you fancy and them out of the row, stand back and
then head to a specialist nursery to seek admire their form. Choose trees with only
further advice. one central leader, no crossing or rubbing
My uncle recently went on a serious branches and a balanced shape.
shopping spree at our local tree nursery Before planting prune out any awkward
and came home with a nice collection branches its easier to do this when
of magnolias, lilacs and cornus that will theyre still in their pots.

Cover the tray with a

sheet of cling lm Planning for a
Nextk with Martyn Cox
mushroom feast wee AGs city gardener
WE adore mushrooms in my household
so I thought it high time I grew some On the fence
myself. Ive invested in a small kit and Martyn picks the
plan to place the container in our cellar perfect fence for
which is dark and frost free. his small garden
The kits would make a great present
for a young gardener as theyre so easy
to do. Simply add water to the mini bag
How to move a
of compost and leave it to soak. Then
plant thats in the
put 90% of the mycelium into the drip-
wrong place
proof tray. Cover with the moist compost
Tamsin chose the and then add the last 10% to the top of Potting potatoes
Suffolk Mushrooms the compost. I then covered the surface Nows the time to plant potatoes
kit from Taylors Bulbs with cling lm. Its now a case of sit back, in containers for early crops
watch and wait.






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Gardening News Got a story? call 01202 440848
or email

The latest stories from around the UK

Retailers are reluctantly

putting-up shed prices

price of garden sheds rise by eight to 10

per cent this year.
As retailers prepare to raise shed prices
in April, managing director of Mercia
Garden Products, Terry Waldron, said:
Prices of garden sheds are likely
As the dust has settled, and reality sets
Both Alamy

to start rising as early as next month

in, this has led to Blue Chip retailers
accepting cost price increases, albeit

Brexit to push up cost of sheds very reluctantly.

Smaller sheds
Sheds will cost 10 per cent more due to rising timber prices A statement released by shed review and
OOD you believe it! Brexit is buyers guide website

W set to put up the price of

garden sheds.
Manufacturers say that
currency fluctuations following the UKs
decision to leave the EU has hit them with
The price of
imported raw
said that manufacturers were working
hard to reduce costs but suggested that
potential job freezes or cuts are likely in
the industry.
The website predicted that Brexit price
shed loads of extra costs. materials soared rises could lead consumers to buy
Timber and raw materials for garden smaller garden sheds, or lower
sheds typically make up 66 per cent of specification outbuildings. This is likely
the cost that shoppers pay. So far, rising costs have been absorbed to lead to an increase in competition
Shed-makers claim that the price of by manufacturers, as High Street retailers between retailers.
imported raw materials has soared due to locked in fierce competition have refused Sales of garden buildings have
currency fluctuations caused by Brexit. to allow price rises. increased over the last two years as cash-
This, they say, has increased their costs However, industry experts warned last strapped Brits enjoy more staycations
by a whopping 14 per cent. week that consumers are likely to see the (holidaying at home).

Dibleys breeds Q S. Gold Dust

Flowering over eight
Q S. Sweet Rosy
Scented variety with
a ne crop of months, blooms
have lower lobes
large white and

cape primroses that change from owers. Lower lobes

All Dibleys

pure-gold to speckled change to coral/rose

gold on a deep-purple as owers age. A strong
DIBLEYSS Nurseries is to release four background. Itll be unveiled variety averaging four
new streptocarpus from its breeding at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival blooms per stem. Set to debut at RHS
programme this spring. in Worcestershire in May. Chelsea Flower Show in May.
The popular houseplants have been
bred by the North Wales-based nurserys Q S. Titania Q S. Elin veined
Lynne Dibley, who won the RHSs Upper lobes of small, lavender owers are
Reginald Cory Memorial Cup last year for rufed-edged slightly scented and
her hybridisation programme. owers are creamy- borne over six
The four newcomers will be seen for white while its lower months. Flowers
the first time at the RHS Malvern, Chelsea three lobes are take on a pink tinge
and Hampton Court flower shows. cherry-pink with with age. Up to 10
All of the new streptocarpus cost 4 yellow fangs. A free- blooms per ower stem. To
each. Go to or call owering variety, its said to bloom for be released at the RHS Hampton Court
(01978) 790677 for details. eight months of the year. Palace Flower Show in July.


A nation of twitchers Explore Londons secret gardens
Gadgets are encouraging a new generation of Tickets are on sale for Open Garden Squares
urban bird-watchers. A survey found that one in Weekend in London (17-18 June). 10 Downing
three Brits enjoy spying on birds and wildlife. Street will open its garden.

Lottery cash will secure fruit heritage
THE Georgian walled garden, A BLOOMIN
along with grounds and
parkland at historic Cannon
Hall near Barnsley, is to get a
3million restoration.
The three-year project is
being bankrolled by the
Heritage Lottery Fund and the

Big Lottery Funds Parks for
People programme. Foggy Bottom garden
The Friends of Cannon Hall, Adrian Blooms Foggy
volunteers who help maintain Bottom, part of Bressingham
the gardens and estate, have Gardens near Norfolk, turns
50 this year. A special event
raised over 40,000 to is planned for September.
contribute to match funding

Tom Montgomery
Historic: gardens once grew
of 740,000. pineapples and exotic fruit
The walled garden has 50
varieties of pears, one of the
largest Collections in the transform the 70 acres of park, heritage is of great importance
north and a 200-year-old gardens and lakes. Lakes will to us all; it defines who we are
muscat grape vine. It includes be dredged, new paths created and the character and identity

the remains of a pinery, an 18th around the site and a two-acre of our communities and must
century greenhouse that grew woodland opened up. be protected. The parks and Planning your summer
pineapples and exotic fruit. Richard Emmerson, chair of gardens are free to visit and Al Fresco Fortnight, which
The money will be used to the Friends, said: Our local open 365 days a year. encourages people to eat
and socialise outdoors, will
kick-off on Fathers Day,
Sunday 18 June.

Could drones replace dying bees?

THAT droning noise in your New Scientist claims that in
garden is it the sound of a trials in Japan, a drone was
bee or a flying robotic insect able to cross-pollinate
busy pollinating the flowers? Japanese lilies with no
The decline in bees has led damage to stamens or pistils.
scientists to turn to technology But Professor Simon Potts,
for help in plant fertilisation. of Reading University, said
They have created an insect- that pollinating robot bees is Alnwick Garden
A proposed 8.5million loan
sized drone, 1.5in (4cm) wide science fiction: Technology from Northumberland
and weighing just 15 grams. has taken steps in that County Council to Alnwick
The fuzzy body and stickiness direction but is still barely out garden has been suspended
of natural bees is replicated of the starting gate. Evolution and is under review.
In trouble: bees using gel and horsehair pads crossed the finishing line

which pick up pollen grains. millions of years ago, he said.

Grow your own Heinz tomato ketchup!


READERS who enjoy a dollop of ketchup on You can expect crack-resistant fruit,
their food can now grow one of the high yields and flavour. Plants can be Tree disputes
original tomatoes that was bred for Tomato Heinz 1370 grown indoors, or outside in a sunny A Lancashire resident said
Heinz famous sauce. spot. Heinz 1370 will even grow two 70ft trees fell across his
garden. Hed tried to axe the
Tomato Heinz 1370 is a semi- well in a large container. trees previously, but was
bush variety bearing smooth and Dobies added that fruits make told they were protected.
slightly-ribbed fruits on the amazing soup. Tomato Heinz
same plant. Plants can produce
40-50 fruit each.
1370 is in Dobies Rob Smith
range, priced at 3 for a packet of
A spokeswoman said: Gardeners 15 seeds. Plants start at 9.99 for BAD WEEK
may need to stake the branches to three grafted super plugs. Go to 
stop the masses of fruit bending them. Suttons Call (0844) 967 0303.


Gardening Week
with AGs gardening wildlife expert Graham Clarke
What 25th March
On - 1st April
Q 25-26 March and 1-2 April:
A hovering kestrel (this
Haldon Grange, Dunchideock, ones a male) is fairly
Exeter, Devon EX6 7YE. Camellias, easy to identify
magnolias, rhododendrons, a lake
and ponds with river and water
cascades. Open 1pm-5pm for NGS,
01392 832349,

Q 25 March: The Manor House

Street, Horncastle, Lincolnshire
LN9 5HF. Informal spring garden
and orchard bordered by the River
Bain and including a short section of
Roman fort wall. Open 12pm-4pm for

Shutterstock / Alamy (inset)

A sparrowhawk comes in to land in
Q 26 March: Bere Mill, London Road, much the same way as it grabs its prey
Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7NH.
Water meadows and wooded valleys,
herbaceous borders, an orchard and
arboretums. The working mill made
paper for the Bank of England in
1716. Open 1.30pm-5pm for NGS,
Now let us prey
01256 892210, Some common birds of prey visit our gardens, but rarer
ones can be identied too, says Graham Clarke
Bere Mill, Hants
IRDS of prey generally dont do falcon shape. Their ability to hover

B any harm to the garden, other

than to rid it of some smaller
birds and mammals but then
makes them easy to identify, and then
youll see them ap their wings quickly,
before diving down in pursuit of rodents
Bere Mill/NGS

the loss of the odd mouse or rat is likely to and insects.

be welcomed. Meanwhile, buzzards are present all
I recently heard squawking in the year round in the west and in Wales.
Q 28-30 March: RHS Spring Plant garden and at rst saw nothing, but Theyre rather like a small eagle, but with
and Orchid Show: RHS Lindley Hall then I spotted movement in a clump of a shorter and rounder tail. They can soar
and RHS Lawrence Hall, 80 Vincent bergenia: a sparrowhawk was doing for high, but most of their hunting is much
Square, Westminster, London SW1P a poor blackbird. By the time I saw it the nearer the ground.
2PE. A celebration of spring plants. blackbird had already perished, so I left The merlin is Britains smallest bird
Open 10am-5pm, the hawk to continue its feed. Its the of prey, and small in numbers too with
circle of life, and I prepared myself to just 900-1,500 breeding pairs. In the
Q 28 March: An Evening with clear up the feathers and bones later! spring they leave their winter retreats in
Alys Fowler, RHS Garden Hyde The sparrowhawk is the bird of prey coastal and lowland areas, and return to
Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettenden youre most likely to see in and around their breeding grounds in the uplands.
Common, Chelmsford CM3 8ET, gardens. It tends to pick off birds at They have blue-grey backs and a spotted
0203 1765 830, tables and feeders, and if it gets to know chest and belly. Their narrow wings are
gardens/hyde-hall a garden it may return many times. often swept back in ight.
Itll feed on anything from a wren Finally, from now on you could spot
Q 1 April-4 June: International to woodpigeon, and theres often a hobbies as they return to Britain after
Garden Photographer of the Year warning to its presence with other birds their winter holidays. These breed
Exhibition, RHS Garden Hyde barracking, chasing even dive-bombing across most of England, into Wales and
Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettenden it, to try and send it packing. just about into Scotland. They hunt over
Common, Chelmsford CM3 8ET. Sparrowhawks are quick and agile, woodland edges and heathlands where
 0203 1765 830, dashing over garden fences, through theres plenty of large insect prey they
gardens/hyde-hall trees and along hedgerows on their particularly like dragonies. Fast-ying,
Q Please check that the event is still going ahead before leaving quest for a meal. with backswept wings, theyre about the
home. If you have an event that you would like us to consider In towns and cities youre more likely size of a woodpigeon, with grey and white
please email details to:
to see kestrels. which have the classic plumage and a patch of red at the feet.




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Garden planning seri

Block planting of only one or two types of plants like

this hydrangea Teller Blue and Carex Evergold is
one way to make your garden look more modern

Part 4 How to make a


create a heavy look. One of the secrets to

modernising your garden is to swap some
of them for perennials and grasses.

Modern garden
If you have large shrubs and conifers at
the back of the border to create weight and
size, consider replacing them with a few
bulky perennials and grasses. The height,
colour, and form of giants, such as
Update your garden by adding blocks of perennials and Kniphofia Nobilis, Rudbeckia
grasses in geometric-shaped borders, says Hazel Sillver Herbstsonne, fennel Giant Bronze and
Miscanthus sinensis Malepartus, will
LEAN lines, pared-down the next few weeks, and come summer transform your flowerbeds.

C planting and a no-frills colour

scheme modern garden
style creates an air of unfussy
simplicity that can be very
calming and relaxing.
Reminiscent of the meditation gardens
of Japan, its streamlined sophistication has
your revamped borders will be blooming.

Achieving simplicity
Cleanness and simplicity are the
buzzwords of the contemporary garden,
and there are lots of ways to achieve this.
In a shady part of the garden, for instance,
Give the middle and front sections of
borders a makeover by replacing some of
the tired little shrubs, with compact
perennials (such as Sedum Matrona and
Nepeta racemosa Walkers Low) and
grasses (such as Stipa tenuissima and
Carex oshimensis Evergold).
a soulfulness to it just like a tidy, instead of having lots of different types
uncluttered house, it somehow makes of plants, you might put in nothing but Plant in groups
your mind feel uncluttered too. hostas selecting a few different leaf Copy the top designers and plant clumps
If you feel that a border overhaul (or a colours will provide more than enough of the same grass or perennial. Block
whole garden overhaul) is in order, and interest; or you might choose a simple planting in regular squares to match the
you fancy having a go at the minimalist palette of ferns and white foxgloves. linear lines of the house gives a
style, now is the time. Sow and plant over Too many shrubs and conifers can contemporary modern look, advises


Water features should be simple and
unfussy. Raised rills pouring into a Key Transform
trough, like this one, t the bill
tips your plot!
Charlotte Rowe, an award-winning
garden designer in London, says...

Marianne Majerus
Emphasise contrast
1 Use obelisks or evergreen shrubs
in combination with softer perennials
and grasses. A mix of soft perennials
and textural grasses stands out well
against a backdrop of evergreen
Traditional plants like roses can still be used hedges and box balls.
but combine them with clipped evergreens
and grasses for an updated look.

Simplify your colour scheme
2 Keep it simple, dont complicate
the garden with lots of different
designer Claire
colours. For example, stick to a
Mee. The block
soothing, pared-down palette of
can be one type of
greens and whites, using white-
plant. Plants that
owered perennials and grasses.
work well planted in are so
blocks include Miscanthus lightweight
sinensis Gracillimus, Verbena that its possible to
bonariensis, Lysimachia ephemerum, see the plants behind
Deschampsia cespitosa and nepeta. them. In this way, they create a fuller
feeling in the border, and save on space.
Create layers Also useful are those perennials that
Focus on layering varying grasses and flower on slim, vertical stems (such as
perennial heights to keep your garden verbascum), which means they can be
looking interesting, suggests garden planted in the middle of the border, to add
designer Charlotte Rowe. See-through focal points and depth.
perennials (such as Verbena bonariensis)

Modernise with colour

Refresh your planting by focusing on two Create layers
Plant clumps of or three colours. This doesnt mean that
the whole garden has to become nothing
3 Achieve it by incorporating
see-through perennials, such as
the same grass or but red and orange; but, rather, that theres
an emphasis on a few tones.
Sanguisorba and Scabiosa, which are
so airy that you can glimpse the plants
perennial For instance you might select a palette of
purple, pink and burgundy; and key plants
behind; and the layers they create give
the border a sense of fullness.
could include Verbena bonariensis


(a see-through airy purple perennial),
Alcea rosea Nigra (a claret-black
hollyhock), Verbascum Pink Domino
(rose-pink spikes), and Echinacea
purpurea (purple-pink flowers), all of
which reach 3-6ft (1-2m), and which look
gorgeous planted together with grasses.
Or you might prefer a palette of cool blues,
which could be provided by Echinops ritro
Veitchs Blue (a wildlife-friendly globe
thistle), and Agastache Blue Fortune,
which both reach 3ft (1m). Plant them with
grasses (such as Calamagrostis
brachytricha) to achieve the modern look.
Many garden designers put heavy
emphasis on green in contemporary
planting schemes, often adding a few
white flowers and silver foliage plants into
the mix; and this has a wonderfully
soothing effect.

Emphasise contrast
Although a mass of shrubs and conifers
can make a garden look dated, do not
think that all shrubs are suddenly old hat

Clipped shrubs
and evergreens The modern garden has a geometric look, with
add structure clear straight lines and square or rectangular borders

2 Container choices
- far from it. Modern designers often
employ the structure and solidity of shrubs
to enhance the softness of perennials and
grasses. For instance hornbeam or beech
clipped into tall slim columns and dotted
through a border looks wonderful; and
evergreens (such as box and sarcococca)
provide colour and shape all year.

Landscaping the modern garden

The sort of materials, features and
furniture we have in the garden make a
huge difference to its overall look. If youre
trying to achieve a contemporary feel, go
for decking, or perhaps the cool tones of
Marianne Majerus

slate; sticking with the simplicity of

modern garden design, choose furniture in
one of the colours youve selected for your
planting scheme or for your hard Festuca glauca Elijah Blue
landscaping in order to keep things Tall modern glazed pots set off the silver-
understated for example if youve blue needle-like leaves of these striking
chosen to lay your patio with slate, you little grasses a treat. This is a display that
might go for pale grey furniture. will have impact all year. Needs full sun.
Water injects any garden with soul, and
reflects light, which in turn creates a sense Miscanthus sinensis Gold Bar
of space. Put in a modern water feature, Miscanthus are graceful grasses that
such as a rill, stainless steel sphere, or a arch gently, theyre perfect for pots as
zinc trough as a small pond. long as you go for the smaller types.
Begin landscaping and planting now, Choose from buff coloured varieties or
and come summer your new modern zingy striped ones like this Gold Bar
garden will be a relaxing joy.

variety. Needs full sun.


How to make a
6 essential modern plants for beginners Modern garden

Try it! What to do now

Be inspired
Look at books on
modern planting
style, such as
the New Small
Garden: Contem-
porary Principles,
Planting and
Practice by Noel


(Amazon 16.59).
Stipa tenuissima Scabiosa atropurpurea
The silver-cream wispy plumes of this Butterflies love the claret pincushion
feather grass add volume and movement blooms of this airy hardy annual (or
in borders in summer and autumn. short-lived perennial), which flowers Plant
Sun. H2ft (60cm). into autumn. Sun. H2ft (60cm). Get shrubs,
perennials and
grasses into
enriched soil in
spring, and come
they should
be established
enough to
produce a show

of flowers.

Choose annuals


that will look

Miscanthus Kleine Fontne Echinops Veitchs Blue fabulous amidst
This fountainous grass produces red The indigo-blue spherical flowers of this your new
tassel-like flowerheads in late summer, striking globe thistle attract wildlife and contemporary
which morph to faded silver ones in remain as seedheads during autumn. planting scheme.
autumn. Sun. H4ft (1.5m). Sun. H35in (90cm). For example
Ammi majus,
scabious and

You could paint
existing metal or
wooden furniture
Marianne Majerus

a modern shade
of light grey, soft

green or pale
blue. Consider
Calamagrostis brachytricha Echinacea Arts Pride installing a
The Korean feather reed grass has fluffy Bees and butterflies love this hardy
silvery grey purple-tinted flowerheads coneflower, which produces orangey

grey stone patio.

atop a fountain of grey-green foliage. pink flowers on short stems all summer
H3ft (1m). Full sun. long. Sun. H2ft (60cm).

Suppliers of Crocus Claire Austin J Parkers Knoll Gardens

01344 578 000 01686 670342 0161 848 1100 01202 873931
garden plants


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Ask Christine!
Christine Walkdens Masterclass on strawberries

Christines expert

strawberry tips

Q When growing strawberries under
cloches for protection, open them up
during the day when the plants are in
Flavoursome strawberries Just Add Cream
ower so pollinating insects can visit.
TimeInc. unless credited

(inset top right) crops from early May to the

rst frost, and Malling Opal (right) crops from
June to October, says Christine

How can I grow better strawberries?

My Cambridge Favourite
Q strawberries are reliable, but Id like
to grow more varieties for better flavour
produced in the first year.
Thereafter, apply Growmore (75 grams
per sq/m) in April every year and as soon
and heavier crops. Any suggestions? as theyve finished fruiting apply hoof
Barry Fairclough, Llandudno and horn fertiliser at the same rate.
As flowers set fruit, put down a mulch
Strawberries grow naturally at
A the edge of woodlands and prefer
leaf mould or similar organic matter,
of straw around the crop to keep the
berries clean and off the soil. Do not
apply too early, otherwise the risk of
light soil types (slightly acidic) and good
damage by frost will be increased.
drainage. As they are surface rooting, any
When the last of the summer-fruiting Q Water soil or compost well (if
cultivation (like hoeing) around plants
crop has been picked, cut off the leaves growing in containers) in dry periods
should be shallow. Remove all perennial
about 3in (8cm) above the crown, but avoid wetting the plants to help
weeds and do not use land that has
remove all unwanted runners, scrape off prevent grey mould attack.
been used for growing strawberries
the old mulch and compost it.
for several years. Avoid frost pockets. A
sunny sheltered site is ideal.
Prepare the site at least a month before
planting, adding two buckets of well-
Propagating strawberry runners
rotted organic matter per square metre. IT is possible to obtain good runners in
A week before planting, apply 56g/sq m July and August. As new small plants
of Growmore and rake into the surface. appear, peg them down into the soil or
Always obtain certified plants which into 3in (7.5cm) pots sunk into the soil
are free from pests and diseases. Using using strong wire bent like hair pins.
a trowel, make a hole for each plant and This will enable roots to form quickly.
spread the roots out carefully, replace Plant out newly-rooted plants in
the soil and firm well. freshly-prepared beds.
Rows should be 30in (75cm) apart, If they have been rooted directly into
leaving 18in (45cm) between plants. pots they can be potted-on in August
Water well after planting and ensure and used for forcing under glass for

the crop is kept weed free during the earlier fruit the next year.
growing season. Remove any flowers


Ask Christine!
With her team of experts John Negus, Anna Toeman, Dr Jane Bingham

Worms eat
material at
the top of

Compost worms
TimeInc. unless credited

Why do worms come up to the lid of

Most varieties of roses are
relatively straightforward
to prune
Q my compost bin?
Sue Mann (via email)

The usual reason for worms

How to prune an unknown rose A migrating to near the surface of a
compost bin is that unrotted material at
We have inherited a rose. I dont know what variety it is, but it is around 8ft the top is a good source of food.
Q (2.4m) high. How should I prune it?
Val Ashton (via email)
But if they are actually climbing out of
the compost, it may be that the nature of
the material in the bin is unsuitable. It
Start by pruning out any dead,
A diseased and dying wood, cutting to
healthy wood just above a bud. Also cut
Over 3-4 years, renew the whole plant.
If it has 8 stems, I would recommend
pruning the oldest 2 down to the ground
may be too wet (dry it out), or too acidic.
(add a little lime, or charcoal).
out crossing branches where the thorns this year. Leave the remaining stems,
on one stem might damage another. just trim back flowered side shoots to
Stems can be removed either to their remove dead flowers and hips.
base, or to a strong sideshoot. Keep the After pruning, feed the rose with a
centre of the plant open and uncluttered. general fertiliser or a specialist rose feed.

My bamboos have been battered!

We have three bamboo plants in pots, standing against a
Q south-facing fence. Over the winter we had severe Dwarf rhododendrons grow
well in containers
D Sheldon

winds and the leaves turned brown. Will they be OK?

J Dieppe
David Sheldon, Bramley, Hampshire

A Your bamboo has suffered from icy wind

damage, but has not died. In mid-April,
will suffer in
icy winds Mystery shrub
feed weekly with liquid tomato fertiliser when What is the name of this dwarf
the compost is damp.
If the bamboo dies, and you wish to replace
Q shrub? It is quite small and is
growing in a pot.
it with an evergreen screen, I suggest that you Janice Dieppe (via email)
plant griselina, photinia, Cotoneaster lacteus or
eucryphia, a flowering plant with massed white It is probable that your dwarf
summer flowers. All will grow to around 10ft (3m).
Set the shrubs in large half barrels. Make drainage holes
A rhododendron is Ptarmigan. It is
ideal for growing in a large pot.
in the base and cover them with crocks or pebbles. Stand containers on pot feet To keep it containerised, replace the
to ensure that surplus moisture escapes. Plant in John Innes potting compost top layer of compost, each May, with
No.3, and top with a mulch of pea shingle. ericaceous compost, and feed fortnightly
with an ericaceous liquid feed.

AG Expert hotline Freephone

Ask Christine,
Amateur Gardening magazine,
Call weekdays
from 12-1pm 0800 915 9891 Westover House, West Quay
Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1JG
0800 915 9891 (12 to 1pm weekdays)


The drinks are on me: Sink
yoghurt cartons in the soil, and fill them with
cheap beer to create effective slug traps.

Many-headed tulips Quesitciokns Why is our plant
are charming Qu wers
& Ans
is losing its
lovely leaves?
Ken Davies, Falmouth,

I suspect your
A Codiaeum (Croton)
is dropping leaves
because it is not warm
enough it must be
over 60F (16C) or the air is too dry.
Or you may have over-watered it. If
so, repot in loam-based ericaceous
compost, making sure that you cover
the drainage hole with crocks to
ensure that surplus water escapes.
Also mist the leaves with tepid
water two or three times a week.

We have aconites
J Fox

growing in several
beds. I want to plant
Why so many tulip heads? bedding in early June,
so if I mulched on top

A bunch of tulips bought at the local they are as easy to grow as any other of the greenery now,
Q market included seven stems (out
of 12) with multiple heads. What can
species or variety.
To get the best from them, liquid-
would it be detrimental
to the aconites?
cause this? feed them with a high-potash tomato Barbara Bright, Highland Perthshire
Jackie Fox, Ripon fertiliser the moment leaves appear,
and continue at weekly intervals until Ideally, wait until the aconites

A There are several varieties of multi-

headed tulip ,and they have special
the foliage dies back for summer. It
will boost bulb size and ensure a good
A have died back and green leaves
have withered and discoloured
charm. Creating a riveting focal point, display the following year. before spreading well-rotted garden
compost or manure over the bed.
If you apply it before the leaves
What has attacked QHalf of my shrub seems to be dying
off, but others are doing very well.
have turned brown, they will not have
finished energising the plants and
my shrubs? Whats wrong?
Mrs Rosemary Stant (via email)
next years display may suffer.

The most likely cause is a reaction Several of my

A to cold or windy conditions.
It is always a bit odd when you see
Q young vegetable
plants are literally
just part of a plant affected, particularly vanishing overnight. I
if nearby plants remain unaffected, dont think it was slugs

but a small difference in the particular what else could it be?

microclimate can be significant. Audrey Collyer,
I suspect that the plant was subject Haverhill, Suffolk
to particularly cold wind or cold air at
some point, perhaps exacerbated by a If you are certain slugs and
vulnerability to such conditions, and
this is the reaction. As long as the plant
A snails arent to blame, I would
suggest rabbits, mice, birds or
remains alive it should re-grow from squirrels. I suspect you would see
further down the stems. signs of rabbit activity, but you may
It might be worthwhile cutting out the not spot the others, even though they
affected stems at some point, though not will take seedlings from the ground.
yet wait and see how the plant fares Next year, protect young plants with
once the warmer weather comes along. fleece or netting for the first 2-3
Plants should recover Also check that the affected stems weeks, so they can put down strong
from the cold have not been damaged, as this might be roots and anchor themselves.
R Stant

preventing water reaching the leaves.


Our soil is neutral, so to be sure of enjoying
the clear blue of Blue Bird I am planting it
into a container of ericaceous compost

How to grow... TopTip

Common hydrangeas contain
cyanide and as such are rarely
eaten by rabbits and deer.
This makes them an excellent
choice for gardens where
plants like roses are
For summer colour or papery, skeletal remains in winter, regularly nibbled.
make sure to plant a hydrangea, says Anne Swithinbank
YDRANGEAS are mysterious Avoid damp hollows though, as they helps to increase alkalinity.

H plants, as varieties with pink

flowers can turn blue, blues can
morph into pink. Some folk
have even been seen burying rusty nails
at the roots of their plants.
need good drainage. The best plants Ive
cared for grew in a north-facing border
along the front of a house where the
gutters leaked.
The flowers are interesting, because
Blue hydrangeas rely on aluminium to
retain colour and this is more available in
acidic soils of pH5-5.5. Watering in iron
sequestrine helps to unlock aluminium
and partly explains the rusty nail theory.
Pruning is puzzling too, as books say do they are either tiny and fertile, or large However the nails are providing only
it in spring, yet if you trim off too much, and sterile with showy petal-like sepals. insoluble iron oxide which is not
there will be no flowers that year. Despite In mopheaded sorts, the sepals create a available to the plants. Special colourants
this, the many varieties are easy to grow dome-like flowerhead, whereas lacecaps containing aluminium sulphate applied
and bring much-needed colour to produce dainty, flattish heads where annually to established plants helps them
gardens late in summer. Even after the larger sterile flowers appear to hover stay blue, as will acidic mulches such as
flowers have faded, their papery, skeletal around a cluster of fertile ones. pine needles.
remains are attractive. I like the slightly variable mauve tones
Hydrangea macrophylla is a deciduous, Flower colour produced by confused hydrangeas but if
woodland shrub to 7ft (2m) tall, native to Flower colour is determined by variety you prefer clear colours, one solution is to
Japan and also known as common or but is apt to change according to soil grow them in pots of appropriate potting
French hydrangea. Plants thrive in sunny acidity or alkalinity. Whites often remain compost. A neutral mix will preserve
positions as long as soil is moist but in true but pink cultivars turn mauve as pH pink, while an ericaceous compost helps
drier areas, benefit from light shade. drops towards acidic. Adding garden lime blooms stay blue.



Success with hydrangea Reader offer

The Most BUY
Hydrangea 2 FOR
Ever! 10!
hydrangea Glam
Rock is one of the

Main: Shutterstock. Circled: TimeInc

most eye-catching
available. The
rounded flower
heads are formed by

dozens of red florets
 Plant into soil enriched with  Tall, or thicket-like
with blue centres, each petal tipped with an extraordinary
well-rotted organic matter hydrangeas, will benefit
shade of lime-green. This robust, hardy shrub makes a
(main picture). Apply a slow- from thinning. Cut close
superb addition to borders or large patio containers. Height
release fertiliser for shrubs to the base and remove
and spread: 48in (120cm). Supplied as a 9cm potted plant.
(acid-loving shrubs, if blue- up to one third of stems
flowered) every spring and a to retain a good shape. Q Buy 1 for 9.99 Q Double up for 1p - Buy 2 for 10
2-3in (5-8cm) mulch.
 Hydrangeas suit
 Take off old flower heads woodland-style borders, To order, call direct on 0844 573 2021 quoting AG774Z
(lines open 9am-8pm weekdays, 9am-6pm weekends), OR
(circled), by cutting back to the alongside Japanese
order online today
topmost pair of fat buds in maples, shuttlecock OR complete the coupon below in BLOCK CAPITALS.
spring. Remove more than ferns (Matteuccia All orders will be acknowledged by letter or email, advising you of the expected despatch date. This offer is
this and you are cutting away struthiopteris) and subject to availability. Offer enquiry line 0844 573 2021 order lines are open seven days a week, 9am to 8pm
(Mon-Fri) 9am to 6pm (Weekends). All correspondence concerning this offer should be sent to: Amateur
this years flowers. astilbe. Gardening Hydrangea Offer, Dept AG774Z, PO Box 162, Ipswich, IP8 3BX. Please note your contract for supply of
goods is with Thompson & Morgan. (Terms and conditions available on request). Closing date: 30th April 2017.
Hydrangea despatched from April 2017.

Annes top 4 favourite Send to: AG Hydrangea Offer, Dept AG774Z, PO Box 162, Ipswich, IP8 3BX.

hydrangea varieties Code

Hydrangea Glam Rock x 1
Price QTY

TCK10122B Hydrangea Glam Rock x 2 10.00

TCM56850PA Large Patio Pot & Saucer x 1 (39cm) 9.99
TCM59095PA Large Patio Pot & Saucer x 2 (39cm) 14.98
TCC47551 Incredibloom Fertiliser 1 x 100g Sachet 4.99
TCC47552 Incredibloom Fertiliser 1 x 750g Tub 12.99


Postage 1.95
H. Mirai H. Madame Emile Total
A handsome and unusual- Mouillere Creamy-white
looking mophead, whose mophead boasts an attractive
I enclose my cheque no............... Value ...............
white petal-like sepals are greenish tinge as buds open made payable to: T&M. (with your name and address on the back).
decorated by a rim of red. and flowers fade. Autumn To pay by Mastercard/Visa/Maestro (delete as applicable) complete card details below.
Reaches 6ft (1.8m). tints. Reaches 6ft (1.8m). My card number is

(Maestro only) Valid from Expires end Issue no.

(Maestro only)





H. Endless Summer Blue H. Geoffrey Chadbund Address

This strong blue mophead A lacecap variety with rich Postcode
produces flowers over a long rose-red florets when grown
Telephone Date of birth
period, even from low down on alkaline soils. Even if blue
Amateur Gardening will collect your personal information to process your order and alert you of news, new products,
on the plant but turns mauve creeps in, the florets retain a

services and offers available from Amateur Gardening and from Time Inc. by email, phone and post. You can
-pink if soil veers away from rich, jewel-like colour. unsubscribe from emails by clicking unsubscribe from within the email. Please tick here if you prefer not to be
contacted by phone or post Q.
acidic. Reaches 5ft (1.5m). Reaches 5ft (1.5m). Email
25 MARCH 2017 / AG774Z


Still water is very calming, reecting the
surrounding plants and sky above
Marianne Majerus

Colour and scented plants are important in a sensory

garden, as are touchy feely plants and textured surfaces

How to create
a sensory garden
This type of garden offers positive benets to all, but is particularly helpful to those
with autism, disabilities or mental health problems, says Kim Stoddart
OURE probably well aware touch without being overwhelming. sounds like rustling trees, bird song or the

Y how much your garden can

provide an antidote to stress
and sadness, or to the hectic
pace of modern life; a calm space in
which you can switch off and relax.
Being close to nature has been proven to
be therapeutic, and as long as your
garden is relatively quiet, then sensory
sound of water running, all help to create
a tranquil space in which to relax and
engage with your surroundings.

For those on the autistic spectrum, like

my 7-year-old son Arthur, a garden can I took Arthur
become something of a lifeline.
Arthur can quickly feel overwhelmed into the garden
and anxious. When he was little and
having one of his meltdowns, I took him where he instantly
out into the garden where he almost
instantly calmed down. Realising the
calmed down
importance of our outdoor space, Ive
since transformed it into a sensory garden
with lots of sounds, smells, and tons of details can easily be weaved in and
wildlife and areas for Arthur to explore. around your existing space with hardly
Kim Stoddart/NP

Kims garden is a haven for her little

A sensory garden stimulates the five any effort at all. Relaxing scents such as boy Arthur, who has autism
senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and lavender, rose and jasmine or appealing


3 essential sensory features

Marianne Majerus


Attract wildlife in Use sound Create a time-out area

A number of studies show that Incorporate lots of gravel paths to If the size of your garden allows, create
engaging with nature makes people encourage movement from one area to a special secluded area for people to
healthier and happier. There are lots of another and to create a nice crunchy retreat to. This is a particularly good
ways to attract wildlife into your sound underfoot you could even opt for way for those with autism to find quiet
garden, from hanging bird feeders, to coloured stones to add further if they are feeling overwhelmed.
allowing certain areas of the garden to stimulation. Likewise, the swishing Screen off the area with hedging,
grow a bit wild, to building a wildlife sound that trees, bamboo and ornamental ornamental grasses or trellis, and
pond to encourage frogs and toads. grasses make in light wind is calming. include seating within.

Benches work well placed around the

whole garden but its not just about
sitting and reflecting the process of What is a sensory garden?
gardening itself (planting and digging, for
example) can be incredibly educational Scratch-n-sniff: include plants
and confidence-building, especially for with aromatic foliage such as
those with autism. herbs and pelargoniums
Getting Arthur to eat anything healthy is
a battle, but foraging for edibles in the
garden works wonders. Like a lot of
children with autism, his diet can be
limited at times helping to sow and
grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables
engages him and encourages him to eat
them after harvesting. So make room for
a vegetable patch or raised bed or two,
and weave in fruit bushes and trees
where you can.
Plants that are poisonous should be
avoided and any potentially dangerous All gardens are sensory but a specially-
power tools locked away. Otherwise its designed sensory garden will have a
about working with the individual and concentration of different experiences
giving them the opportunity to express that stimulate the ve basic senses of
what they would like to do. sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
Activities like planting seeds and
watching them grow, through to the The sensation of having the senses
watering of plants and foraging for fresh tantalised can have a number of positive
produce, have the potential to be reactions from being calming and
grounding and life-affirming, whether therapeutic to providing enriching and
youre on the autism spectrum or just educational experiences.
simply desire a tranquil space to unwind. Sensory gardens are for everyone, but
So its worth considering some low Ornamental grasses are are particularly benecial to children,
maintenance adaptions in order to make good touchy-feely plants and those who are disabled or suffering

your outside space a truly calming and with mental health problems.
stimulating place to enjoy. Q


6 top sensory garden plants 2 of the best
sensory edibles
Try it! Being involved in the process of
growing crops can help those with
autism deal with some of their
sensory barriers when it comes to
eating fruit and vegetables.



Both GAP
Lavender Jasmine
If you add just one scented plant this Plant out summer jasmine (Jasminum
spring make it lavender. Even better, officinale) now and youll be enjoying its Peas and fennel
why not a collection. Grow in large pots delectable scent later in the year. Choose Peas are easy to grow from seed
or borders especially around seating. a sunny, sheltered spot thats south or and delicious eaten straight from
Go for English lavender varieties, which west-facing. In a small garden plant it in the pod like sweets. Fennel is an
have the strongest scent. a large pot and let it clamber up trellis. appetite enhancer and good for
autists that are under-stimulated by
food, due to its strong flavour.

Soft fruit
Blackcurrants have a strong flavour,
and they encourage foraging, which

stimulates the senses. Raspberries

Roses Honeysuckle and strawberries are also good.
You can plant out pot-grown roses now Another climber that is incredibly easy to
or wait until June when the majority are grow and which releases the most
in flower, choosing with your nose for delightful fruity scent, especially at
the best results. If planting at this latter
time, be vigilant with watering.
night. Its no wonder that pollinating
insects love it.
Find out more
According to the National
Autistic Society more than one in
100 in the UK are living with
autism. Those with autism see,
hear and feel the world differently
to others in varying degrees, and
the condition can affect how they
interact with others. With the
right sort of support, all can be
helped to live a more fulfilling life
of their own choosing.
For more information see


Kim is launching a new

Mint Rosemary autism-focused care farm and
The scent is reputedly stimulating for This Mediterranean herb has a social enterprise on her
the brain and the process of crushing a distinctive scent when the leaves are smallholding in West Wales.
textured mint leaf to release the smell is rubbed, which may also be stimulating Go to
sensory in itself. Just be sure to contain for the brain and memory performance.
its vigour by growing it in a pot. It also attracts bees.


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Reader offer Worth
48 FREE* English
Lavender for every reader
*Just pay 5.65 postage

AVENDER is an easy to grow, small shrub with
beautifully scented flowers. The nectar-rich blooms
are particularly attractive to bees and the stems are
ideal for cutting or drying. Your collection will contain
24 plug plants each of Munstead (Height 45cm Spread 60cm)
and Hidcote (Height 60cm Spread 30cm).

Lavender Munstead Lavender Hidcote

Other special offers:

Carolina Allspice OFFER Buddleja Buzz Indigo
1 Carolina is a hardy,
2 Dusky, deep blue
adaptable and owers on short,
trouble-free garden bushy plants that
shrub. And the best only grow 4 feet
bit is the fragrance tall makes this
- like a bowl of the perfect size
stewed apples with for patio pots and
cinnamon. The smaller gardens. It
perfume comes also attracts clouds
from not only the of butteries with
showy owers, its nectar rich
but also from the blooms. Height
crushed leaves! and spread: 120cm
Supplied as a 9cm (47). Supplied as a
potted plant. jumbo plug plant
HIGHL D Q Buy 1 for 14.99 OVER Q Buy 1 for 7.99
SC Q Buy 2 for 19.98 13 Q Buy 3 for 9.99
SAVE 10 SAVE 13.98



Lavender The Princess How to
Cardholders call direct on 0844 573 2021 quoting AGT272Z

or AGT273Z if youre a subscriber. The order lines are open seven days a
order week, 9am to 8pm (Mon-Fri) 9am to 6pm (Weekends) (voicemail at other
times). Minimum order 10. Alternatively, please complete the coupon in
The fragrance BLOCK CAPITALS. Remittance may be made by MasterCard, Visa, Maestro,
and colour of this postal order or cheque (name, address and AGT272Z/AGT273Z if a subscriber) on the back
of cheque, please), crossed and made payable to T&M. Delivery to UK addresses only.
lovely French
All orders will be acknowledged by letter or email, advising you of the expected despatch date. This offer
lavender can be is subject to availability. Offer enquiry line 0844 573 2021 order lines are open seven days a week, 9am to
8pm (Mon-Fri) 9am to 6pm (Weekends). All correspondence concerning this offer should be sent to:
enjoyed in patio Amateur Gardening Annuals offer, Dept AGT272Z/AGT273Z, PO Box 162, Ipswich, IP8 3BX. Please note
pots, borders or your contract for supply of goods is with Thompson & Morgan. (Terms and conditions available on
request). Closing date: 30 April 2017. Free lavender despatched from April 2017.
as a low hedging
option. A great bee
attraction for your 0844 573 2021, please quote
summer displays. AGT272Z (minimum order 10 AGT272Z
Height & spread: Q Subscribers quote AGT273Z Q Subscribers should visit
75cm (30). and your subscriber number
to claim your 10% discount AGT273Z to claim your 10% discount
Supplied as a 8cm
potted plant
GET 1 Q Buy 1 for 9.99
Q Buy 2 & Get 1 free Send to: Amateur Gardening, Free English Lavender Dept AGT272Z/AGT273Z,
PO Box 162, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP8 3BX
for 19.98
Price price QTY Total

Acacia dealbata TCM45385A Carolina Allspice x 1
Carolina Allspice x 2

19.98 13.49

TCM47517A Buddleja Buzz Indigo x 1 7.99 7.19
This handsome
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Every week in


) * +


Tea break
Prize draw
UNWINS is famous for its beautiful
(( () sweet peas and we have a fantastic
(* collection of top varieties to give away
to five lucky readers this week.
(+ (, The collection, worth 10.96,
comprises sweet peas Little Red
Riding Hood, Maloy, Old Fashioned
(- Mixed and Erewhon.
See below for details of how to enter
this weeks competition.

Crossword How to enter:

Send your name and address on the back of a postcard to Unwins Sweet Peas Draw, Amateur

...just for fun! Gardening, Westover House, West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1JG. Or you can email your
details to, heading the email Unwins Sweet Peas Draw. The closing
date for entries is: 27 March 2017.
ACROSS spear grass (5)
1 Technically it starts on 21 2 The butterfly orchid
March also a variety of (habenaria) is also known as
kniphofia and Papaver
orientalis (10)
7 Cake sugar, as in the
perennial Salvia greggii
the ____ orchid if its on a
leash! (4)
3 European singing bird, as
well as a cultivar of both 30! Wordsearch
This word

_____ Sugar (5) rhododendron and fuchsia search has S F G N I T S I M C

8 Ficus elastica is the Latin (11) words connected to
name for the _____ rubber 4 This hosta cultivar is also indoor plants and D F E R N S E O L A
tree (5) said of a dancer or someone houseplants. They are
9 Genus of the hardy light on their feet (7,4) listed below; in the grid A C B E S Y C I M T
they may be read
perennial Stokes aster in 5 This hosta cultivar is also a
across, backwards, up, I T A E D I V E A S
the daisy family (8) Gorgon monster of Greek down or diagonally.
10 Nerine sarniensis is mythology (6) Letters may be shared L E G L G I N I T O
known as the _______ lily 6 Lady pop singer, after between words.
(8) whom a new genus of ferns Erroneous or duplicate E S A N A O N D N P
14 This cultivar of achillea has been named (4) words may appear in
and stachyurus is both an 10 Topically (for we are now the grid, but there is M F V Y A D N G A M
ancient Jordanian city, and in the Christian 40-day fast), only one correct
the first Blue Peter dog! (5) Helleborus orientalis is solution. After the O F E L A Y I I R O
listed words are found
15 Olea europaea is better known as the ______ rose
there are 10 letters R O G I P S O U A C
known as this usually in (6)
remaining; arrange
oil and often with garlic (5) 11 Spaces in flower beds and these to make this B A B L U B U H M S
17 Brussels sprouts in July borders, perhaps, where weeks KEY WORD.
and rhubarb in November some instant colour from
this is how you might bedding plants may be AGAVE HOW TO ENTER: Enter this weeks keyword on the entry
describe them! (10) added (4) form, and send it to AG Word Search No 357, Amateur
DOWN 12 Lilium medeoloides is Gardening, Westover House, West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset
ALOE BH15 1JG, to arrive by Weds 5 April, 2017. The first correct
1 Genus of some 300 known as the _____ lily (5)
BEGONIA entry chosen at random will win our 30 cash prize.
species of perennial 13 Visible indication, as in
the tall bearded iris ____ of
grasses, known as feather
Leo (4) BULB This weeks Keyword is ..................................................................................
grass, needle grass and
10 Lenten 11 Gaps 12 Wheel 13 Sign COMPOST Address ................................................................................................................
DOWN 1 Stipa 2 Rein 3 Nightingale 4 Twinkle Toes 5 Medusa 6 Gaga
15 Olive 16 Unseasonal .................................................................................................................................
ACROSS 1 Springtime 7 Icing 8 India 9 Stokesia 11 Guernsey 14 Petra FERNS
CROSSWORD ANSWERS HOYA Postcode ..............................................................................................................
LILY Email .....................................................................................................................


MARANTA Tel no .....................................................................................................................

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Available in a range of colours from
Marianne Majerus

pastels to bold, rich shades,

alstroemerias are star performers that
keep shining all summer long

Its time to plant

Given the right conditions, Peruvian lilies will reward you
with months of beautiful blooms, says Annie Bullen
HESE colourful perennials from fragile, easily damaged and can suffer a

T South America, are equally at

home in a traditional border or a
more modern border. Theyll
brighten up your pots, too, especially if
you choose lower-growing hybrids that
range of root rots.
Most modern Peruvian lilies are hardy
down to -5C/23F or lower. Once planted,
leave well alone for a couple of years apart
from giving a good thick (8in/20cm) winter
will spread outwards rather than reaching mulch. After this time they will be securely
for the sky. rooted and will need no more fussing.
But patience is required! Lovely Peruvian My first sight of alstroemeria was in a
lilies need time and space to settle in, and Suffolk garden many years ago. A huge and
you must allow them at least a couple of spreading patch of orange and gold
years to tuck their toes deeply in the seemed to be marching in all directions.
ground and feel at home. Looking back, I think they must have been
Plan ahead and choose a free-draining, A. aurea (then called A. aurantiaca).

rich and fertile soil in a sunny, sheltered Certainly showy, they were also vigorous.
spot, ideally in full sun. Some light shade The only other types generally available
wont harm them. Buy your chosen
alstroemeria in the biggest pot you can
then were the A. ligtu hybrids in shades
from pale cream to rose-pink. These can
Florists favourite
afford, feeling gently to check that its be grown from seed, which is best sown in Alstroemerias or Peruvian lilies
tubers are fat and firm or order tubers the autumn, to allow a natural winter are not only beautiful in a vase, they
now, ready for dispatch in April. chilling before germination. are incredibly long-lasting, too. If
Yes, you can buy alstroemeria tubers by These days, however, you are spoiled for you pick your stems fresh from the
post bare root. This is certainly the choice. There are dozens of varieties, from garden they will give you at least
cheapest option, but not one I would tall and elegant Christine Marsh, a deep three weeks decoration probably
recommend. Although you might be lucky, and dappled maroon, to the lower- more. All you need to do is change
the chances of achieving a healthy plant growing Inca series which are very the water once a week or so.
are low as the tubers and roots are very suitable for showing off in pots. Q


6 amazing alstroemerias Growing tips for
Try our top picks for fabulous owers
foolproof results

Plug plants will need potting on

Prepare a well-drained site in
sun or part light shade, adding
lots of garden compost or well-

rotted manure. Allow for plenty of

growing space. A healthy plant will

eventually spread to 24in/60cm.

Indian Summer Pandora Taller plants may need supports.
One of the few dark-leaved varieties A tall and beautiful light purple with a
available, with soft orange and red pale yellow throat. Especially good for Buy well-grown plants with rm
flowers at about 2ft/60cm. growing as a cut flower. 3ft/90cm. tubers. Garden-ready plants in
1.5-litre pots will give a good show
of owers this season. Get them in
the ground anytime from April to
August. If youre buying plug plants,
its better to pot them up and wait
for a bigger rootball to form before
planting out.

Water them very well, but

allow to dry thoroughly between
waterings. Feed weekly with tomato
fertiliser during owering.

Protect young emerging shoots

from slugs and snails.

Deadhead to maintain owering


Perfect Blue Friendship for up to six months.

Another tall beauty at 3ft/90cm, with Delicate greenish-yellow flowers with a
lavender blue flowers and a creamy deeper yellow throat. Equally good in a
throat. Good strong stems, too. mixed border and in a vase. 3ft/90cm.

Garden-ready plants in 1.5-litre pots


Where to buy
For garden-ready pots:
Viv Marsh Postal Plants
(National Collection holder)
Garden World Images

01939 291475

For jumbo plug plants:

Inca Glow Maya Dwarf Thompson & Morgan
This really good clumper has shocking One of the Intichanca series, this is low- 0844 573 1818
pink blooms at around 18in/45cm. growing at 8in/20cm. The white petals
Flowers from June to November. are enhanced by a pale pink throat.


5 planting ideas for alstroemerias

Timeinc/Sally Charrett

Grow in containers Go modern

Opt for shorter varieties that will Plant bold-hued varieties such as
not need staking, like the Inca Princess Leyla against a
series. They look equally good backdrop of grasses and spiky-
grown as a specimen plant on leaved plants such as yucca and
their own, or in a mixed Eryngium agavifolium for a more
container with other sun lovers. contemporary look.

Contrast with blue

Pair fiery red and orange alstroemerias
Marianne Majerus

with the blue flowers of aconitum for

an eye-catching late summer combo.

Enhance a cottage style border Plant en masse

Pastel shades like pink Diana Princess of Wales work well Group a single variety together and allow to spread for
with cottage garden favourites like penstemons, Campanula maximum impact. Choose a vigorous type like the rosy pink
persicifolia and shrub roses. and orange-tongued Morning Star.


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Your letters
with Jenny Bagshaw
Write to:
Jenny Bagshaw, Amateur Gardening, Westover House, West Quay Road,
Poole, Dorset BH15 1JG or email:

Home-grown exotics Fond memories

of my Nan
WAS interested to read How to

I create an Exotic garden (AG 4 March).

I have found three plants that you
can keep in the ground that will come up
Garden planning
Banana plants
while the palm
(Musa and Ensete
with red-leaved
) need winter protec
Trachycarpus fortun
Red Dragon and
tion in the UK,
coleus, Persicaria ei is a hardier alternative. Under
Ricinus communis


IT was great to go out into my garden
in February to nd that the buds on
my camellia had started to open.
every year and can also be grown in pots. This particular plant has a great
Theyre Ricinus communis, Canna emotional signicance for me as it
phasion and Colocasia Coco aka elephant reminds me of my late Nan who sadly
ears. This latter plant has absolutely passed last year, so I thought Id share
enormous leaves which give a fantastic a picture with other AG readers.
effect. My exotic garden isnt as Grant Rivers, South Ockendon,
wonderful as the one created by Essex
Christopher Lloyd but Im hoping it will
be eventually! Part 1
How to create an
Hannah Roberts, Dawlish, Devon
Exotic garden
esculenta Black
Magic, whose imme
black leaves are nse
among these aliens stuff of dreams. But in
Offsetting the lush are more familiar sights.
greenery, the likes
Verbena bonar of
iensis, Hillcrest
and Canna Gene Royal dahlias
Whether you wan splash
ral Eisenhower
drastic transfor t to update a border or are
Jenny says... Sounds like youre on the of vivid colour. e
And while creati
mation of you plan ng a jungle borde
has the lowdow r whole plot, Haz ning a sound tricky, it
is, in fact, highly r may
n on achieving el
a bright, bold jungSillver
Tender specim achievable.
ens arent alway
to grow as you s as difficult

right track Hannah to produce a

USH foliage, explo
sions of colour le look even produce a
might imagine,
and you can
and a sense of certainly the effect at fabulo us jungle borde
the exotic there the Exotic Garde only hardy UK r using
are few planting Great Dixter in n at garden plants.
styles as excitin East Many plants we
as the jungle look. g late Christopher Sussex, created by the know and love

stunning effect! sense of drama,

of escapism: dense
this is
planti ng
overhaul a borde you want to
Done well, jungle a great style to go for.
creates a feelin
immense leaves
into a strang
Lloyd and head
r and inject a real Fergus Garrett. Hidden benea gardener
th a canopy of
, you find yours
e paradise of bizarr elf drawn
teamed with other

choose the 12ft

donax) or umbr
tall giant reed grass t,
- when
- can create a jungleexotic-looking specimens
effect. For heigh
g flowers and e foliage, ella
green and forms foliage produces layers of scents. murielae). Slight bamboo (Fargesia
shady pockets Visit Dixter in Septe ly smaller is the
exotic flowers in which grass Miscanthus varieg
bloom in parro the Exotic Garde mber or Octob
er, when Cosm sinensis var. conde ated
And if the planti t-like colours. n is nsatu
ng come across weird at its best, and you will opolitan, which
reaches 6ft, while s
in-Wonderland is tall, there is that Alice- biennial Angel
sense of being you may not have and wonderful plants ica archangelic
a and annual
surreal, oversized small in a laid eyes upon Nicotiana sylves
landscape. That spidery green Cyper before: the tris will each provid
is us vegetus; the verdant exotic e
Begonia luxuri palm-like a in a compact
32 AMATEUR GARDEN ans; the fabulo Similarly, colou (4ft) package.
ING 4 MARCH us Colocasia r does not have
2017 courtesy of tende to come
r species: the shock
ing pink

Ricinus communis

a d e r s mini
Re nail tools from

Quick are a safe and

an old manicure set

Tips handle
convenient way to
or repot small,
Colocasia Coco Canna phasion prickly cacti.
Linda Kettle, Portsmouth, Hants

A lily by any other name

I WAS ecstatic to see you mention Elodie lilies in AG 4 March.
I brought some for friends a few years ago when they had a
daughter who they named Elodie but nobody seemed to have
heard of them then.
Ive found their delicate owers to be surprisingly robust
and therefore longer lasting than my other lilies, though
theyre tall and benet from carefully staking. If only they had
a fragrance, but you cant have everything!
The only thing I would add to your advice is to carefully
scrape away and replace the top layer of soil in the pot with
fresh compost when removing the brown stems in autumn.
Iona Chisholm, Licheld, Staffs


Our Star Letter wins 40 in National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought and redeemed at over
Vouchers; tip of the week, 10; other letters 5 2,000 UK outlets offering more than 90,000 garden plants
(10 if we use a photo youve sent). and products. Visit for details.

Sow simple colour with annual climbers

ANNUAL climbers are a cheap and For best results, sow directly into pots
cheerful way of bringing colour into the or troughs of John Innes No 2, or multi-
garden. They are useful for masking purpose compost with a top layer of seed
unsightly areas compost heaps, sheds, compost to avoid seedling root burn.
wheelie bins etc and scramble If you are sowing hardy climbers
up and through trellises, or other hardy annuals directly
pagodas, even unattractive into the ground, create a
shrubs and hedges. ne tilth, and water before
I want to grow some in sowing. Sow climbers in
pots to hide the garden straight drills so you can
shed, and sowing now will support them. Canes and
give early owers. Hardy netting work, while hazel

Cheerful yellow
climbers like sweet peas, Canary creeper poles look very attractive.
and near hardy Trapaeolum Popular climbers include
speciosum will be OK left outdoors hardy sweet peas; and tender cup-
in a sheltered spot, but tender types like and-saucer vine (green-white owers
cup-and-saucer vine Cobea scandens will ageing purple); Morning Glory (indigo, blue
Sow annual climbers now but need keeping frost-free in the greenhouse or purple trumpets); vivid yellow black-
protect frost tender species until May. Sowing now gets them eyed Susan; and Canary creeper, which
established early. also have bright yellow owers.

Combination catastrophe!
NO, no, no! Ruth Hayes tip on growing then I realised that the wall of colour
annual Canary creeper with Morning was setting seed like mad.
Glory (AG 25 Feb) was the worst plant For the last four years Ive been
combination that I ever tried! digging out those seeds from my
s One summer I thought itd be a good garden. From early in the year to about
Jenny e idea to have a wall of colour and help September they keep popping up and
pic ofek the insects in my kitchen garden.
The truth was the Canary creeper
get in the way of already growing veg!
In a small garden having a plant thats
we grew like mad and then it only flowered impossible to control makes life very
for three weeks. The wretched plant hard to put new plants in the garden.
killed off the Morning Glory first and Maggie Powell, Minehead, Somerset
Terric Tete-a-Tetes
FOR six years now Ive had the gift of
an early Spring greeting from these
lovely little Tete-a-Tete daffodils.
Glorious Morning Glory
When you long for early signs of WE grew Morning Glory last summer from
Spring youre rewarded with a show of the free seeds given away with Amateur
little green shoots. All it takes is a Gardening and had a lovely show of
handful of bulb fertilizer to encourage blooms. Theyre also a great attraction for
growth and just look at the result you bees and wasps who enjoyed the pollen
can have, year after year. produced by the flowers.
Maximum reward for minimum Mrs June Platt, Norley, Cheshire
effort and expense.
John Livingstone, Jenny says... On the continent these
Jersey, Channel Islands scramble everywhere with gay abandon.

Editorial Complaints If you have a complaint about our editorial content, material you are complaining about and explain
We work hard to achieve the highest standards you can email us at or your complaint by reference to the Editors Code.
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( as enforced by IPSO. Street, London, SE1 0SU. Please provide details of the correct substantial errors as soon as possible.

Amateur Classified advertising Head office: Time Inc. (UK) Ltd,

Meet the team! 020 3148 2858
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Tried & tested
We try before you buy

Bird baths
Consumer editor Julia Heaton looks at
ways of providing drinking water and
bathing facilities for garden birds
UR feathered friends washing fairly frequently in

O love somewhere
to drink and
somewhere to bathe
to keep their feathers in
tip-top condition. Bird baths
summer to keep the water
sweet and algae-free. A soft
brush will do the ones you
can simply lift and tip out, for
heavy stone ones youll need
come in all shapes and sizes a stiff scrubbing brush and a
so when looking for one hosepipe or watering can to
make sure birds have a good sluice them out afterwards.
edge on which to perch for We check out six completely
drinking, and that it is shallow different styles of bird bath to
enough in parts for them to see what they offer in terms
stand up and splash around. of usability, attractiveness

All will require cleaning and and value.

Blue Glass Bird Bath Fiesta Drinker Hanging Bird Bath

24.99 RRP 7.99+ 3.25 delivery 12.43
01406 372227 0800 731 2820 0345 077 8888 for stockists for storender

Score Score Score

13 5 13 5 11 5
1 1 1
Features Features Features
Wave-patterned frost resistant blue and Ceramic basket-style bird bath/drinker, Contemporary square dished steel bath
clear glass dish with four-legged, hinged available in red, green or blue with 5in with rounded wire sides, all finished in
black-painted steel stand with plastic (13cm) plastic-covered wire hanging a dark bronze patina. Size 16in (41cm)
cap feet. H. 18in (46cm), dia. 14in loop. Height 6in (17cm), dia. 4in square, max water depth 2in (5.5cm),
(37cm), max. water depth 1in (2.5cm). (12cm), max. water depth 1in (2.5cm). suspended from four 21in (53cm) steel
hanging chains on a steel ring.
Performance  Performance 
Hinged legs unfold and the glass dish Easy to hang from a feeding station or a Performance 
is simply placed on top. Four plastic tree branch, its small but sill manages to Lightweight in itself, it holds a
suckers keep the glass in place and hold a good mug-and-a-half of water and surprisingly large amount of water so
stop it sliding about, ensuring the dish is pretty stable when hanging: even in youll need something substantial to
remains stable. The colourful glass feels blustery conditions it holds onto its water hang it from. Its filled weight means it
robust and is broad but fairly shallow, without spilling. Smooth finish is easy to tends not to swing about too much so it
and a flat base means itll sit happily on clean, but solid sides means bathing birds holds on to its water. Steel construction
any flat surface. The smooth glass wipes might sometimes be obscured. will rust eventually the wired edges
clean very easily. likely to be particularly vulnerable.
Value  Cheerful colours, excellent value, and Value 
Shop around and youll find it for much will be at home in any garden though A reasonable price for an unusual bird
less than the RRP, making it great value its small size means youre unlikely to bath, but you may eventually need to
for a cheerful, versatile design. see more than one bird bathing at once. coat it with non-toxic rust-beating paint.


Next week Under pressure:
{ we get blasting to test
powered water jet washers

Hatfield Cast Stone Grow under glass

Bird Bath 59.99+ 4.99 delivery Get your glasshouse shipshape

0118 903 5210

A pedestal and square dish of cream-coloured
cast stone. H. 20in (51cm), 16in (42cm)
square, max. water depth 1in (4.5cm).

Much more attractive than plain concrete,
but even though its in two pieces its pretty
heavy you may need help to set it up in your
Halls Popular 4ft x 6ft
garden. Its weight and solidity mean it wont be
Wide Greenhouse
Best buy
blown over, though. Itll weather beautifully, and birds
will love the wide expanse of water to splash about in. 289.99 FREE DELIVERY

14 5 0121 321 6070
A great price you can easily pay more than twice as
much for something of similar quality. 1 With an aluminium frame and
horticultural glass for maximum
light, this greenhouse is ideal for a
Verdegris Bird Bath Medium Copper small space. Width is 6ft 4in (193cm),
depth 4ft 4in (133cm) and height 6ft
21.99 RRP Chalice 36+ 4.95 delivery 3in (190cm). Theres a sliding front
door, integral gutters and an opening
01406 372227 0800 699 0868 roof vent. Assembly is required. for stockists
Score Score Disinfectant
13 5 13 5 3.99
1 1 01530 510060 for stockists

Features Features Keep your greenhouse

  sparkling clean and free
from germs, bacteria, moulds and
Freestanding weather Hand-made copper dish with black iron mildew that might kill or stunt the
resistant resin plastic in support rod, first designed for a Chelsea growth of your plants. A concentrated
verdigris-effect colour. Some self show garden. Self assembly required. disinfectant with added orange oils,
assembly required. Ground anchor pegs Height with spike 41in (105.5cm), dia. it can be used on glass, work
supplied. H. 24in (62cm), dia.15in 8in (21cm), max water depth 1in surfaces, pots and tools.
(39.5cm), max. water depth 3in (7.5cm). (4.5cm). Other sizes also available.

Performance  Performance  Greenhouse

Designed to look like expensive cast A garden sculpture in its own right the Gro-Beds x3
All prices correct at time of going to press and may vary at garden centres

iron, its pretty convincing with a large, solid steel support pole screws together
deep dish providing lots of water. Four before being screwed into a nut brazed
11.99 + 4.95 P&P
pieces screw together, but take care onto the bottom of the copper chalice. 0844 557 6700
not to cross-thread them. Sturdy when Use a spanner to avoid risk of tearing
assembled but light in weight, a strong the joint with the copper. The solid pole Collapsible Gro-Beds
gust may see it topple: the ground pegs means it doesnt sway much so it holds are perfect if you dont
will help. Smooth finish is easy to clean. its water well. Will eventually weather to want to create soil beds. Youll need
a lovely natural verdigris finish. four sturdy canes to slide into the
Value  sleeves of each side for rigidity, then
A large, easy-maintenance and Value  the bed can be filled. Theyre 32in
traditional-looking bird bath for not a Fairly pricey but a beautiful garden (80cm) long by 21in (54cm) wide and
huge amount of money. object that will stand the test of time. each takes 140-150 litres of compost.



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Get the look
Ideas for gorgeous gardens
Use a symmetrical design, box parterres, and a largely
white palette around a central water feature to create
a formal showstopper

The attraction of opposites

Classic, clipped formality meets unrestrained cottage garden exuberance in Oxfordshire
IXING formal and informal while four box parterres enclose plants

M styles can be a gardening

gamble. Get it right and the
contrasting approaches
enhance one another; get it wrong and
youre left with something of a muddle,
The plot benets
from amazing soil
chosen for both colour and fragrance.
Along with the beautiful Cotswold stone
walls and outbuildings this north-facing
plot also benets from amazing sandy
loam soil. Its very easy and workable,
lacking both cohesion and identity. says Jane. Were really lucky.
Jane Stewart has skilfully make it work With the help of her architect husband So aside from adding compost every
in her three-level Oxfordshire plot where David, she was able to create the perfect other year and mulching with mushroom
a white formal garden, inspired by visits to symmetrical layout the couple compost, little attention is required. The
Sissinghurst and Hidcote Manor, leads to undertaking most of the planning, some of plants, too, make the most of their good
a large sweep of lawn surrounded by wide the hard landscaping and all of the fortune, and many in the lower-level
borders lled with cottage garden plants planting themselves. Using her knowledge borders require staking in summer. The
that grow with abandon. plus a lot of trial and error Jane lled the planting here is far less restrained, with
Jane says the L-shape of the house space with all-white plants, gradually peonies, geraniums, geums and nepeta all
meant a formal design was an obvious adding touches of dark blue from the likes ghting for their place.
choice for the top level. Its enclosed on of Campanula lactiora. Ive tried all sorts, she says. But I
three sides, so it really lends itself to a A small circular pond provides the focal usually come back to cottage garden
formal courtyard area. point from which stone paths radiate, plants because they just work so well.


The attraction of opposites
Keep extra seating tidy yet to hand by hanging folding chairs on nails on an
exterior wall. The chairs have been painted green to complement the planting

Muted paintwork on the summerhouse

this one an Edwardian original is
echoed by the lounger cushions

For a white rose choose Margaret Merril

which benets from disease resistance
and exceptional fragrance

In borders, play the

numbers game by adding
several of the same variety.
I plant in threes and ves
for a sort of rhythm, says When deciding where to position
Jane, who has also installed seating, follow the path of the sun.
a trio of obelisks This one captures the days nal rays


Get the look
Ideas for gorgeous gardens

Hardy, silvery-grey Stachys byzantina

makes a useful addition to a white garden
and is the perfect foil for the deep blue of
Salvia x sylvestris Mainacht
Words by Kathryn Wilson/ photography The Garden Collection/FP/James Kerr

Dusky-toned Papaver orientale

Pattys Plum is a strikingly unusual
poppy, but staking and deadheading
are essential

Create an island
in an expanse of lawn
Maintain continuity with pots when planting this one has a brick plinth and
by sticking to the same shades throughout armillary surrounded by lavender

For a splash of yellow that will not need

A cottage garden favourite, geranium staking, try Phlomis fruticosa, which
Johnsons Blue is great for ground looks great teamed with blue nepeta
cover in borders. Janes tip is to cut
them down in mid-summer for a
second ush of owers

Meet the owner

OWNER Jane Stewart
Aston, Oxfordshire
an acre
ASPECT North-facing
SOIL Sandy loam
SPECIAL FEATURES Mix of formal and
informal, enclosed and semi-enclosed
spaces within Cotswold stone walls.
White courtyard with box parterres, large
lawn surrounded by herbaceous borders,
patio and Edwardian summerhouse, and
a small orchard.



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Toby Buckland
Nurseryman and former Gardeners World host

Tobys top tips

QIts illegal to leave traps or do anything
that will harm a cat. Aim either to create
a barrier (twigs) or use harmless water
sprays or scents that keep them at bay.

A snoozing cat looks harmless enough,

says Toby, but their fouling can be a real
problem on a freshly-tilled veg patch

Veg bed cat-astrophe! QThink long term. If you can keep cats
out of veg beds for a season they tend to
forget they ever marked there, and are
less likely to come back.
Toby wages war on an a-paw-ling stink on the veg plot
T turns out that Im not the only one aromas we find slightly overpowering and as they also contain pesticides Im

I making use of my newly tilled

vegetable beds. Our cat Parker has
rudely decided to turn the freshly-
raked soil into a giant litter tray, making it
smell and meaning I must tread very
things like lavender, citrus, peppermint
and eucalyptus oil are far too much for
moggies to bear.
A teaspoon of the oil diluted in a litre
of water then sprayed onto soil is all it
giving them a miss.
The oils, bought from a health food shop
for around 3 each, have a strong but
pleasant pong and Ill let you know which,
if any, works best.
carefully when sowing and hoeing. takes. Or you can do as Im doing: soaking If they fail theres always the nuclear
To add insult to injury, the problem is cotton wool balls in the oil then leaving option: a motion-sensor water sprayer.
getting worse as the neighbourhood cats them under up-turned terracotta pots Although expensive at 60 a pop they
are now flocking to this new latrine to try where their aroma can waft but the wool work a treat. The sprayer clips to the
and out-do the other cats doings. is protected from rain. hosepipe, you set up the sensitivity, then
So, in the spirit of fighting fire with fire, My mother used the similar trick of any cats daring to walk into the line of
Ive decided to leave a scent of my own scattering moth balls over the soil to keep sight, let alone kick up a stink, will get a
and dont worry, thats really nowhere cats at bay, but I dont like their fusty scent harmless but startling spray.

Fighting re with
re, Im leaving a
Jobof the
Set up a veg patch cat deterrent
PREVENTION is better

than cure and if you
can keep cats from the
scent of my own soil they cant foul your
veg beds. Chicken wire fixed
to timber battens and laid over the soil
stops cats scraping and can be left in
near as bad as it sounds!
place for seedlings to grow through the
The fragrance bomb Im dropping is
gaps. In more ornamental areas use
made from plant oils that cats cant abide.
prickle strips, lengths of plastic mesh
As well as their unsavoury habits, felines
with soft plastic spikes on one side.

also have noses that are 40 times more

sensitive than our own. This means that



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