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Are you embarrassed by your Latin plant names skills?

Latin plant names demystified

Do you avoid using Latin names for plants? Do they seem too complicated or even unnecessary? After all, we can all have beautiful gardens without knowing the Latin names of our plants. So I try…

November 18th, 2018 - Gardening know how, Wildlife & eco

Do you really need to do a soil test?

Find out which nutrients your soil lacks with a soil test

'So how many people in this room have done a soil test?' This question was asked by garden designer Adam Frost at a recent talk at the Painters Forstal Gardening Club. There were over 80…

November 4th, 2018 - Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens

Autumn garden ideas – what works and what doesn’t

Cornus are good in autumn as well as winter

This year's autumn garden has taught me a lot about choosing plants for late-season colour. [caption id="attachment_9946" align="alignnone" width="400"] The leaves of the Robinia frisia (False acacia) and the Cotinus coggyria 'Grace' are a splendid…

October 28th, 2018 - Garden style & living, Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens

Which garden tree is absolutely perfect for you?

Autumn colour trees

How to choose the right garden tree? I think we all dither over this because trees seem like such a big purchase. More like buying a sofa than buying a vase, for example. [caption id="attachment_9798"…

September 30th, 2018 - Garden style & living, Gardening know how

Do you make these September garden mistakes?

Dahlia 'Con Amore' in the September garden

I sense that the September garden isn't anyone's favourite. Vita Sackville-West abandoned Sissinghurst for the Mediterranean in September. Alan Titchmarsh refers to 'the depths of September and October'. There's a distinct drop in the number…

September 23rd, 2018 - Gardening know how, Town gardens

The best professional tips for late summer garden colour

Exotic colours and shapes - persicaria at the Salutation

Have you run out of gardening steam by the time you get to the late summer garden? I know I do, which is why it's so inspiring to visit a top professional garden, such as…

September 9th, 2018 - Garden style & living, Gardening know how

No dig flower borders – easy, weed-free and brilliant

No dig flower borders

I've always wondered about 'no dig flower borders' for annuals, shrubs and perennials. Not that I ever do much digging. But I wondered if the principles of no dig veg and no dig flower borders…

September 2nd, 2018 - Garden style & living, Gardening know how, Wildlife & eco

The best windy garden plants and solutions

Plants which are fine in a windy garden will self-seed and spread

I’ve recently been asked about plants and solutions for a windy garden. [caption id="attachment_9359" align="alignnone" width="400"] Sue Marling and Fay Sweet's Suffolk garden is in a windy area, but it is colourful and feels sheltered.…

July 15th, 2018 - Garden style & living, Gardening know how, Middlesized country

The 25 best self-seeding plants to save you time and money

Save time and money with plants that grow themselves. 25 gorgeous self-seeding plants. #gardening

Self-seeding plants are the key to gardening on automatic. The less you do, the more they grow. And they're free. You buy one packet of seeds or one plant, and get a lifetime of exuberant…

June 10th, 2018 - Gardening know how, Gardening on a budget, Middlesized country, Town gardens

A shady border – the best (and easiest) part of your garden?

Shady border tips

My shady border is probably better for longer than anywhere else in the garden. Although I do far less work in it - less planting and weeding - than I do in the sunnier borders.…

May 6th, 2018 - Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens

How to deal with winter damage to shrubs….

How to deal with frost damaged plants

Here in the South East (of England), we're assessing the winter damage to our gardens. The real problems weren't caused by the snow, freezing winds or low temperatures of late February. [caption id="attachment_8631" align="alignnone" width="600"]…

April 1st, 2018 - Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens

Tree surgeon, arborist or chain saw man? Why you need to know…

I didn't know the difference between a tree surgeon, an arborist (also known as an arboriculturalist) and a Chain Saw Man when we first moved into a garden with trees. First, we got the trees…

March 25th, 2018 - Gardening know how