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if your garden is bigger than a courtyard, but smaller than an acre

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How to choose and grow cannas

Everything you need to know about growing cannas

Cannas are one of the most tropical-looking plants. They tap into today’s trend towards exotic gardens. But they can be grown in quite temperate climates. I asked Stephen Ryan, Australian…

February 24th, 2019

Posted In: Garden trends & design, Gardening know how, Town gardens


Gardening trousers and other useful kit

Brilliant gardening trousers and other useful kit

I had never considered buying gardening trousers. Because I work from home, I garden in short snatches and stolen moments. I didn’t think it would be worth changing trousers just…

January 6th, 2019

Posted In: Middlesized country, Shop, Town gardens


Silver birch is a striking tree

My best autumn trees for small gardens

Autumn trees are the stars in my November garden. My top five trees are: Smokebush (Cotinus coggyria Crab apple trees (esp Malus ‘Gorgeous’) Heritage fruit trees such as quince and…

November 25th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Middlesized country, Town gardens


how to find a healing garden

My escape from fear to a healing garden

Many people are now talking openly about their physical and mental challenges and how their garden or gardening has helped them.   I want to talk about my story of trauma,…

November 11th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Middlesized country, Town gardens


Find out which nutrients your soil lacks with a soil test

Do you really need to do 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…

November 4th, 2018

Posted In: Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens


Cornus are good in autumn as well as winter

Autumn garden ideas – what works and what doesn’t

This year’s autumn garden has taught me a lot about choosing plants for late-season colour. I’ve always thought of trees and leaf colour as the defining element of an autumn…

October 28th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Gardening know how, Middlesized country, Town gardens


Adam Frost’s top tips for your garden redesign

I asked garden designer Adam Frost  about garden redesign. Especially if you have a middlesized garden and have recently moved in. (‘Recently’ in garden terms can be years, as we…

October 14th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Middlesized country, Town gardens


Dahlia 'Con Amore' in the September garden

Do you make these September garden mistakes?

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…

September 23rd, 2018

Posted In: Gardening know how, Town gardens


Dahlia Rip City in the Middlesized Garden

August in the Middlesized Garden – my garden failures and successes

August in the Middlesized Garden is a bit of a mixed bag. August has been called ‘the Sunday of summer’, and there’s a lazy, idle feeling about the garden at…

August 12th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Garden trends & design, Town gardens


Vintage French chairs

30 inspiring ideas for beautiful garden seating

Garden seating is so much more than just a place to sit. A bench can be a focal point, work like a piece of sculpture, can punctuate a hedge or…

August 5th, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Garden trends & design, Middlesized country, Town gardens


How to create an outdoor kitchen in a garden for entertaining

How to create a garden for entertaining

I’ve just visited a gorgeous small town garden for entertaining. If you are thinking of building an outdoor kitchen, then Dan Cooper, the owner, has the most brilliant tips (see…

July 29th, 2018

Posted In: Decorations/parties, Garden trends & design, Town gardens


Why a small garden needs a big idea

Why a successful small garden needs a big idea

A small garden needs a big idea. You can let a larger garden evolve – and by ‘larger’ I mean any garden more than about 100ft long or quarter of…

July 22nd, 2018

Posted In: Garden style & living, Garden trends & design, Middlesized country, Town gardens