Gardens that improve our lives

In May, I wrote about the start of the Flower Show season and what we can all learn from looking at those fabulous show gardens, whether in person or on television. By the time you read this at the beginning of June, of course, the biggest of them all, the Chelsea Flower Show, will have finished. But as always, I'm...

What we learn from Show gardens

I do not suppose that many gardeners will miss the fact that May is the start of the Garden Show season. The Malvern Spring Show kicks off, with a more relaxed feel at the wonderfully scenic Three Counties Show Ground at the foot of the Malvern Hills.  Fair to say though that it is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, this...

Succession planting in the ornamental garden

You may be familiar with the phrase succession planting from vegetable gardening where it is used to ensure a constant supply of fresh produce, especially for quick summer crops grown from seed. In the ornamental garden we grow fewer annuals - although I will come back to these very useful contributors to the summer borders – and the term succession...

Lazy Daisy summer borders

Have you ever noticed how many of the flowers we rely on for a late summer display tale the form of a Daisy? Although daisies are one of the most familiar flower forms that we see from the small native Lawn Daisy (Bellis perennis) to the tall Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) the flowers themselves are most definitely worth a closer look....

Once in a Blue Moon

With the upcoming coronation this month and the common practice of planting up pots, baskets and even flower beds to celebrate significant events, my thoughts turned to gardeners seeking blue flowers in a Red, White & Blue scheme.  There is no shortage of red and white blooms in a wide range of plant types but blue is a different kettle...

Up the Garden Path

March is a great month to consider layout and planting changes to your garden before the summer arrives - or so we hope!  One of the elements of a garden that it is easy to overlook when we are dreaming of a beautiful space to sit or borders full of colour, is the garden path.  So often I see gardens...

Embracing the Seasons

Open most magazines in January and various articles will be titled “New Year, New You, House, Wardrobe, Job etc.” and I mulled this over for my January gardening column.  But the reality of gardening is that January is not really the start of a new year; autumn and spring probably have more of a claim to that.  And I feel...

Shrubs with berries – nice for us & the birds

Winter is a time when gardeners can do a lot to support wildlife, including providing a great source of food, especially for birds.  Birds remain active all through the winter and in the UK we have many migrant species that arrive here from colder countries in search of food.  As a wildlife gardener I am often asked about bird feeders...

Wonderful winter Witch hazel

Whatever the rest of the year has been like November is definitely late autumn going into winter and this can be a dull time in the garden.  Many trees and shrubs turned autumnal early this year prompted by the stress of a dry summer but you can usually count on brightly coloured foliage through October.  Once leaves have fallen we...

New Urban Planting

This blog post is a little different from most of mine as the idea for it was sparked by two talks that I listened to at the recent Beth Chatto Symposium 2022 “Rewilding the Mind”.  This was a wonderful two days of presentations and discussions across the topic of bringing nature back sustainably into urban environments for the benefit of...