Climbing plants for cover

I am regularly asked for plant suggestions to break up the bulk of a fence or wall, soften the outlook and give colour without spilling out over the lawn or occupying all the space in a border.  That is quite an ask of a plant! The coloured leaves of climber Actinidia kolomikta But happily there is an answer: Climbers.  Plants that can...

Late summer perennials

First things first, what exactly is a perennial?  In the horticultural context it is any plant that lives for more than two years.  In common gardening parlance we use the term for a non-woody plant where the above ground stems die off in autumn but the roots and crown survive the winter to produce new stems, leaves and flowers...

Trees for privacy in the garden

Summer holidays mark a few weeks when we all spend more time outside and especially in the garden.  But few of us live with no near neighbours and a common challenge is to create a garden with a sense of privacy without overwhelming and darkening what might already be a small space. Clearly in most situations a fence or hedge...

The Lawn in Summer

Even with gardens getting smaller, the vast majority of Great British gardens will have a Great British lawn.  But by the end of July many will not be looking quite so great, indeed they will take on a distinctly yellow, crispy look.  So this month, I will talk about why that is not a permanent plant catastrophe and a...

Insects in the Garden

What would your reaction be if I suggested that we should all attract more insects and other invertebrates to our gardens? I am not expecting everyone to welcome all ‘mini beasts’ with open arms – most people appreciate butterflies, bees and ladybirds but spiders, wasps and greenfly usually divide opinion.  However, insects and the like are both vital and...