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...

Softwood cuttings, more plants for free

I find April the most uplifting month in the garden because plants are all growing at full throttle. It may seem that there is an endless list of gardening tasks to do, but as we get into this month it is worth making time to undertake some propagation.  There is great joy in getting new plants for nothing and being...

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...

Spring planting and the cold greenhouse

This blog for February gives me the ideal opportunity to discuss best use of the spring planting season and a cold (i.e. unheated greenhouse) if you have one.  Gardening writing, including mine, regularly talks about ‘early spring’ rather than specifying a particular month because the advent of increasing temperatures varies so much from place to place even within south east...