How not to kill your Christmas Houseplants

Houseplants make great presents but to ensure that a plant, like a puppy, is not just for Christmas here are a few key tips on buying and looking after plants for yourself or as gifts. The first question is on what and where to buy.  Like buying any plant at any time of year, you want a healthy plant with a...

Fresh air, exercise & leaf mould

I was brought up in a fairly rural village and my mother’s mantra for a healthy childhood seemed to be “fresh air and exercise”.  That suited me pretty well as we children roamed the country lanes on our bicycles (more likely to meet a tractor than a car) and I spent many happy hours in a huge tract of National...

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....

Late summer gardening

By high summer it is tempting to ease off the gardening work and I would not deny anyone a well deserved rest.  But there are a couple of tasks that will keep your garden in good health and giving a great display right through to the end of the season. The first of these is deadheading.  The object is to keep...

A Walled Garden to Impress

It is slightly unusual for me to devote an article to a garden that I have visited but there are two reasons for writing about the Walled Garden at the Luton Hoo Estate.  In the interests of transparency I should say that I attended a free Press Day for garden writers that involved lunch and chocolate cake...