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...

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...

Give your children the gardening bug

As Spring gets into gear (at last), we may be glad to see the back of winter colds and bugs but there is one ‘bug’ that will benefit your children, grandchildren or school pupils for their whole lives – and that is the gardening bug. There is a raft of evidence that green spaces and gardening can have huge benefits to...

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...

Autumn gardening & the biodiversity crisis

Two decades into the 21st century I reckon that it is time to stop separating the plants in our gardens from the wildlife.  A fabulous garden should not ignore the potential to benefit biodiversity as well as the human residents.  We have all read about insect pollinators being required for a good crop of fruit and vegetables and few people...

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...

A different take on garden visiting

It may not seem very original to write about garden visiting for the summer months and I certainly often encourage readers to reap the benefits of visiting other gardens.  But this time I am suggesting that you start your visit slightly differently.  There is still the opportunity to find new plants, examine planting combinations and design features and gather ideas...

Gardens, Wellbeing & Why

May is a month when there is no shortage of work to do in the garden but it is also a time when (we hope) the weather is warm enough to enjoy being outside with family, and soon with friends too. It is a month when many people who would never describe themselves as keen gardeners find out that they...

A Gardening New Year

We are a month into the year and I am musing about when is the start of the gardening year?  February certainly sees the beginning of Spring which is generally accepted as time to sow and plant and, of course, when we see new shoots and the first flowers after winter.  However there is also a good argument that Autumn...

National Gardening (Therapy) Week

National Garden Week 2020 saw me writing a blog post for the ellenor Hospice on how we can all benefit from time spent enjoying our garden or a local park.  With current global worries about COVID-19 and much reduced personal contact with family, friends and community, the ability of nature to relax and restore make those...