Archive | Practical gardening

Dividing perennial plants

Herbaceous perennials are those plants where the top growth dies off in the autumn leaving roots and the crown of the plant to survive the winter and throw up new stems the following spring.  Many are easily divided to provide extra plants and rejuvenate an old clump where flowering is poor and spring is a […]

Too early to sow seeds

January is over, early Daffodils are in flower and tradition has it that birds start to nest on February 14th so many gardeners may be tempted to think that we are nearing Spring.  But remember that there are two full months to go where the night time temperature can fall below freezing and it is […]

Prune to an outward facing bud

Pruning is done in winter for many trees, particularly fruit trees, and the instructions frequently use the phrase “prune to an outward facing bud”.  I always feel that this is something of an oversimplification and it helps for gardeners to understand why this advice is given to help make the best decisions about where exactly to […]

Winter Pruning

Pruning is one of those ‘hardy perennial’ topics that I am asked about all year round.  Many people are aware that winter is a key time but are not exactly sure what you prune in winter or how.  In fact the most important thing to understand about pruning is Why?  This is because not all […]

Naturalistic Planting

Last month I wrote about planting field grown trees and shrubs in the November-March bare root season while they are dormant.  One of the reasons for planting these woody plants is to create an area of Naturalistic planting.  This style does not limit you to native plants and is not a copy of the local […]

Buying & planting field-grown trees in winter

Winter is a great time plant new trees and hedges as long as the ground is not frozen.  An advantage of winter planting is that you can buy young field-grown trees and hedging plants more cheaply than pot-grown specimens.   As the name suggests field-grown trees are grown in open fields and lifted (dug up) just […]

Planting Tulips for spring flowers

October is the main month to plant dry bulbs to flower next spring and you will not go short of articles on this topic.  So I will dwell in a bit more detail on one familiar bulb – the Tulip.  Traditionally planted in rows or blocks of a single variety in bedding schemes in parks […]

When the summer veg is over

Many people grow summer vegetables in a small plot but may not make full use of the space through the autumn and winter.  By the end of September even the last sowings of quick maturing salad crops such as radishes and salad leaves will be coming to an end. You can move onto winter hardy […]

Plant survival techniques

It seems that as we move into September and the start of autumn the weather is following a much more typical pattern so that plants as well as people know exactly where they are in the year!  With the late spring frost and snow – remember that? – and two months of soaring temperatures here […]

The Seaside in your Garden

August is well and truly the holiday month and whether you have been away or are still looking forward to going, what could be nicer than having a sense of the seaside without leaving home? Creating a coastal feel to a corner of your garden is not difficult as long as you understand that you […]