Primroses

With gentler weather we have all been getting out and about more and any walk in the countryside will be enlivened by jewel-like clusters of primrose flowers under hedges. Primroses (Primula vulgaris) is one of our earliest wild flowers – the name means ‘first rose’ from ‘prime’. The pale yellow flowers are delicately scented and…

Anemones in spring

As the snowdrops start to fade (and this is the time to divide and replant them) the spring anemones begin to appear. In my new garden I have made sure to add some because they are easy to please and bring such delicate colour to the garden. Anyone who has walked through local woods in…

Longing for lilies

Lilies have come a long way since the start of my gardening career. The first I bought were Lilium regale, along with other Trumpet hybrids such as ‘Pink Perfection’. This was because I was planting in my parents’ garden at the foot of the Downs and the soil was awful, white, chalky clay and I…

Sowing starts now

After a bitterly cold week we are all desperate to plant something. Even if the soil does thaw over the next few days, it is will horribly wet so it is best to keep off it and definitely should not be sowing anything quite yet. It is horribly frustrating but it pays to wait till…

Snowdrops

They are as inevitable as taxes and shrinking sizes of chocolate bars: articles about snowdrops in February! Although there is some debate about whether the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) is native or not, there is little doubt that it is one of the commonest plants in our gardens. The reasons are obvious: it is hardy,…

Pruning winter stems

It is still a bit early for many gardening activities. The ground is wet and frost is keeping us off the grass and borders. But there are still a few useful jobs we can do. While it is still a bit early to prune roses and we shouldn’t go round the garden snipping for the…

Flowers to make you smile

We all need something to raise our spirits right now and our gardens are ready to do just that. It is not great gardening weather but a few plants are wowing us with winter blooms. I have always been a fan of winter flowers because, no matter how small the blooms may be, each one…

Time to get potatoes started

For a great crop of potatoes it pays to start early Although there is always debate about whether you should chit (sprout) potatoes before you plant them, and I have not done definitive trials, I think it makes sense to do so if you get your seed potatoes early. Nags Hall are open so you…

Raring to grow

After the recent cold weather it looks as though things may be getting a bit warmer this week. I will be glad to be able to do something outside, even though it may still be wet and cold. As I have said before, it is at this time of year that every flower, no matter…

A new start in the garden

The New Year may not have started with the good news we all wanted but our gardens still need our attention, when it is appropriate. The trouble is, that although there is lots I should be getting on with, soil conditions and the weather are not helping much. After all the recent rain the soil…