Fabulously fragrant philadelphus

Every garden needs different kinds of plants. There are those that form the background and add a little for a long time. I would count hardy geraniums in this category. They gently look after themselves and add some beauty for months. And then there are plants that have a brief, but glorious moment of impact….

Everything’s rosy

As summer starts to assert its grip on the garden, roses are starting to bloom and fill our gardens with colour and perfume. Now I know that a lot of people think that roses are either too much work or just annoying, prickly shrubs. I am happy to admit that, even as a confessed rose…

Summer starts here

This weekend is the last Bank Holiday for several months and with warm, if not necessarily dry, weather forecast, it is the perfect time to get those summer bedding plants in the ground. Frost should no longer be a worry and with showers a possibility, your precious plants will get watered in. In recent years…

Get the ‘Chelsea look’ with iris

It looks like we have a few pleasant days to enjoy, until mid week. A good time to plant because things will get watered in! The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is about to fill the TV schedules this week and you may be fortunate enough to be visiting the show yourself. In either case it…

Colourful containers

We have had a decent week of weather and thoughts turn to summer so it is time to plant patio containers for summer. If you have had pots full of spring flowers now is the time to change them. Pull up and compost the plants and carefully dig up and dry off daffodils and tulips…

Squeeze in some squash

With the Bank Holiday with us, could it be that the weather is on the up? It looks as though today will be fine but tomorrow will be wet – wet what else would we expect! In the past week some cold nights may have caught you out if you planted too early. We always…

Tasty Tomatoes

It seems to be in our genes that we love to grow tomatoes. Even people who have no pretensions to be gardeners will to grow tomatoes at one time or another and there can be few patios around the country without a couple of plants. And why not? Tomatoes are potentially easy to grow and,…

Cultivating courgettes

If you are looking for a crop that is quick and easy to grow, in the garden or in a pot in the patio, courgettes are the perfect choice. Courgettes are closely related to marrows and other summer squash but they are specially bred to produce lots of ‘fruits’. You could grow a marrow plant…

Ravishing rhododendrons

We are now in the thick of the rhododendron season and it lasts for months. Although each variety is only in bloom for a few weeks, with careful selection you can have flowers from before April, through the crescendo in May and early June even into July and beyond. The best time to plant most…

Hooray for hostas

Another week, and yet more rain! It has been a difficult year for gardeners but at least we have been free from late frosts! Some years my early-emerging hostas get caught by late frosts, but not this year. Hostas are among the most important herbaceous plants. I would consider them an essential component in my…