Time to take stock and to plan for next year

As the year nears its end we look forward to a new gardening year and make plans for 2022. Those of us with gardens have been fortunate over the past two years; to have somewhere to go and work and lose ourselves. I am sure our gardens have all progressed well as we have been…

A touch of luxury: Orchids

If you want to give a gift that has a touch of class and could last for years, choose a moth orchid (phalaenopsis). Many years ago, when I started gardening, orchids were rare and expensive. I was desperate to own and grow orchids but they were hard to find and the most common were cymbidiums…

Cyclamen and poinsettias

Cyclamen I have a great fondness for cyclamen. Apart from being colourful and elegant, they remind me of my grandparents who always had one in the bitterly cold front room in the bay window, seen by no one but passers by. Their plant was probably decades old, kept in a lean-to greenhouse in summer when…

Hyacinths for Christmas

What do you buy a gardener for Christmas? There are gloves, tools, hand cream and plants as well as more practical gifts like labels, compost and pots. But with all of us needing cheering up, I think that plants are a good choice and Nags Hall is packed with plants for all pockets and tastes….

A Time for reflection

This period between Christmas and the New Year is always an odd one. We seem in a state of limbo, never sure what to do. After the current year we are all desperate for a new start and yet, for gardeners, it is difficult to know quite what to do. I am desperate to catch…

Hellebores for Christmas

What would your desert island plants be? What plants could you not do without in your garden? It is a tricky question to answer and I would hate to not have roses in the summer, or daffodils in spring. But I think that the plants I would miss most are my hellebores. I have grown…

Christmas cyclamen

With the exception of poinsettias, the most popular Christmas potplant is unquestionably the cyclamen. I always think that cyclamen are slightly old-fashioned but that could be because my nan always had one on the table in the bay window of the front room – the one that was only used on special occasions. And in…

‘Tis the season

While this Festive season will not be quite the same as usual, there is reason to celebrate and a few Christmas pot plants are sure to lift the spirits. Like many people, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with poinsettias. Part of me hates the things and dreads the moment they appear in…