Hardy annuals

Continuing from last week’s post about buying seeds ready for sowing in spring, today I’m highlighting those cottage-garden favourites, the hardy annuals. These are flowers that bloom the same year as sowing and then die. But unlike the Half Hardy annuals discussed last week, these are hardy which means that they can withstand frost and…

Annual flowers from seed

Annuals are the least expensive and quickest way to fill a garden with colour. The photo above is of a garden that was completely bare in February but, by August the same year, after laying new turf, was filled with colour from annuals. All from a few packets of seeds I had sown that March….

Rhubarb, rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the simplest home-grown crops. A clump should remain productive for up to a decade and can be relied on to produce tasty crops every year. Rhubarb is hardy and will grow in most soils, provided the soil is not waterlogged in winter or too dry in summer. But rhubarb does appreciate…

Get set for spring

The weather is not exactly conducive for doing much in the garden. It is either cold or soggy underfoot. I find myself staring out of the window wishing spring were here. But it isn’t far away and now is the perfect time to think about spring sowing and getting everything ready.  Most plants can be…

In the bleak midwinter,

… except that it is not like winter at all. It has been unseasonably mild and not at all like winter. It is strange how plants react to peculiar weather and although some plants have been behaving oddly, with flowers on the apple trees, others seem to avoid being tricked by mild nights. The witch…

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…