Confusing cucumbers

While tomatoes are the most popular home-grown crop, far fewer people try their hand at growing cucumbers. Perhaps this is because people feel that there is far less variety among cucumbers and they are not worth growing at home or because they are perceived as more difficult to grow. It is true that they are…

Height of summer

The garden is looking its glorious best and our favourite summer flowers are at their peak. But just as things are looking so wonderful we shouldn’t rest on our laurels and we need to think about how to ensure that things look just as good next year. It is not a great time for planting…

Brilliant begonias

When it comes to luxuriant summer colour you can’t beat begonias. The variety is huge, with every colour except lilac and blue, the blooms can be small or massive and they can be used in borders, window boxes and patio pots. The most popular for bedding are the Semperflorens kind, which are called wax begonias…

How to be minted

It won’t be too long before it is time to dig up the first new potatoes. In fact, there may be a few in the bags I planted in the polytunnel, but I will wait a little longer. But even outside, early potatoes are usually ready to lift in early July. A good sign is…

Terrific tomatoes

I can’t remember when I first grew tomatoes. It was certainly a long time ago. Along with runner beans and beetroot, tomatoes are the most popular homegrown crop. Tomatoes have come a long way in the past few decades although, ironically, the big boost in tomatoes has come from the past with the popularity of…

Lilies come of age

There was a time, before many of you were born, when lilies were exotic and considered difficult to grow. Like many garden centres, Knights, in my day, would offer loose lily bulbs in boxes and the choice was limited. There was the heavily scented Lilium regale, with white, maroon-flushed flowers and a range of trumpet…

In the kitchen garden

Growing veg at home has its ups and downs. Usually it gets a boost during recessions when people think they can save money by growing their own fruit and veg. Experienced gardeners know that this is not always the case. A lot of things can go wrong and just as you shouldn’t count your chickens…