Planting shrubs in summer

It is one of the basic rules of gardening that the best time to plant shrubs and trees is autumn. There are several reasons for this. The soil is still warm and moist, the shrubs which are just entering dormancy, will have plenty of time for the soil to permeate their roots ready for spring…

Timely tomato tips

If you have some tomatoes in the greenhouse or on the patio things are starting to get exciting! They should be growing well and fruits will be ripening any time soon – if it ever warms up. My own plants struggled in the cool, sunless spring but they are making up for lost time now….

The taste of summer

It can be difficult to decide what to grow at home. After all, some plants crop for a short time, some take up a lot of room and it can be tricky to know what will thrive in your area. Fruit is always worth growing, if you have room, and the most expensive to buy…

Herbs for every taste

Every one can grow herbs, no matter how small your garden. Herbs are a varied bunch of plants ranging from quick-growing annuals to large shrubs and the only thing they have in common is that we use their leaves to flavour our food. The annuals, including chervil, summer savory, coriander and basil all need rich,…

In the pink

While roses may be the queens of the summer garden, pinks are surely the pretty princesses! Pinks bring colour, with their often-intricately-patterned blooms, and intoxicating fragrance. They are essential plants in my own garden and they have many qualities that make them ideal for small and urban gardens: they are compact, have attractive evergreen foliage…

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…