Do you dig it?

Winter is the traditional time to dig your plot. There are several reasons for this. The veg garden, where digging is more often an annual event, is often bare of crops. Digging and exposing the soil to frost can help improve the structure of clay soils. It is hard work and it is easier to…

Succulents in winter

We have had a cold start to winter and it may have caught some of us out! I managed to protect most plants or bring them into the greenhouse but a few plants had a nasty shock. In the past few years succulents have become very popular, in part because they are easy to grow…

Plant a tree: National Tree Week

It is the last day of National Tree Week, but there is never a bad time to plant a tree. But there are definitely ‘better’ times. The best time is definitely autumn, which is why it is National Tree Week now. Autumn is a good time because the soil is usually still relatively warm and…

Autumn activities

It was wonderful to be at Nags Hall Garden Centre yesterday and Friday evening, meeting so many people. A lot has changed since my days there! It was exciting to see how the place has grown. The run-up to Christmas, in my days there, was always an exciting time but the things I remember most…

Heroic hellebores

I mentioned, last week, about plant fashions changing and how ornamental onions are more popular now than ever before. Hellebores are another plant that is deservedly popular now. When I was living in Oxted and planted some hellebores in the garden I was something of a trendsetter – or would have been if anyone knew!…

Getting to know your onions

As the years go buy, the popularity of plants waxes and wanes. When I started gardening, and working at Nag’s Hall, ornamental onions were something of a rarity and I am sure we never sold the bulbs. Now they are everywhere and no self-respecting garden is without some of these floral marvels. This year I…

Plant some floral fireworks

Spectacular, colourful, amazing, over-the-top, vulgar and gorgeous are just some of the words used to describe hippeastrum, more often called (wrongly) amaryllis. I have to admit that sometimes I think that hippeastrums are a bit too brassy and brash and then I buy some of the more subtle and unusual kinds. But then I wish…

Plant of the week: Heuchera

Before I start, don’t forget the clocks changed last night! Few plants have undergone such a remarkable transformation as the once-humble heuchera. In the last 20 years we have been spoiled with exciting new heucheras that have made them essential for autumn and winter pots as well as borders all year round. No other hardy…

Plant of the week: Hesperantha

Plants that flower at the start of the year, or at the end of the season, tend to get ignored by garden centre shoppers. After all, we visit garden centres to buy Christmas decorations or warming coffee and mince pies from now on! But late blooms in the garden are incredibly valuable at this time…

Spring bulbs: Hyacinths

Hyacinths are the most neglected of the ‘big three’ spring bulbs. Every garden has some daffodils and most people treat themselves to some tulips each year. But we tend to think of hyacinths as something to grow in a pot for Christmas. Too rarely are they used in our gardens. Hyacinths are relatively expensive so…