News - Page 62

A normal spring!

Britain is likely to have a ‘normal spring’ this year according to the National Trust following their annual Valentine’s Day flower count.​

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Plant of the Week: Dracaena

The dragon tree, as this handsome houseplant is better known, has travelled a long way from its home in Africa, but it’s brought a touch of the exotic with it.

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Trim back hydrangeas

It’s time to trim back the dead heads of hydrangeas as their buds begin to swell into this year’s growth. Hydrangeas need little care apart from this annual haircut and spend the rest of their year growing into big, handsome shrubs covered later in summer with huge and showy blooms.

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The fig tree: fabulous all year round

Figs fruit reasonably well in the UK, especially in hot summers – you’ll get really reliable results if you plant them in a greenhouse or polytunnel where they relish the extra warmth and crop prolifically.

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Plant of the Week: Primula

The wild primrose (Primula vulgaris) is invaluable for early pollinators and a must-have for wildlife-friendly gardeners.

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Prune Clematis

Left to their own devices, some clematis can grow into big, tangled knots, flowering only at the top well above eye level. Prune back hard now, though, and you’ll encourage lots of new shoots from low down on the plant – meaning the flowers are distributed better, too.

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Rhubarb treat

Forced rhubarb costs a fortune in the shops, but it’s not difficult to force your own rhubarb crown at home each year, giving you as much as you can eat almost for free.

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Displays of tropical Orchids

A magnificently colourful tunnel of Vanda orchids with three arches delicately covered with hanging blooms leads to hand crafted floating Thai umbrellas and an exquisite orchid palace inspired by the Thai Royal Family’s palace, Bang Pa-In. A traditional Thai market boat and rice paddy complete the scene.

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Plant of the Week: Monstera

Monstera deliciosa, more commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, is the coolest plant on the block at the moment.

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Forcing new potatoes

Start off some new potatoes in sacks undercover now and you could be harvesting your early summer treats weeks earlier this year!

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Cutting back ornamental grasses

Eventually, even these most lovely of winter performers start to look a little battered. So cut them back hard now, before the new green shoots show so there is no risk of cutting them back as well.

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Snowdrop month

February is the best time to visit gardens which specialise in snowdrops, and many hold snowdrop days so you can marvel at hundreds of different varieties.

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