News - Page 67

Plant of the Week: Viola

Shy little violas are familiar as winter bedding plants, flowering stoically (and prettily) through the coldest months. But did you know there are summer violas too, every bit as dainty as their winter cousins?

Perennial violas are little beauties with deliciously scented flowers. They make fantastic ground cover, spreading merrily to make a flowery carpet at the feet of roses and other shrubs all summer. And there’s such a wonderful array of colours to choos...

Read more...
Once early summer shrubs finish flowering, it’s time to give them a prune

Once early summer shrubs finish flowering, it’s time to give them a prune to keep them youthful and vigorous ready for a superb show next year.

Among shrubs you can prune now are philadelphus (mock orange), spiraea, lilac, buddleja, flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), Kolkwitzia, Exochorda and Deutzia.

Give shrubs a prune

Start by investing in some good tools: you’ll need a sharp pair of secateurs, some loppers and for mature shrubs, a pruni...

Read more...
Right now is the perfect time to pick herbs

Right now is the perfect time to pick herbs as they’re growing on strongly with plenty of fresh young growth packed with the essential oils that make them so fragrant and enticingly tasty.

The perfect time to pick herbs

The more often you cut perennial herbs like rosemary, oregano and mint, the more they produce – so regular picking is essential to keep your supply coming. Annuals, too, stay leafy for longer when you pick them over every few days.

...Read more...
Harvest broad beans

Harvest broad beans as soon as the pods have swelled for one of the real home-grown treats of early summer in the veg garden. If you sowed your broad beans in autumn (look out for super-hardy varieties like Aquadulce Claudia on our seed racks which can overwinter as sturdy seedlings) they should be producing plenty of pods by now; if you sowed summer varieties like Masterpiece Green Longpod in spring, you may have to wait another week or so.

...

Read more...
It's almost time for RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

It’s almost time for the gates to open for the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, a new addition to the calendar this year and sure to be a hit with visitors. The show sets out to be ‘bold and innovative’, highlighting ground-breaking garden design: some features explore futuristic gardening in a climate-change world, while others draw inspiration from the great trendsetters of history including Sir Joseph Paxton and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

...Read more...
What to do in the garden in June

Flaming June is a delight in the garden, what with roses blooming, borders bursting with colour and the first new crops to harvest. Here are the jobs to be getting on with this month:

General tasks:

  • Target weeds, regularly hoeing bare soil on dry days and forking out perennials like ground elder as soon as you see them.
  • Check moisture levels, digging down with a trowel to find out how damp the soil really is underneath – then water whe...
Read more...
Keep ripening strawberries clean with a thick layer of straw

Keep ripening strawberries clean with a thick layer of straw tucked under the leaves just as plants begin flowering. The straw provides a soft layer for developing fruits to sit on, keeping them off the damp ground and preventing them from rotting or getting splashed by mud. It also acts like an insulation layer, holding warmth in the upper layer of soil overnight, which speeds up fruit ripening. Even better, it traps moisture in the soil so you don’t have to water...

Read more...
Plant of the Week: Oriental Poppies

Oriental poppies are the flamenco dancers in the garden lineup: huge, colourful and very, very glamorous. But despite their flamboyant good looks, they are among the easiest of plants to grow, rewarding you with a superb, eye-catching display every summer for years.

Poppies like free-draining soil and a sunny spot, so if you garden on heavy clay add plenty of grit to the planting hole first. They grow happily in tall, roomy containers too. Poppies die back na...

Read more...
Watch out for the first signs of blackspot on roses

Watch out for the first signs of blackspot on roses as this irritating fungal disease begins to show up about now. The first thing you’ll notice are purple-black blotches on the foliage of roses, eventually spreading to join together and turn the whole leaf black. Infected leaves soon yellow and fall, so the rose may well be seriously weakened, especially if the infection is allowed to take hold for several years in succession.

Care for your roses

Tr...

Read more...
Tackle Slugs

The warm, sometimes damp weather at this time of year is a slug’s paradise – so now is the time to get your slug defences well and truly up. The slimy molluscs top the list of gardeners’ most-hated pests nearly every year as they munch their way through tender, just-planted seedlings and turn young dahlias and sunflowers into lace doilies.

Tackle Slugs

Keep particularly vulnerable plants, like seedlings, up on shelves in pots where you can inspect th...

Read more...
Plant yourself some productive pots!

Plant yourself some productive pots! A roomy container or three can produce a surprising range of fruit, vegetables and herbs. Veg you can grow in pots include chilli peppers, sweet peppers, salads and green beans. Bush varieties of tomato do brilliantly, too, cascading over the sides laden with scarlet fruits by autumn. Look out for seeds marked ‘container veg’ on the seed racks at our garden centre here in Two Dales, Matlock - these are bred specially for growing...

Read more...
The first garden to be entirely designed around hedgehogs has opened at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

The first garden to be entirely designed around hedgehogs has opened at RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Yorkshire. Wildlife charity the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) joined forces with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to create the Hedgehog Street Garden, designed by award- winning landscaper Tracy Foster.

RHS Harlow Carr

Among hedgehog-friendly features in the garden are nesting sites, “Hedgehog Highways” providing access to neighb...

Read more...