Edging your lawn: experts’ top tips

Different Types of Lawn Edging

Lawn edging
Lawn edging – do you know which is best for your garden?

Many gardeners have found themselves making a disastrous attempt at installing lawn edgings only to find themselves killing the grass around them.

This might be due to underestimating the effect of the lawn edging, as they are quite small, with each piece only a few inches high.

While it is possible for homeowners to do this task on their own, proper care should be observed to avoid ruining how your garden looks. Continue reading “Edging your lawn: experts’ top tips”

Top tips for growing citrus fruit

Lubera shares the secrets of successful citrus fruiting and overwintering

Not the easiest of fruits to grow but here are some vital tips. Picture; Lubera

The care and harvesting success of citrus plants stands and falls with the overwintering of them. Anyone who has visited an original orangery knows that the winter conditions are cool and bright.

Swiss fruit expert Lubera has shared these hints and tips to help you grow the perfect limes, lemons, and oranges.

The winter temperature needs to be between 5°C and 10°C, so that the plants go “dormant” period. Under Continue reading “Top tips for growing citrus fruit”

Gardening and climate change: RHS report

Not so grim up north in RHS’s climate change report

Canary Island date palm
Echoes of holidays… drought tolerant Canary Island date palm (which stays outside all winter), Cordyline and geraniums

Despite many people in power’s rhetoric, most gardeners in the UK see on a daily basis that climate change is a fact of life.

From my garden in NE England, milder winters, drier springs and erratic weather patterns have changed the way I garden over the past few years – my base rule is now drought tolerance.

Wherever we live, the climate is going to change the way we all garden, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has claimed in a new report.

In Gardening in a Changing Climate, the lawn could become a thing of the past (hurray); gardeners in the north could enjoy a longer growing season (hurray) and pests and diseases could become established in new areas (boo). Continue reading “Gardening and climate change: RHS report”

Planting trees near houses

NHBC’s guide to safeguarding homes and trees

Eucalyptus gunnii kept well pruned

It’s the peak time of the year for new gardeners to plant trees and shrubs – but do you know some root systems can damage your home?

Inexperienced gardeners often pick up the first thing that catches their eye with little regard to its eventual height or demands on a garden.

The prime culprit is the Leylandii conifer, often seen towering over gardens, planted when they were tiny and often sold as ‘dwarf’ conifers by unscrupulous (or ignorant) sellers in the 1970s.

Even experienced gardeners can fall foul of this – in my case, a now huge Phormium in the front garden which is proving impossible to tame, sold as a ‘medium-sized’ plant. Continue reading “Planting trees near houses”

Dahlias: complete growing guide

A touch of the tropics IN my new border

Dahlias Harrogate
Developing a new appreciation for dahlias at Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 2016

I’m going all out for dahlias this year – not just the little single Bishop’s Children I’ve grown from seed in previous years. Continue reading “Dahlias: complete growing guide”

Growing Echiums from seed

Why I’m addicted to these exotic giants

Echium pininana
Proud mother – with Echium pininana Blue Steeple raised from seed

You may not have heard of them, or recognise them, but if you’re a fan the exotic, dramatic and downright tall, you can’t beat the Echium family.

Our native variety, E. vulgare, also known as viper’s bugloss, is a bristly biennial to 75cm, with lance-shaped, hairy leaves and cylindrical spikes of bell-shaped violet-blue flowers in early summer that bees love.

Although a great plant, I’m a massive fan of its bigger brothers and sisters, mostly natives of the Canary Islands.

Don’t let this put you off – I’ve grown them from seed (easy) for the past few years and they have survived the North East winter well – fair enough, the last four years haven’t been that cold. I also live in a relatively dry area, which is the main reason for winter failure. Continue reading “Growing Echiums from seed”