As wonderful as the Internet is, just flicking through a magazine is often a far more useful way of finding out stuff when something just catches your eye. So here are 7 things I came across in the December 2020 issue of Gardener’s World.
The first time you ever see a Tree fern I guarantee you will stop in your tracks and be utterly captivated as you try to comprehend what is in front of you. Tree ferns are a pre-historic plant but put them in a modern contemporary garden and they always look superb. So a recent and wonderful RHS podcast was enthusing about ferns of all kinds and when it came to Tree ferns this I what I learned.
If you are looking to move to a new house it can be a challenge to understand how the shade will play across an unfamiliar garden and so in this second article dealing with shade I am going to explain why south facing gardens are not always the best but also give you a quick and simple way to work which parts of a garden are always going to be in the shade.
Every garden needs roses because they are, well, so wonderful but unfortunately they have a reputation as being “difficult”. The reality is they are really easy to look after. I enjoyed a day at David Austin Roses along with other gardeners (including those from the National Trust, English Heritage and Sandringham) learning from the rose experts and here are 10 things I think you need to know.
After roses, fruit trees are up there with the plants people are most afraid to prune. Left to their own devices, you will soon have an unwieldy mess and yet they just need a bit of care. I needed to get an experts view so booked myself on the Waterperry Pruning Fruit workshop and here I am sharing my top ten tips from the day.
Sometimes we spend too much time stuffing the garden with plants rather than thinking about the people and so making the garden an experience to be enjoyed. One of my first jobs as a gardener was to help a busy professional couple find their garden again and really all that was needed was to give them a journey to enjoy together and the rest would fall into place.
For every wonderful heritage and historic garden in the immediate vicinity there are many more lovely smaller private gardens that, for much of the year, are closed to the public but now and again open their gates so we can enjoy their hidden delights. The Thames Valley Air Ambulance provides an opportunity to visit a number of these gardens and should you find yourself with a spare few hours they are well worth your time.
Take a little walk around the car park at the Orchard Centre in Didcot and you will spot quite a few trees with a bit of a lean on them (grrr). I have also been to a number of gardens recently and found some lovely trees leaning at rather at a rakish and occasionally alarming angles. The latter we can forgive but the former we shouldn’t because if you are buying a tree, you should always always stake it.
Wander around the allotments in the summer months and note the few plots with long lines of lovely marigolds between the rows of fruit and veg. Awww… such a nice thing to do to brightens things up – yes… and no. These canny plot holders are just carrying on a tradition that scientists have only now managed to catch up with – deterring whitefly.
There you are going about your shopping and something catches your eye on the supermarket noticeboard. On this occasion it is the Hagbourne (East that is) Garden Club (discovery!) and at their next meeting on Thursday March 28, Geoff Hawkins will be giving a talk on ‘Plant Design and Herbaceous Borders’.