Gift, Leisure & Entertainment

16 of the best cherry blossom

Ornamental Japanese cherry trees are one of the delights of spring with their clouds of blossom and make a wonderful addition to a garden. Val Bourne picks out some favourites from the collection at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire. 

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Japanese cherry blossom c. Lynn Keddie

Ornamental Japanese cherry trees are one of the delights of spring with their clouds of blossom and make a wonderful addition to a garden. Val Bourne picks out some favourites from the collection at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire. 

There is nothing quite as uplifting as a branch of blossom silhouetted against a spring sky. Japanese cherries, known in Japan as sakura, are among the most beautiful of blossom-bearing trees although they bear no fruit to speak of. The Japanese celebrate the arrival of the blossom every year with a blossom festival or sakura matsuri. Every year many make pilgrimages to iconic trees, planted in famous temple gardens or besides ancient castles, and picnic beneath them to view their blossom – a tradition known as hanami.

Sarah Raven home-grown favourites collection with FREE p&p

With Sarah Raven's tried and tested, grow-your-own vegetable collections you'll be harvesting the most delicious produce - and we're offering free p&p on three collections

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Sarah Raven reader offer on vegetable collections

With Sarah Raven's tried and tested, grow-your-own vegetable collections you'll be harvesting the most delicious produce - and we're offering free p&p on three collections

All the vegetables and fruit sold at Sarah Raven are carefully chosen and trialled by Sarah in her garden in East Sussex, and only the most delicious and productive varieties make it into the range.

Here are some of the winning varieties, all available to order now and offered to Gardens Illustrated readers with Free P&P for delivery early spring, at just the right time for planting or chitting.
 

Gardens Illustrated tour of Devon gardens 2015

Join our exclusive four-day tour of some of Devon's finest gardens set within wooded coombes and romantic moorland, in the company of plants and garden expert Noël Kingsbury: 28 June – 1 July, 2015

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Coleton Fishacre c. Carole Drake

Join our exclusive four-day tour of some of Devon's finest gardens set within wooded coombes and romantic moorland, in the company of plants and garden expert Noël Kingsbury: 28 June – 1 July, 2015

Tucked in the southwest corner of England, Devon is a county tailor-made for the garden-visiting connoisseur, with its dramatically contrasting landscape of wild, romantic moorland, wooded coombes and rich red earth.

12 great gardening reads from 2014’s books

If you're looking to top up your gardening knowledge over the winter months, take a look at our round up of gardening books that caught our eye during 2014. Great ideas for Christmas gifts and we're offering all 12 to readers at a special price.

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Books favourites 2014

If you're looking to top up your gardening knowledge over the winter months, take a look at our round up of gardening books that caught our eye during 2014. Great ideas for Christmas gifts and we're offering all 12 to readers at a special price.

 

Good gardening reads chosen from books published in 2014

Seven Flowers And How They Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter
‘Potter’s cultural journey leads her from foot-binding in China… to the sexual rituals of the Minoans.’ From review by Ambra Edwards.
Atlantic Books, £25 – offer price £23. ISBN 978-0857891648.

 

Natural decorations to bring festive appeal to your front door

Celebrate the festive season with natural style by using foraged berries, seeds and leaves to decorate your front door. Designer Kristy Ramage creates some gorgeous wreaths and garlands 

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Christmas decorations for door c. Andrew Montgomery

Celebrate the festive season with natural style by using foraged berries, seeds and leaves to decorate your front door. Designer Kristy Ramage creates some gorgeous wreaths and garlands 

Succulents and sprigs wreath created by designer Kristy Ramage

 

30 of the best climbing plants

Things are looking up - choose fom our selection of best climbing plants and add vertical interest to walls and trellises or scrambling over other plants in borders. Gardener Rory Dusoir gives his recommendations. 

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Best climbers

Things are looking up - choose fom our selection of best climbing plants and add vertical interest to walls and trellises or scrambling over other plants in borders. Gardener Rory Dusoir gives his recommendations. 

Climbing plants all share the successful strategy of relying on the support of other plants or objects to reach the sunlight. This obviates the need to invest much in producing supportive tissue, such as the wood in trees, and means climbers aren’t subject to the usual restraints on growth. By planting them we bring  a mercurial, buccaneering spirit into our gardens. Of course, luxuriant growth brings its own problems – vigour must be matched carefully to the appropriate space and abundance restrained where necessary.   

 

12 trees for autumn colour

The owners of Kwekerij Arborealis nursery in the Netherlands specialise in trees. Here they recommend 12 of their favourite trees for show-stopping autumn colour.

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12 trees for autumn

The owners of Kwekerij Arborealis nursery in the Netherlands specialise in trees. Here they recommend 12 of their favourite trees for show-stopping autumn colour.

12 trees for show-stopping autumn colours - chosen by tree experts Sietske and Micha of Kwekerij Arborealis in the Netherlands.

 

Design Solutions: Lighting the garden

When it comes to lighting your garden go for well-planned, carefully positioned, good quality solutions and you'll add an extra dimension to your garden. Read our tips and advice

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Garden lighting: Charlotte Rowe designed garden c. Clive Nichols

When it comes to lighting your garden go for well-planned, carefully positioned, good quality solutions and you'll add an extra dimension to your garden. Read our tips and advice

Garden lighting needs to do two things:
• it needs to perform a function;
• and it needs to be very discreet and not become a major feature of the garden.
If exterior lighting is too dominant, the garden is no longer a relaxing place and to me this conflicts with what a garden is all about. Often gardens are overlit or have badly positioned fittings, when what is really needed is something more subtle.

Planting rhubarb - and winter care

Order your rhubarb crowns now for planting in November and December. Or if you have established crowns, it's also when you can start forcing rhubarb for early cropping.

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Planting rhubarb c. Tim Sandall

Order your rhubarb crowns now for planting in November and December. Or if you have established crowns, it's also when you can start forcing rhubarb for early cropping.

Planting rhubarb
Plant out rhubarb to establish slowly over winter. Don’t harvest it the first spring, as it needs a year to bed down and produce deep roots.
• Good cultivars include pink-stemmed ‘Champagne’, ‘Timperley Early’ and ‘Victoria’.

 

 

 

 

10 of the best autumn gardens to visit

It's autumn colours time - so where can you enjoy a really magnificent display? Asking plantsman Roy Lancaster to name his favourite gardens is like asking a child what his favourite sweet is, but here are 10 of his favourite places to visit as autumn reaches its glorious peak

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Autumn c. Tim Sandall

It's autumn colours time - so where can you enjoy a really magnificent display? Asking plantsman Roy Lancaster to name his favourite gardens is like asking a child what his favourite sweet is, but here are 10 of his favourite places to visit as autumn reaches its glorious peak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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