Plants

The best winter-flowering heathers

Winter-flowering heathers are inexpensive, evergreen plants that provide colour in the coldest months. They are perfect for containers and mix well with a host of other garden plants. Here are some of the best winter-flowering heathers to grow in your garden. 

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The best winter-flowering heathers

Winter-flowering heathers are inexpensive, evergreen plants that provide colour in the coldest months. They are perfect for containers and mix well with a host of other garden plants. Here are some of the best winter-flowering heathers to grow in your garden. 

Evergreen, easy to grow, small, manageable and long-flowering, they are the ideal low-maintenance plant, although their image suffered after their rise in popularity in the 1960s when they became associated with dwarf conifers and dull grasses. Winter-flowering heathers have another great attribute: they are bee-friendly. They are a lifeline for bumblebees and solitary bees, which do not store food and emerge in mild spells in winter and early spring.

5 tips for planting hedges

Hedges can be one of the most versatile design tools in your garden. Here are five tips for planting hedges with ideas on how to make the most of them in your garden design. Photographs by Sietske De Vries. 

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5 tips for planting hedges

Hedges can be one of the most versatile design tools in your garden. Here are five tips for planting hedges with ideas on how to make the most of them in your garden design. Photographs by Sietske De Vries. 

 

Festive wrapping with natural charm

Personalise your gifts this Christmas with wrapping ideas that have natural charm - and won't cost the earth. Designer Ali Bell heads into the garden to find some materials. Here are her ideas, with downloadable templates included

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Personalise your gifts this Christmas with wrapping ideas that have natural charm - and won't cost the earth. Designer Ali Bell heads into the garden to find some materials. Here are her ideas, with downloadable templates included

Personalise your gifts this Christmas with wrapping ideas that have natural charm - and won't cost the earth. Designer Ali Bell heads into the garden to find some materials. Here are her ideas, with downloadable templates included:

 

PAPER BAG

 

Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017: 5 minutes with Charlie Ryrie

Charlie Ryrie is a gardener and florist. She started The Cut Flower Company by growing the flowers she loved in a small field next to her house. Charlie will be speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. 

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Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017 Charlie Ryrie

Charlie Ryrie is a gardener and florist. She started The Cut Flower Company by growing the flowers she loved in a small field next to her house. Charlie will be speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. 

Fed up with cut flowers shipped in from glasshouses overseas, gardener Charlie Ryrie set up The Real Cut Flower Garden to offer customers seasonal bouquets of home-grown blooms. She began by buying the field next to her her cottage in Hay-on-Wye and started to grow the flowers she liked. Now, she has has moved to Dorset and has been growing old-fashioned and unusual flowers for 12 years.

Book of the month: Plant

Our book of the month for November is Plant by Phaidon editors. Here you can read the review, written by Anna Pavord. 

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Book review of Plant

Our book of the month for November is Plant by Phaidon editors. Here you can read the review, written by Anna Pavord. 

Plant: exploring the botanical world
by Phaidon editors

 

Phaidon, £39.95
ISBN 978-0714871486

 

A dazzling collection of more than 300 images of plants that brings the evolution of botanical art right into the 21st century.
Reviewer Anna Pavord is a garden writer.

How to age your garden

Left to nature, a garden can take many years to reach maturity and feel fully established. Here, Kristy Ramage suggests ways of hastening the process and shows how to age your garden. 

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How to age your garden

Left to nature, a garden can take many years to reach maturity and feel fully established. Here, Kristy Ramage suggests ways of hastening the process and shows how to age your garden. 

In a truly ancient garden, paths and steps have been worn down by pounding feet; tree trunks have grown into walls and fence lines; hedges have broadened, hanging out over boundaries, dipping and rolling, eccentric shapes evolved out of years of clipping. Plants grow where seed has survived, tight against walls, out of reach of boot and broom, colonising banks and verges, the less-tended backs of borders and under shrubs.

Wild About Gardens Week 2016

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Bat Conservation Trust and The Wildlife Trusts have joined up for this years Wild About Gardens Week, 24-30 October 2016, to encourage gardeners to help the survival of our native bats. 

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Wild About Gardens Week 2016

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Bat Conservation Trust and The Wildlife Trusts have joined up for this years Wild About Gardens Week, 24-30 October 2016, to encourage gardeners to help the survival of our native bats. 

Three winter squash recipes to try this Halloween

As Halloween approaches, look beyond the large, bright-orange, carving pumpkins and find green, white or yellow winter squash. Each with a unique flavour, these seasonal fruits are delicious to eat and wonderfully autumnal. Gardener cook, Jojo Tulloh shares three of her favourite recipes.  

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Winter squash recipes for Halloween

As Halloween approaches, look beyond the large, bright-orange, carving pumpkins and find green, white or yellow winter squash. Each with a unique flavour, these seasonal fruits are delicious to eat and wonderfully autumnal. Gardener cook, Jojo Tulloh shares three of her favourite recipes.  

Butternut squash may be the best known, but the squash family has an almost infinite variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavours. Versatility is their keynote, being good roasted, puréed, used in soups, turnovers, curries or even pies. The terminology can also cause confusion, as squash can refer to a winter-storing type or summer squashes, which are picked and eaten in the same way as a courgette. Here are some of my favourite winter squashes, good to eat now.

 

Apple Day 2016

Apple day is an event dedicated to celebrating Britain's apple cultivars and orchards. The tradition, started by the charity Common Ground over 30 years ago, is still growing and it's easy for you to get involved. 

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Why you should celebrate apple day this year

Apple day is an event dedicated to celebrating Britain's apple cultivars and orchards. The tradition, started by the charity Common Ground over 30 years ago, is still growing and it's easy for you to get involved. 

Apple Day celebrations raise public awareness about the danger of loosing our traditional orchards and heritage apple cultivars. Started by the charity Common Ground over 25 years ago, events take place up and down the country on or around 21 October to celebrate the apple and all it has to offer.

We've found a few events that give a sense of what Apple Day is all about and a recipe that celebrates Britain's favourite fruit. 

 

Discover the best garlic to grow for flavour and save 15% with our reader offer

Allotmenteer Jojo Tulloh explains why growing your own garlic is so rewarding and suggests some of the best garlics to plant now, plus find out how you can save 15% on buying garlic bulbs with our reader offer. 

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Garlic to grow

Allotmenteer Jojo Tulloh explains why growing your own garlic is so rewarding and suggests some of the best garlics to plant now, plus find out how you can save 15% on buying garlic bulbs with our reader offer. 

Why grow garlic? Taste is the simple answer. The sweet, subtle flavours of a home-grown bulb will put you off acrid, long-stored shop garlic for ever. Grow garlic yourself and you can eat it at every stage, snipping the spring onion-like greens into tarts and soups in February and later on harvesting the curly green stalk-like flower buds or 'scapes' (to use like green beans or asparagus).

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