Plants

How to force bulbs for bright container displays during the winter months

Forcing bulbs allows you to introduce a much-needed burst of colour to your home at a time when very little is happening in the garden. Here, Hannah Gardner explains how to force bulbs and suggests a colourful woodland plant combination. 

A
a
-
How to force bulbs for winter displays

Forcing bulbs allows you to introduce a much-needed burst of colour to your home at a time when very little is happening in the garden. Here, Hannah Gardner explains how to force bulbs and suggests a colourful woodland plant combination. 

Forcing bulbs, simply requires mimicking the cold, dark conditions of winter (ideally at a temperature of between 1.5ºC and 10ºC) for around ten weeks to give the roots time to develop, before bringing them indoors where the warmth (above 15ºC) and light will fool the bulbs that spring has arrived so that they sprout and bloom around four to six weeks early. The forced hyacinths that are sold commercially to flower in time for Christmas have been pre-chilled.

Make your own ginger beer

Alotmenteer Jojo Tulloh shares a recipe for ginger beer. 

A
a
-
How to make your own ginger beer

Alotmenteer Jojo Tulloh shares a recipe for ginger beer. 

Ginger beer

Fermentation is the way to create life even in the grip of winter's maw. In Food in England, the food historian Dorothy Hartley describes how as a child she loved to watch the ginger beer 'bee' (so called because it makes a faint humming sound) bubble up and down in a jar on the kitchen windowsill. In cold weather fermentation may take several days to a week to occur.

Ingredients
1 large thumb fresh root ginger
400g sugar
250ml water
2 lemons

The Gardens Illustrated Festival: 5 minutes with Arne Maynard

Garden designer, Arne Maynard will be speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. Here you can find out more about his talk and the love he has for garden design. 

A
a
-
Gardens Illustrated Festival Arne Maynard

Garden designer, Arne Maynard will be speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. Here you can find out more about his talk and the love he has for garden design. 

Central to Arne Maynard's work as a garden designer is his ability to identify and draw out the essence of a place, something that gives his gardens a particular harmony. He has a holistic approach to design and believes that to succeed, a garden must relate and respond to its surrounding landscape, its history and to the buildings within and around its confines, as well as to the needs of its owners.

Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017: 5 minutes with Troy Scott Smith

Troy Scott Smith is head gardener at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, which is famous for its stunning display of roses. You can catch Troy speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. 

A
a
-
Gardens Illustrated festival Troy Scott Smith

Troy Scott Smith is head gardener at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, which is famous for its stunning display of roses. You can catch Troy speaking at the Gardens Illustrated Festival 2017, 25-26 March. 

On his very first visit, Troy Scott Smith found himself captivated by the romantic beauty of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. He worked as a gardener at Sissinghurst for five years in the early 1990s and came to love the garden even more but when he returned as head gardener in 2013, Troy realised something was missing from the garden; where were the roses planted by celebrated writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West?

How to buy the best Christmas tree

If you're setting out to buy your Christmas tree you might be torn between which type to go for. Here's a guide on how to buy the best Christmas tree.

A
a
-
Noble fir - which Christmas tree should you choose

If you're setting out to buy your Christmas tree you might be torn between which type to go for. Here's a guide on how to buy the best Christmas tree.

What is the perfect Christmas tree? In a sense, of course, all Christmas trees are perfect. But there’s no getting away from the fact that some clog up the vacuum cleaner more than others. So here is your essential guide to the various types of tree available, with some advice on the benefits of each, from scent to needle retention. We also provide a guide on how to get the best from your tree over the festive season – and beyond, if you have bought a potted or container-grown one.

 

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. 

A
a
-
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. 

A
a
-
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

A
a
-

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. 

A
a
-
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. 

A
a
-
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.

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here