Plants

Potted pipes - planting display

Head gardener Matthew Reese creates a container planting display to mark the transition from spring to early summer

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Planting combination c. Andrew Montgomery

Head gardener Matthew Reese creates a container planting display to mark the transition from spring to early summer

Pipe dreams

9 potting benches

Whether you want to add style or space to the potting shed, our Design Sourcebook picks out nine workstations to help improve your planting process.

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Metal-topped potting bench. Cox & Cox

Whether you want to add style or space to the potting shed, our Design Sourcebook picks out nine workstations to help improve your planting process.

Make better use of small spaces and bring order to sowing, potting on and transplanting with one of these workstations. 

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.

12 favourite narcissus

Thierry Dronet, owner and gardener at Berchigranges garden in the Vosges mountains of northeast France, is infatuated with narcissus. Find out what his 12 recommended varieties are that will bring your garden to life in spring.

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Narcissus at Berchigranges. c. Sabrina Rothe

Thierry Dronet, owner and gardener at Berchigranges garden in the Vosges mountains of northeast France, is infatuated with narcissus. Find out what his 12 recommended varieties are that will bring your garden to life in spring.

“When I first saw how the wild daffodils," says Thierry Dronet of Le Jardin de Berchigranges, "particularly the species daffodil Narcissus jonquilla, transformed the meadows here in the mountains into a sea of yellow petals, I knew I wanted to have lots and lots of them in our garden,” he says.

Design Solutions: Topiary

If box balls and bay pyramids are all that spring to mind when you think of topiary, then it’s high time to sharpen your shears and think again. Here are some ideas to encourage some creative gardening 

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Topiary c. Jason Ingram

If box balls and bay pyramids are all that spring to mind when you think of topiary, then it’s high time to sharpen your shears and think again. Here are some ideas to encourage some creative gardening 

1 The extraordinary gardens at Château de Marqueyssac take the art of topiary to new heights. Situated high on a hilltop overlooking the Dordogne valley, the garden contains more than 150,000 hand-pruned Buxus sempervirens shrubs, spread over 11 acres of terrace gardens.

Design Course Offer with The English Gardening School

The English Gardening School is offering five readers of Gardens Illustrated a 50% discount on one of its distance learning courses.

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English Gardening School Distance Learning courses

The English Gardening School is offering five readers of Gardens Illustrated a 50% discount on one of its distance learning courses.

 

 

 

 

 

The English Gardening School is offering five readers of gardens illustrated a 50 per cent discount on one of its distance learning courses, normally priced at £495 (plus p&p).

Gardens Illustrated Festival 2015

Join us at our exciting new Festival from 17-18 April 2015 to celebrate gardens, gardening, plants and design.

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Gardens Illustrated Festival

Join us at our exciting new Festival from 17-18 April 2015 to celebrate gardens, gardening, plants and design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best birch for your garden

The textural bark of birch trees has a haunting beauty and comes in many more colours and textures than you might think. Horticulturist Christina Jones gives her recommendations. 

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Betula utilis jacquemontii c. Jason Ingram

The textural bark of birch trees has a haunting beauty and comes in many more colours and textures than you might think. Horticulturist Christina Jones gives her recommendations. 

Ask five nurserymen to name the tree that is most often requested, and undoubtedly the answer will be our native silver birch, Betula pendula. It seems entirely appropriate that as a key woodland pioneer species, this tree should abound in the nation’s gardens. But let’s be honest. The environmental value is just happenstance; fellow pioneers such as alders and hazels don’t enjoy this sort of attention. It’s really about the bark, isn’t it? That wonderfully tactile, peeling white bark.

Two pumpkin purée recipes for seasonal flavours

Use up your stored pumpkins by cooking them down slowly with a variety of aromatics – garlic, ginger, lemongrass – and use either as a purée or as a base for soup thinned with stock. Follow our two recipes

 

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Pumpkin recipes c. Sarah Young

Use up your stored pumpkins by cooking them down slowly with a variety of aromatics – garlic, ginger, lemongrass – and use either as a purée or as a base for soup thinned with stock. Follow our two recipes

 

Use either of these recipes as a purée or as a base for soup thinned with stock

 

SPICED PUMPKIN PURÉE
450g pumpkin, peeled and diced into small cubes 
1tbsp (heaped) panch phoron (see below) 
2tbsp vegetable oil
1 thumb ginger, peeled and finely grated 
1tsp amchoor (sour dried mango) powder or 2tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper 


Favourite seedheads for winter structure

Seedheads glistening with frost play an important part in bringing structural winter interest to the garden. Here's five plants that can be happily left to provide a eyecatching display

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Favourite seed heads - Foeniculum vulgare c. Lynn Keddie

Seedheads glistening with frost play an important part in bringing structural winter interest to the garden. Here's five plants that can be happily left to provide a eyecatching display

Five favourite seedheads
For James Williams, the owner of Manor Farm in Wiltshire, plant structure in the winter garden can be as striking as anything formal or built – walls, hedges or gates – with as much interest to be found in the seedheads of smaller herbaceous plants as there is in the soaring branches of bare trees or the skeletons of leafless shrubs. Rimed with frost and faded to dusty shades of brown and grey, and almost unrecognisable from their heyday in summer, they bring a different sort of architectural drama in winter. 

 

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