Plants

How to make a floral Advent calendar

Gardens Illustrated has joined together with The Herbarium Project to show you how to make your own floral Advent calendar for Christmas. 

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How to make an Advent calendar

Gardens Illustrated has joined together with The Herbarium Project to show you how to make your own floral Advent calendar for Christmas. 

Sonya Patel Ellis promotes the beauty of dried flowers by creating herbaria with a traditional wooden herbarium press she made herself. She has produced a collection of more than 100 pressed and mounted plant and flower specimens, collected over the course of a year from her garden in east London.

Homemade alioli

As winter approaches, colour begins to drain away from the garden but that doesn't mean it also has to fade from your food. Jojo Tulloh shares her recipe for creating a vivid green, homemade alioli. 

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Homemade alioli

As winter approaches, colour begins to drain away from the garden but that doesn't mean it also has to fade from your food. Jojo Tulloh shares her recipe for creating a vivid green, homemade alioli. 

When it comes to colour, winter cooking can verge on dingy. All those braises and stews mean brown is often in the ascendant. Import a little zing by using the viridifloric essence of herbs and spinach to tint sauces, soups and, in this case, aioli (garlic mayonnaise) a vivid green.

 

Green alioli

 

 

The best trees for front gardens

Choosing the right tree for a front garden can be tricky but the there are advantages and countless pleasures that can be had if you choose your tree carefully. 

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trees for front garden

Choosing the right tree for a front garden can be tricky but the there are advantages and countless pleasures that can be had if you choose your tree carefully. 

Tony Kirkham is the head of the Arboretum at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the author of several books on trees. In this feature he gives his advice on choosing the right tree for front gardens, looking in detail at the bark, foliage and fruit of each variety. He says, 'Over the past few decades, trees have been disappearing from the UK's front gardens. More and more people are now removing plants and paving over their lawns in order to create or extend driveways for the ever-growing fleets of family cars.

Ideas for Halloween pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner and with the rise of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, the pressure is on to create a show-stopper of a pumpkin. Here's a few ideas to get you started. 

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Halloween pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner and with the rise of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, the pressure is on to create a show-stopper of a pumpkin. Here's a few ideas to get you started. 

With the abundance of squash ready to be harvested in the garden, the creative fun of halloween can be a welcome way to use up surplus crops. Originally the Pagan festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), the holiday marked the official end of the harvest season. Samhain also marked the time of year when the veil between the two worlds was particularly thin, allowing the dead spirits to cross into the world of the living.

The best winter vegetables

Organic vegetable grower, Charles Dowding chooses his favourite vegetables to grow in winter. 

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The best winter veg

Organic vegetable grower, Charles Dowding chooses his favourite vegetables to grow in winter. 

Charles says, 'By early October the garden can be fuller than at any other time of year, and you will have already stored many vegetables to enjoy over the coming winter. I still find it remarkable that the garden produces these precious winter harvests'.

Here are his favourite winter vegetables.

6 native plants from New Zealand

A startlingly beautiful country, New Zealand is also home to some amazing plants. Here are just six from a garden on the shore of Governor's Bay, near Christchurch.  

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Native New Zealand plants

A startlingly beautiful country, New Zealand is also home to some amazing plants. Here are just six from a garden on the shore of Governor's Bay, near Christchurch.  

Rocked by the devestating earthquake that hit New Zealand in 2010, Ohinetahi, meaning the ‘place of one daughter’ is a formal garden on the shore of Governor's Bay, rich with volcanic soil. The native plants growing here are able to thrive not only because of New Zealand's unique climatic conditions but because of the strict importing rules that the country enforces which saves plants and wildlife from being lost due to invasive species. Sir Miles Warren is both architect and owner of Ohinetahi and these are his choices of native plants from the garden. 

Celebrate Apple day

Celebrate one of Britain's best loved fruits, the apple. Launched in 1990 by Common Ground, Apple Day on 21 October is now an annual autumn event. 

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Apple day

Celebrate one of Britain's best loved fruits, the apple. Launched in 1990 by Common Ground, Apple Day on 21 October is now an annual autumn event. 

The apple is a firm favourite in the British fruit bowl, but peel back it's humble exterior and you'll realise that the apple has a huge part to play in our culture and the ecology around us. Set up in 1990 by the charity Common Ground, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration of the fruit's diversity and a demonstration of the variety of apples we are in danger of losing.

National Honey Week 2015

The British Beekeepers Association is hosting National Honey Week, 25-31 October 2015, to both celebrate the honey harvest and to keep reminding us of the importance of the honey bee. Read our ten interesting facts about these dedicated winged workers. 

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Honey Week

The British Beekeepers Association is hosting National Honey Week, 25-31 October 2015, to both celebrate the honey harvest and to keep reminding us of the importance of the honey bee. Read our ten interesting facts about these dedicated winged workers. 

Our relationship with honey is long-lived and as a result, a deep respect for the honey bee has developed. Honey is used in many different ways, from baking to beauty and is believed to have many healing properties because of its anti-bacterial qualities.

Pots of style: Ferns

Brighten up autumn's darker days with a container display planted to highlight the season's most interesting plants - here we use ferns for some late season freshness. 

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Planting ferns

Brighten up autumn's darker days with a container display planted to highlight the season's most interesting plants - here we use ferns for some late season freshness. 

Indoor ferns always add a slightly exotic feel to conservatory displays. I love their graceful elegance, and frequently use them for displays in the house and – before frosts bite – sheltered parts of the garden. This arrangement features a collection of ferns presented in a vintage wooden dough bowl found at a plant fair.

5 top tips for topiary

Hof ann Buxusbeemden is a beautiful topiary garden in Belgium. Translated from Flemish it means garden of the box meadow. Owners Ann van Gestel and Francis Denayer offer advice on how to create a garden and give 5 top tips for topiary. 

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Tips for topiary

Hof ann Buxusbeemden is a beautiful topiary garden in Belgium. Translated from Flemish it means garden of the box meadow. Owners Ann van Gestel and Francis Denayer offer advice on how to create a garden and give 5 top tips for topiary. 

 

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