Tools & Equipment

How to clean your tools

At the end of a day's gardening there's one final job you need to do - clean your tools. If you've been a bit lax, winter is the perfect time to give your tools some care and attention. Here's what to do

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Clean your garden tools c. David Loftus

At the end of a day's gardening there's one final job you need to do - clean your tools. If you've been a bit lax, winter is the perfect time to give your tools some care and attention. Here's what to do

Our recent feature on vintage tools was the perfect reminder of how important it is to look after your tools to keep them in top working order for years - and even generations.

So, the perfect time to bring to the fore this article we published back in 2009.

 

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.   

 

Collecting classic and vintage tools

Wht could be nicer than using a garden tool that has stood the test of time and is perfectly fit for purpose. Collector Louise Allen of Garden & Wood shares a few of her favourites and gives tips on starting your own collection

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Vintage gardening tools c. Andrew Montgomery

Wht could be nicer than using a garden tool that has stood the test of time and is perfectly fit for purpose. Collector Louise Allen of Garden & Wood shares a few of her favourites and gives tips on starting your own collection

Tools for the flower border

Antique tools often highlight the ingenuity of previous generations. This early 20th-century tool, known as the Little Gripper flower picker (1), both cuts and grips flowers, allowing you to pick flowers in the back of the border with ease.

12 pumpkins and squash to grow

As Halloween approaches you can't help but notice the increasingly popular range of winter squash and pumpkins in shops and harvest display. So how about growing your own, ready for this time next year? Alys Fowler suggests some favourites.

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Pumpkins and squash c. Paul Debois

As Halloween approaches you can't help but notice the increasingly popular range of winter squash and pumpkins in shops and harvest display. So how about growing your own, ready for this time next year? Alys Fowler suggests some favourites.

Pumpkins and the increasingly popular winter squash offer a rainbow of colours to the garden and culinary delights to the kitchen. They are easy to grow and can be used as ground cover or as climbers, and range in all manner of size, so there’s one for every garden. Here Alys Fowler lists some favourites:

Growing quince - PLUS recipe for baked quince

Quinces are perfect garden trees that bear pretty blossom in spring and heavy golden fruits in October. Once you’ve planted one, bring some zing to your autumn table by trying this delicious recipe.

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Quince c. Jason Ingram

Quinces are perfect garden trees that bear pretty blossom in spring and heavy golden fruits in October. Once you’ve planted one, bring some zing to your autumn table by trying this delicious recipe.

In the October 2011 issue of the magazine, garden writer Lia Leendertz explains why we should grow quince and how. Not only is it an attractive tree with pretty blossom but the golden fruits it bears in October are a culinary delight. Plus there's a recipe here to try.

 

Growing quince

10 of the best cloches for your garden

Whether it’s winter protection for crops and seedlings, or planning ahead for soil-warming prior to sowing seeds come spring, there’s a style of cloche to suit your needs

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Cloche choice c. Sean Malyon

Whether it’s winter protection for crops and seedlings, or planning ahead for soil-warming prior to sowing seeds come spring, there’s a style of cloche to suit your needs

From left
Glass and wire bell cloche (next to watering can)
18 diameter x 25cm h,
£19.99 from Crocus

Woven bamboo tunnel cloche
1m l x 40cm h x 45cm w,
£20 from Gifts & Gardens

Chase barn cloche wire framework (glass not included)
£12 from Hibbitt of Oswestry

12 pretty plants for wildlife lovers

It's Wild About Gardens Week (15-21 September). Here wildlife garden expert Pam Lewis gives us some ideas. She has been experimenting with plants for over 25 years to find those that are the most attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. She picks 12 of her prettiest favourites that will help get your garden humming.

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Attracting insects to your garden c. Jason Ingram

It's Wild About Gardens Week (15-21 September). Here wildlife garden expert Pam Lewis gives us some ideas. She has been experimenting with plants for over 25 years to find those that are the most attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. She picks 12 of her prettiest favourites that will help get your garden humming.

Plants for wildlife

Create this gorgeous planting combination

Getting the right plant combinations is the secret to bringing your borders to life. Here's a planting scheme that makes the most of the vibrancy in colour and form of dahlias. 

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Dahlia Fireball combination from Ferdinandushof

Getting the right plant combinations is the secret to bringing your borders to life. Here's a planting scheme that makes the most of the vibrancy in colour and form of dahlias. 

Helen Lewis from Ferdinandushof nursery in the Netherlands creates a gorgeous planting scheme for dahlias and complementary grases and perennials. She calls this one 'Fireball' - oranges, yellows, reds and limes combine with rich purples to dramatic effect.

Take these dahlias

 

 

 

 

 

How to employ a gardener - the flip side

One of our readers sent us a cartoon providing her side of the story when it comes to being employed as a gardener

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Addison cartoon

One of our readers sent us a cartoon providing her side of the story when it comes to being employed as a gardener

One of our readers wrote to us in response to our feature on 'How to Employ a Gardener'. In fact she didn't just write to us, she drew us a cartoon - and we featured a snippet in the Letters page of our September issue (213, page 102).

However, we thought it would be a shame not to show you it all. So here it is:

25 of the best English gardens to visit

With the Bank Holiday weekend upon us, why not make the most of what remains of summer and visit a garden. Garden designer and historian Penelope Hobhouse chooses 25 of her favourites, which will be looking at their late summer best.

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Coleton Fishacre c. Carole Drake

With the Bank Holiday weekend upon us, why not make the most of what remains of summer and visit a garden. Garden designer and historian Penelope Hobhouse chooses 25 of her favourites, which will be looking at their late summer best.

 

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