Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


A problem child?

Tue, 08/12/2015 - 14:10 Post author: Aidan Gill

Gardenias are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all indoor plants  perfect for conservatories ,grown for their foliage and highly scented showy flowers but they do have a reputation for being difficult.

Gardenias have won the hearts of gardeners for ages. Their beautiful petals and divine fragrance make them a much-loved flower and while hardy varieties increasingly appear outdoors it is their popularity as houseplants which makes them memorable. 

The season when everything returns to the soil

Tue, 08/12/2015 - 13:28 Post author: Aidan Gill

Once the dormant season is upon us, this is the time to take stock of the year’s successes and failures, and to get on with planning for next year. 

It is also a great time to start construction jobs so that the new features will be ready for the start of next year’s season. 

This is also the time when everything is returned to the soil: leaves are falling, stems collapsing, insects dying. The earth is receptive now; drawing in energy while all above is going dormant.

Jobs for the winter

Tue, 08/12/2015 - 13:23 Post author: Aidan Gill


If you have compost ready then apply it to the soil now .

Many gardeners worry that the long winter rains will affect the quality of their hard-earned recycled matter by leaching out nutrients.
However the rain washes nutrients into a fertile organic soil rather than washing them out.

The past three years have seen very little rainfall in February, March and April in many parts of the country, often accompanied by dry winds from the north and east.

The last of the roses

Thu, 22/10/2015 - 12:06 Post author: Aidan Gill

There is a world of difference between a shrub rose that throws a few niggardly autumn blooms and one that puts on a really good display; although it may not quite match the first flush, it gives genuine pleasure on an autumn day.

Seven for September!

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 14:00 Post author: Aidan Gill

Don't say goodbye to summer too soon. These days summer can stretch into early October, and the traditional midsummer floral display seems like a flash in the pan. Where once gardeners threw all the big guns at June and July, you now need a second set of late-flowering plants to see you through September and October. 

Few of us plan and plant for autumn bloom. But September and October don't have to be only two months of falling leaves and waning blooms in the garden. There are several perennials that work hard to bloom in the garden right through September.

Why growing an olive tree remains special

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 13:46 Post author: Aidan Gill

It has long held associations with peace, stability and fertility in Mediterranean cultures, and in some Christian churches its oil still holds a sacred place but more gardeners are adding this special tree and growing it successfully.

There’s more than the thrill of having something special in your garden if you opt to grow an olive tree.

The olive is a powerful ‘Tree of Peace’ and has long been associated with immortality, holding a special place throughout history for its strong symbolic and spiritual significance.

Guerilla gardening – a growing passion

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 09:28 Post author: Aidan Gill

There’s a trickle in the gardening world that’s about to break its banks and flood parts of the UK - guerilla gardening. In other words, growing things on land that does not belong to you.

It all began in New York in the 1970s and smacks of people clambering over fences by torchlight to sow a neglected space. But now in 2015 guerilla gardening is much further on than that.

South African style!

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 09:23 Post author: Aidan Gill

Gill Heavens delves into the exotic and spectacular world of South African plants which can be grown successfully with colourful and lasting benefits to almost every garden.

You may think that successfully growing South African plants in this country is beyond the realms of fantasy. Even if it were possible it would involve much tending and tinkering. 

In truth there are many plants that are relatively easy to grow. 

Some are well known to gardeners, others a little less familiar, but they are all worth a try.


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