Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

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Calling a spade a spade!

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 14:04 Post author: Aidan Gill

Consumer writer John Swithinbank launches a new product testing series in which he looks in detail at some of the most popular gardening tools and accessories.

I always loved to call a spade a spade, but I’m beginning to rethink this phrase because I’ve just come across three very different spades which make gardening easier.

Two are from a Dutch company Sneeboer and one comes from a British company Burgon and Ball.

Before I tried each one out I couldn’t help admire their beauty and craftsmanship.

I then got cracking and put each one through its paces.

Houseplants in your bedroom?

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 13:36 Post author: Aidan Gill

You may not feel that having plants in your bedroom is a great way of improving sleep but the fact is, having vegetation in your sleeping space can and does improve the quality of your sleep. While any plant displayed in your bedroom will brighten the indoor environment, the key is to use the right plants to create a calm, and tranquil room.

Change your garden as you get older

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 12:08 Post author: Aidan Gill

It comes to us all - the joints get stiffer, the arms a little weaker, and the energy diminishes
- so adapting your garden could help prolong your active enjoyment of gardening.

Did you know that active gardening is second only to weightlifting for helping maintain bone density?

Research has also proven that being out of doors and gardening can help with dementia, sleep and coping with chronic illness.

Getting out into the early winter garden

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 11:26 Post author: Aidan Gill

The garden begins to wind down in November and into December, as deciduous plants enter dormancy. But there are still gardening jobs to do this month to prepare for for when winter truly sets in. Make sure to get outside and enjoy the garden as it fades, leaving structural plants and evergreens to take centre stage. Here are the key gardening jobs for the weeks ahead.

Winter Walking

Mon, 26/11/2018 - 11:17 Post author: Aidan Gill

Gardens can be wonderfully dramatic and beautiful in winter, when it can be a delight to head outside for a walk to blow away the cobwebs.

More of us are now realising that winter gardens are to be enjoyed rather than endured and over the next few months winter walks will take us from autumn colour right through the January and February and the start of snowdrop displays.

Jobs in the garden for October

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 10:11 Post author: Aidan Gill

From planting alliums to ordering fruit trees, from planning spring bulbs to storing your squashes – there’s no sign that the garden is slowing down.

Certainly the nights may be drawing in, and October will see the clocks going back and the first frosts in colder parts of the country but there’s still a busy ‘to-do’ list. Gardening time might feel curtailed by the shorter sunlight, but the days are often glorious, with the autumn colour a counterpoint to the light tipping away.

Garden visiting is good for the soul

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 10:02 Post author: Aidan Gill

Two new pieces of research confirm the importance of our gardens to both short term stress levels and longer term health benefits.

Have you visited many gardens this year? If so, has it helped your stress levels and lifted your soul?

For those who have been out and about this summer visiting private gardens or getting involved in the NGS Gardens Open Scheme it is more than likely it has been good for your health.

It’s time to compost!

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 09:57 Post author: Aidan Gill

A new campaign, launched at the ideal time to start composting, is encouraging smaller households to create their own mini compost.

A new autumn campaign is under way to encourage homeowners to create their own mini compost.

The campaign, which follows on from a Government report about the growing pressure on UK landfill sites, is aimed at smaller households who haven’t in the past thought about composting waste material.

Although it’s easy to start a compost heap at any point throughout the year, late summer to early winter is the peak time for composting.

Radishes - the unsung heroes

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 09:50 Post author: Aidan Gill

Elizabeth McCorquodale enthuses about one of the most underrated of garden vegetables - and one worthy of more of your time and attention.

Radishes are probably one of the most underrated of common vegetables, even to the extent that we tend not to consider them as vegetables at all and this is probably because they are so extraordinarily quick and easy to grow.

Preparing your garden for winter

Tue, 13/11/2018 - 09:44 Post author: Aidan Gill

It won’t be too long now before winter comes in with a rattle, so the moment of ‘putting the garden to bed’ is coming. The metaphorical tucking in moment approaches.

Gardeners are again being urged to spend the first weeks of October giving their gardens some urgent attention to prepare for autumn and the colder months.

We are very lucky in the South West that when preparing the garden for winter we do not have to put the garden totally ‘to bed’ as many others. Often plants in mild winters will continue to grow well into December.

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