Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


How do you identify that rose?

Wed, 26/06/2019 - 10:17 Post author: Aidan Gill

With over 12,000 registered cultivars one of the hardest tasks is to try and identify a specific rose. There are ways however to make the task easier.

It can be quite a task to identify an unknown rose, especially as rose development has gone on for centuries with huge variations in colours, shapes, sizes and scents.

One estimate suggests there are over 12,000 registered rose cultivars so it can be a real challenge.

Gardening jobs for July

Wed, 26/06/2019 - 10:02 Post author: Aidan Gill

July is a very productive month in the garden. All the hard work put in during the spring now starts to pay off, with so much fruit and vegetables ready for harvest. By the end of July we can be swamped with delicious veg such as cucumbers, courgette, Swiss chard, lettuce, beetroot and French beans. Whilst it’s a great month for relaxing a little and enjoying your garden, it’s also important to keep on top of weeding, watering, deadheading and pests.

Getting the spring garden feed right

Tue, 19/02/2019 - 14:54 Post author: Aidan Gill

Most of us are about to be tempted to use spring fertilisers to help our plants make the most of the new season - but care is needed.

Gardens are about to start waking up after the winter rest and the chances are your plants will need feeding to get them on the march into spring proper. Many won’t have been fed since the autumn.

When the sap rises growth starts to be renewed and plants, trees and shrubs need some sustenance for healthy foliage, flowering and fruiting in the weeks ahead.

Growing blueberries is easier than you think

Tue, 19/02/2019 - 14:45 Post author: Aidan Gill

For too often this super food berry has had a reputation of being troublesome - needing acidic soil, cross pollination and patience before you get the first fruit - but it is worth the effort.

Growing blueberries isn’t as difficult as many would make out. They do certainly prefer an acid soil in a nice sunny or semi shaded position. And even if your garden soil is not acidic then you can try growing blueberries in containers using an ericaceous compost mix.

Last call on winter pruning

Tue, 19/02/2019 - 11:47 Post author: Aidan Gill

It may be the task you haven’t got round to but in early spring there’s still time to prune, cut back and shape.

All our garden plants benefit from pruning, but it’s important to prune at the right time of year, in the right way.

The darker, colder and short days of midwinter are not always ideal to get out and take on the task.

But don’t fret it isn’t too late. There is still plenty of time in late February and well into March to prune, cut back and encourage new life into your plants and shrubs.

Looking forward to Potato Days

Mon, 17/12/2018 - 14:11 Post author: Aidan Gill

It’s not too long to wait now for the popular Potato Days – the series of potato buying themed days organised by Pennard Plants. It’s the twelfth year the Somerset nursery have been organising the days and as well as a huge range of seed potatoes you’ll be able to buy onion sets, shallots and garlic bulbs and more.

Oxford Potato Day, Sunday, 6th January. West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Rd, Oxford. OX2 OBT. Free entry. Oxford & District Federation of Allotment Associations. 10.30am to 1.30pm.

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.


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