Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


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.

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.


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