Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


Peas, perfect peas!

Tue, 09/07/2013 - 11:28 Post author: gemmastringer

Early spring peas are one of the vegetable gardeners’ greatest pleasures. Sowing in the autumn using special early varieties is an easy and growingly popular option

Fresh peas picked straight from the garden are a revelation! Once you’ve tasted how sweet they taste, you’ll never want to eat frozen peas again.

And there’s more good news - growing pea plants is easy and you can achieve a good crop from a relatively small space. In fact, you can even grow them in containers on the patio for a really space-saving crop.

Philip White - Hestercombe’s restoration man

Tue, 09/07/2013 - 11:23 Post author: gemmastringer

Philip White’s work heading up the continuing fund raising and restoration of Hestercombe is about to enter its latest phase - but there’s no sign of his passion and enthusiasms slipping for a moment

Philip White still isn’t ducking the challenges ahead.

“We live or die. It keeps us sharp,” says the boss of Hestercombe Gardens, near Taunton, which is about to embark on another dramatic stage in its extraordinary story.

The tasks ahead for this former Somerset dairy farmer who earlier this year was recognised with an MBE in the New Year Honours List for his contribution to save Hestercombe, seem to bring energy and passion into his words.

Sizzling for high summer!

Tue, 09/07/2013 - 11:00 Post author: gemmastringer

The sun is out and your borders need that zing of drama. Here’s Country Gardener’s special top ten selection of plants to add colour form and style to your garden as you enjoy the long hazy days of summer. It’s a selection which will reward you not just with colour but in many cases with the perfect plants to attract wildlife.

The best garden apps to start with

Tue, 02/07/2013 - 18:57 Post author: gemmastringer

Catherine Dhanjal who lives near Bitton, Bristol with her Jack Russell dog and two bantams makes her personal choice of the best gardening apps on the market. When not in her garden or visiting other people’s, she writes and edits on technology issues.

A keen amateur gardener, I was lucky enough to recently buy a house near Bitton with a very well-stocked garden. So well-stocked that I needed some good reference sources to help me to nurture a whole range of plants I’d not previously kept. I also love visiting other gardens to gain inspiration and ideas.

A ‘private’ and improving English cottage garden

Wed, 19/06/2013 - 14:19 Post author: gemmastringer

Alan Lewis talks to Mike Werkmeister, who five years after he bought East Lambrook Manor, still has a lot more he wants to do to the magical cottage garden designed by Margery Fish

When Mike and Gail Werkmeister lived in Wimbledon they opened their garden under the NGS scheme. “It was a nice thing to do and we enjoyed it”, says Mike.

It was perhaps a sign of bigger things to come. Five years ago, Mike, a London based graphic designer by trade, and Gail, an NCT antenatal teacher and tutor, took a decision which was to step up the commitment to opening another and more famous garden to the public.

Keep planting and keep weeding!

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:56 Post author: gemmastringer

July is a great month for relaxing a little and enjoying your garden but it’s also important to keep on top of weeding, watering and pests

This is often one of the hottest months of the year and despite all there is to do remember it’s a great time to sit out and enjoy your garden!

When you are out there gardening, the message for July is to keep planting and keep weeding.

July is a very productive month. All the hard work that you put in during the spring now starts to pay off, with fruit and vegetables ready for harvest.

Wanted urgently! – more and more trees

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:51 Post author: gemmastringer

Mark Hinsley argues that we need all the urban trees we can get to combat climate change and makes a plea for the return of community orchards trees and woodlands

There was a time when every community had a copse where raw materials could be cut for domestic use, a tree on the green to sit under on a hot day and an orchard where fruit was grown to eat. These days the copse has disappeared without trace, the town square is a mass of concrete and tarmac and all that remains of the fruit trees, in most cases, is a street called Orchard Close.

Step up to greater levels of recycling

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:46 Post author: gemmastringer

As the Government steps up its recycling message, it’s clear we must learn to use green waste in a cost effective and convenient way

It was only about 20 years ago when waste material ‘turned to gold’.

Consumers got the message about recycling, local authorities invested in ingenious , sophisticated ways to recycle, re-use and re-new, opportunities and places to recycle became easier and an ‘industry‘ was born.

Pure plum perfection!

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:41 Post author: gemmastringer

Plums, damsons and greengages aren’t always the first choice for gardeners when it comes to growing fruit. But the right selection of variety and some care can produce a glut of wonderful eating and cooking fruit

Plum trees may not be the first choice of a fruit tree for the inexperienced gardener but they are hugely rewarding to grow.

Be careful to choose what type of plum tree is best for you. Buying a plum tree which might grow to 30ft tall, producing masses of cooking plums is not a good idea if you have a small garden and want eating plums!

The garden which remembers Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:32 Post author: gemmastringer

If ever you visit Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, look out for a small archway in the long honey-coloured wall that runs along the end of the main street. Be sure to go in and explore, says Liz Ware.

An elegant slate sign marks the entrance to the Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden.

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of local people, the garden is now a permanent reminder of his early years in the town and is open daily. Ernest Wilson, one of the greatest of our plant collectors, was born in Chipping Campden in 1876.


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