Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


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.

Supporting pollinators in your garden

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:24 Post author: gemmastringer

Wildlife ‘corridors’, growing native plants, fruit trees and small ponds all create a haven for the bees says Jules Moore, a beekeeper and gardener

As a keen gardener, I love to see bees and other pollinating insects working away in my garden. They do a marvellous job of boosting harvests and I know when the apple tree blossom is at its best, as the trees will hum with honeybees from my hives! Keeping honeybees is great fun and very rewarding, but you can support them and other vital insects in a variety of other ways. Over 90 per cent of bees in the UK are solitary ones, who are docile, non-stinging and live in small nests in the ground, walls or rotting timber. Bumblebees and other solitary bees are not seen in such great numbers as honeybees, but they all need our support, particularly after the awful weather we had last year.

Blanket weed and green water – it’s that time of year!

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:21 Post author: gemmastringer

Jimmie Hepburn from Devon-based Aquavision offers much needed help when it comes to dealing with the dreaded and often ever present algae and blanket weed

I am often amazed at the rate at which water plants grow in a pond.  With an adequate supply of nutrients and sunlight along with a guaranteed supply of water, primary production in freshwater can be astounding.  This is fine if this rapid growth is from the plants you want to encourage such as water lilies or irises for example.  However, it is a different matter when green water or vast rafts of blanket weed plague the surface of the pond.  

The truly venerable yew hedge

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 12:17 Post author: gemmastringer

Andrew Midgley argues there’s nothing better than a well maintained, healthy yew hedge in your garden

There is nothing like a well clipped English yew hedge (Taxus baccata) which, to me, is the quintessential statement of the English formal garden and far more appealing than a leylandii hedge, to set off your garden.

When I was the head gardener at Castle Drogo we would traditionally trim the yew hedges from August onwards until mid October, a momentous task that took the garden team away from other gardening tasks.

Country Gardener’s Top Five Gardens to visit in May

Tue, 07/05/2013 - 10:48 Post author: gemmastringer

STone aLLERTON.jpgStone Allerton Gardens, Stone Allerton, Somerset

There are three distinctly different beautiful gardens to visit here, on the edge of the Somerset levels. Badgers Acre is a one-acre garden with colour-themed mixed borders, a secret walk, a pond and a colourful rockery. A semi-circular tulip and allium bed is surrounded by box, and another lovely part of the garden is the vegetable potager with a pergola draped in rambling roses and clematis. Greenfield House has four main gardens: a grass area, shrubs, a colour garden and a cottage garden area, with many unusual plants in a vast range of perennials, shrubs and bulbs. Just showing what can be done, the garden has been created from garden centre bargains. Ponds and chickens add to the variety. Fern Cottage is a charming small cottage garden full of interesting plants and ideas.

The best shrubs for your garden

Tue, 07/05/2013 - 10:39 Post author: gemmastringer

Add beautiful blooms without a lot of maintenance to your garden this summer with easy-growing, colorful shrubs. Here is Country Gardener’s choice of some of the best. We’ve trawled through the market to find our favourites all of which will be available at your local nursery or garden centre.


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