Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


Five choices for autumn colour

Tue, 19/09/2017 - 11:49 Post author: gemmastringer

If your garden needs more colour at the end of summer then here’s some options to lift the spirits in the autumn weeks ahead

Autumn colour in the garden is one of the great and underrated delights. Too often looking around the garden in August can reveal just a show of tired foliage and absence of colour.

Showcasing the great British harvest festival

Thu, 14/09/2017 - 15:03 Post author: gemmastringer

Giant autumn vegetables, celebrity speakers and a celebration of the harvest season form the basis of the Malvern Autumn Show which returns on 23rd and 24th September.

More than 65,000 people are expected to flock to this year’s  weekend show at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, for this annual celebration of harvest fun and family entertainment.

Perfect potentillas

Thu, 14/09/2017 - 15:00 Post author: gemmastringer

Gill Heavens selects her favourites from members of the rose family commonly known as cinquefoils

If I were to decide to have a National Collection of plants, at the top of my list of potential candidates would be potentillas, commonly known as cinquefoils.  The 500 species in this genus come in many forms; shrubs, annuals, biennials and perennials, which are mostly confined to the northern hemisphere.  Their habitats range from lowlands to mountains and are found as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Mexico.  

The colour purple

Wed, 23/08/2017 - 14:45 Post author: gemmastringer

Smaller and sharper than plums, damsons may not have a lot of charisma but they come alive when they arrive in the kitchen from the garden

Damsons are not a commonly grown fruit, but they were once. They have been grown in England for hundreds of years, and vast orchards existed right up until the Second World war but apparently tastes change.

Thankfully there are signs of a comeback for this very particular fruit.

Let the trumpets sound!

Tue, 22/08/2017 - 08:45 Post author: gemmastringer

Producing masses of huge, fragrant flowers in a range of colours, brugmansias are ideal plants for the greenhouse or summer garden

When you grow brugmansias you get a plant with a big reputation.

Spectacular, easy to grow and relatively easy to get hold of, these ‘angel trumpets’ are part of the Solanaceae family which also contains less glamorous tomatoes and potatoes as well as deadly nightshade.

Jobs in the July garden

Mon, 17/07/2017 - 10:08 Post author: Aidan Gill

Now that the warm summer days are here some of the jobs in the garden will be easy going, pleasant tasks, such as 
dis-budding roses, dahlias, fuchsias, tidying up the herbaceous borders and general watering.

But as the summer growth continues in full swing its also the time to be watchful as the risk of pests and diseases becomes all too all too prevalent and a lot of your hard work in the spring can be wasted.

Gardens on tour!

Mon, 17/07/2017 - 09:53 Post author: Aidan Gill

Summer time, holidays and the chance to cast garden visits a bit wider. We’ve selected seven inspirational gardens for Country Gardener readers around the country which offer something really unique and special.

Lilies – very difficult to ignore!

Mon, 17/07/2017 - 09:24 Post author: Aidan Gill

There are about 100 species of lily available to gardeners with large, spectacular often fragrant flowers. They cover a whole range of colours including whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Gill Heavens looks at a few of her favourites of Division 9 classification of these wonderful plant varieties.

Subtlety is not something normally associated with lilies, whose Latin name is the relatively simple to remember - Lilium.  

Top 10 cut flowers to grow at home

Mon, 17/07/2017 - 08:51 Post author: Aidan Gill

A vase of fresh flowers cut straight from the garden can instantly make a house feel more like a home. So it’s surprisingly that more people don’t try growing their own cut flowers. There are plenty of cut flowers that you can grow at home, but if you need some inspiration take a look at our top 10 favourites. 

You don’t need to be a florist to get the best from your cut flowers either. There are lots of handy tips that you can employ to make your blooms last longer. Here are a just a few to get you started.

Colour in the late summer garden

Wed, 12/07/2017 - 09:52 Post author: gemmastringer

Don’t say goodbye to the colour and wonders of your high summer garden. With a bit of planning you can still have vibrant colours right through to early autumn and beyond

How often have you hear gardeners say ‘Oh my garden looks its best in spring’.

Late-summer drabness is often taken for granted and by July we are saying there’s nothing to look forward to.

Which is of course nonsense. Why waste your garden's best performance on the matinee? Hold it back for the main event: August, when it's warm enough to sit out and enjoy it.


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