Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


The ‘joy of the mountain’ herb

Mon, 09/10/2017 - 13:00 Post author: Aidan Gill

Oregano, or marjoram, is prized for its beautiful flowers and foliage and is a stalwart in the herb garden you shouldn’t be without.

If ever there was a herb which lives up to its name then its probably oregano.

Grown for its strong tasting and pungent leaves, oregano is a perennial herb that thrives in a warm, sunny position. 

It is said to have been derived from the Greek 'oros' meaning mountain and 'ganos' meaning joy – hence ’joy of the mountain’.

The gardening helpline

Fri, 06/10/2017 - 13:52 Post author: Aidan Gill

Care centres in Somerset and the Cotswolds are now part of an expanding programme improving the wellbeing and quality of life for people affected by life-limiting illness, through active and passive gardening.

It isn’t a catchy title but that doesn’t matter - the work of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture is changing lives.  

Put simply, a growing number of carers in hospices are putting their beliefs behind the fact that gardening is a wonderfully flexible medium which can transform lives regardless of age and disabilities.

Autumn - time to keep the garden going

Fri, 06/10/2017 - 13:40 Post author: Aidan Gill

After a series of mild autumn and winters more gardeners are finding autumn sowing a way to keep the garden alive.

It’s likely every year gardeners all over the country start to think that September and October are the times to start ‘putting the garden away’ for the winter.

Yet a series of mild winters would suggest that the much better option is to think of the autumn as the time to decide to keep the garden going through the winter.

Berries provide autumn colours of the rainbow

Mon, 02/10/2017 - 18:45 Post author: gemmastringer

Emma Heard from Bernaville Nurseries near Exeter looks at plants which give extra colour and provide food for hungry birds and wildlife- berry-bearing plants that flourish in autumn, creating colourful displays lasting well into winter.

As we all go in search of ‘berried treasure’ there are a number of ways to fit this collection of wonderful plants into your garden.

The green roof

Thu, 28/09/2017 - 10:56 Post author: gemmastringer

Elizabeth McCorquodale takes a look up high and enjoys the wonders of green roofs with all their noise reduction, pollution filtering benefits and shows how you might like to create one

Green roofs attracted quite a lot of attention a few years ago but now they have settled comfortably into the landscape, appearing without fuss on all sorts of buildings from grand avant-garde homes to factories and public buildings (my local council sports a rather lovely example) to modest garden sheds and garages.

Country Gardener Advice

Tue, 26/09/2017 - 13:50 Post author: gemmastringer

Providing gardeners with help on a range of gardening issues, problems and opportunities

How watering regimes can affect vegetable flavour

Vegetables consist mainly of water with a relatively small amount of solid material that gives them flavour and texture. Withholding water might be thought to lead to more solid and stronger flavour and this is sometimes the case but not always.

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.  


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