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E 2017 £3.99
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MAKING BEAUTIFUL GARDENS 177


PLANTING
PLANT NG

wow
IDEAS INSIDE
Injectsome

right now!
Must-have plants for a
brighter autumn

Ador able
asters
Easy border beauties

Beautiful gardens
Vibrant
ibrant jewel garden where late cannas shine
Historic plot celebrates Irish fairies and folklore
Small urban oasis full of chic ideas for structure
HOW TO...
NOVEMBER ISSUE 11 OCT-7 NOV

Our
brightest
birds!

✿ WELCOME FINCHES ✿ TEAM SILVER & PINK ✿ PLAN YOUR POTAGER


Treat them to an autumn feast Create this stylish container Tips and advice on what to grow
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Welcome
AUTUMN HUES Abies concolor Violacea Group, imperata ‘Rubra’ and purple Physostegia virginiana – for more see p14; winter heathers

Meet the
Contributors
“This month in the
garden I’ll be...”
“…lifting, labelling, I really should apologise for the floppy
drying and packing border on page 90. Normally every page of
dahlia tubers into dry
compost for winter.”
Garden Answers is packed with pristine
Helen Billiald plans planting combinations and gorgeous reader
her potager, p75 gardens for inspiration. But this month I’ve
“…pruning and tying been brave and put one of my own ailing
in the stems of my borders up for inspection in our new Border
rambling roses while
Rescue feature...
they’re still pliable.”
Val Bourne writes on The idea is that our resident gardening guru,
autumn essentials, p14 Ian Hodgson (Kew-trained, RHS-approved),
“…sowing batches of casts his critical eye over a planting scheme and offers constructive
micro greens for tasty advice on what to take out, what to
garnishes for winter
salads.” Louise Curley
divide or cut back, and what to plant
picks her favourite instead. He’s a mine of planting and
variegated plants, p22 design ideas so if you’d like to take part
“…planting tulip bulbs. in the feature please do get in touch.
At last I have some Just send us an up-to-date photo,
beds ready for a
together with any relevant info on the
colour kick in spring.”
Adrian Thomas writes location and soil type, and we’ll suggest
about finches, p69 some suitable plants that will thrive there.
“…planting up We’ve got all sorts of colourful planting ideas for autumn this
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK; GILL LOCKHART

containers of Iris month. On page 14 we reveal autumn’s essentials – those cheerful


reticulata to ward off end-of-season plants no garden should be without. From the fading
the February blues.”
Dawn Isaac creates a
beauties and fresh young blooms that last well to the frosts, to the
tropical paradise, p92 attention-seeking hips, stems and berries that provide a pop of
“…barrowing in rotted colour, this feature will arm you with a range of
manure from our local bright ideas to cheer up this dark and chilly
stables to spread on season. Happy gardening!
my veg patch.” Art
Editor Gill Lockhart
designs the magazine
Liz Potter
Editor

CONTACT US By post: Garden Answers, Bauer Media, Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA Email: gardenanswers@bauermedia.co.uk
Web: www.gardenanswersmagazine.co.uk Social media: Find us on Facebook as Garden Answers Twitter @GardenAnswers Instagram as gardenanswers

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 3
104
60 FREE
NARCISSUS
BULBS*

100
96 LEAF
GRABBERS

PATIO
CLEANERS

14
AUTUMN
ESSENTIALS

Contents
CELEBRATE
6 Celebrate the latecomers Sedum,
26
Keep the flowers coming
Cottage-garden penstemons
keep blooming to the frosts
anemones and silver foliage plants
keep borders looking bountiful EASY GARDENING
8 Be inspired by… Fire & ice, with
What to do this month Establish
a spiky agave and flat-topped 29
a mini orchard, cut back climbing
sedum; shiny zinc accessories;
Adorable asters, p40 roses and plant bareroot shrubs
plants #inflowernow; autumn
COVER: ALAMY; * JUST PAY POSTAGE. SEE P104

sedums; a bird feeder to make; Plant up a pot of silver and pink


On the cover leafy plant quiz and diary dates
34 Brighten up the patio with this
14 Inject some wow right now! COVER
container display in frosty pastels
Invest in autumn’s essentials Keep STORY
34 Team silver & pink 14
40 Adorable asters borders looking alive and vibrant Tuck up tender plants for winter
46 Vibrant jewel garden
COVER
STORY with these must-have seasonal
36 Protect frost-tender plants with
52 Small urban oasis plants, from ‘fading beauties’ to mulch, fleece and bubblewrap
58 Historic plot
69 Welcome finches attention-seeking hips and berries Relax into autumn with asters
75 Plan a potager Top 10 variegated plants
40
22 and grasses Mingle pink and
104 60 free* narcissus bulbs Add colour and interest with COVER
blue flowers with grasses to
STORY
these magnificent foliage plants create a soft, layered effect

4 Garden Answers
92 40
JUNGLY
DESIGN ASTERS &
GRASSES

69 26 SUBSCRIBE
MEET THE
FINCHES
PERFECT
PENSTEMONS
TODAY
And pay just £2.31 per
issue – see page 44

BEAUTIFUL GARDENS GOURMET GROWER 96


Buyers’ Guide Brighten up the
patio with a pressure washer...
“I’ve planted for a succession Get creative with edibles here’s our pick of the cleaning kit
46 75
of colour” This beautiful jewel- Plan your potager garden now Make light work of fallen leaves
COVER
themed garden shines in autumn
COVER
STORY for colourful crops next year 100
STORY Our round-up of leaf grabbers
“The garden looks good every day 60 free* dwarf narcissus bulbs
52
COVER
of the year” This chic, modern oasis ASK THE EXPERTS 104 – plus other fab offers on bulbs
STORY has good structure and is full of COVER to plant now. *Just pay postage
Ask Garden Answers Our experts STORY
low-maintenance plants 81 Four duo fruit trees Enjoy double the
help you get the best from your 106
“We wanted to keep the history garden. This month readers share fruit on these specially grafted trees
58 alive” This enchanting garden in
COVER
queries on shrubs, trees and fruit
County Antrim enjoys a fresh
YOUR GARDEN LIFE
STORY
Border rescue A floppy cottage-
flourish of colour in autumn 90 garden border enjoys a timely rejig
Garden to visit Knoll Gardens Over to you A hanging basket
64 in Dorset is an atmospheric
Design Solutions We transform a 102
92 modern, overlooked newbuild
imposter, or is it a satellite dish?
showcase for grasses Puzzles and prizes Win a fabulous
garden into a jungly oasis
109 poster book of botanical prints with
WILDLIFE our prize crossword, or a £50
Discover finches These colourful
GARDEN BUYS Hayloft voucher in the wordsearch
69 Subscribe! Pay just £2.31 per issue Garden view Houseplants are back
birds are special guests at garden
COVER 44 114
STORY feeders. Meet the family members and receive 13 issues of Garden in vogue so dust off the Swiss
and find out what they love to eat Answers delivered to your door cheese plant, says Helen Billiald

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 5

❤ CELEBRATE

Celebrate the
LATECOMERS
Sedum, anemones and foliage plants will keep
borders looking bountiful until the frosts

A RIOT OF RUFFLES
Heucheras make excellent
border edging plants. The
decorative leaves of ‘Plum
Pudding’ offer glimpses of
a reddish-purple underside.
Good for sun or part shade.
H65cm (26in) S50cm (20in)

NEAT TOPIARY This deciduous


Berberis thunbergii has taken
on a bronze tint for autumn. Its
neatly clipped shape provides a
strong punctuation point at the
apex of the path. H and S1–2m
(3ft 3in–6½ft) if unpruned

6 Garden Answers
A FLASH OF PINK Bold
stands of cerise-flowered
sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ lead
the eye tantalisingly along
the sweeping curved path.
H and S60cm (24in)

SILVER LINING Silver foliage


plants such as santolina, salvia
and artemisia (right) provide
an excellent foil for pink
Japanese anemones and
sedums. Divide plants every
few years to keep them neat.

UPRIGHT UMBELS Straight-


stemmed sedum ‘Matrona’ has
GAP PHOTOS/ELKE BORKOWSKI

STRAPPY LEAVES The foliage purple stems, with starry pink


of Iris germanica begins to die flowers from August to the
back from midsummer. Leave it frosts. In richer soils, give
standing through autumn for an them the ‘Chelsea chop’
upright accent to contrast with in May to prevent flopping
box and sedums. H1m (3ft 3in) outwards later in the season.
S50cm (20in) H75cm (30in) S30cm (12in)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 7
Be inspired by...
Plants, books, events & buys for the month ahead

Get
look
the FIRE & ICE
Steely blue agave and red-flushed
sedum create drama this season

B
eth Chatto’s famous garden in Essex COMBINE THESE PLANTS
is an excellent source of inspiration.
Even in autumn her clever plant
combinations will have you heading to
the nursery for plants to take home!
In this planting scheme the contrast
provided between the flat cushions of
fiery hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’ (sedum
‘Autumn Joy’) and icy blue spiky Agave
americana draws you in. The supporting cast
of Verbena bonariensis, Euphorbia characias ACAENA ‘BLUE VERBENA SEDUM AGAVE
wulfenii and felty Ballota pseudodictamnus HAZE’ Mat-forming BONARIENSIS ‘AUTUMN JOY’ AMERICANA
each provide an exciting shot of silver, while evergreen. White Lilac flowers on tall Salmon-pink Architectural tender
in the foreground, clumps of evergreen flowers July-Aug. stems June to flowers mature to evergreen prefers
acaena form mats of tiny leaves. Pewter- Needs light, well- Sept. Prefers full chocolate brown full sun. Protect
coloured ‘Blue Haze’ has coppery stems, drained soil. H15cm sun. H2m (6½ft) in autumn. H and from frost. H2m
complementing the colours perfectly. (6in) S1m (3ft 3in) S45cm (20in) S60cm (2ft) (6½ft) S3m (10ft)

8 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

THINK ZINC!
These galvanised accessories
will stay looking smart
all year round
Trug £22.95
Annabel James 0345 548 0210;
www.annabeljames.co.uk

Welly boot stand


£34.95 The Farthing
0844 567 2400;
www.thefarthing.co.uk

Traditional watering can (10L)


£26.99 Groves Nurseries 01308 422654;
www.grovesnurseries.co.uk

Outdoor
barometer
£40 The
Contemporary
Home 0845
130 8229;
www.tch.net

Wash tub planter (31cm)


£65 The Worm that Turned
0345 605 2505; www.worm.co.uk

Antique hook rail £18


Garden Trading 01993 845559;
www.gardentrading.co.uk
PHOTO: GAP PHOTOS/HOWARD RICE

St Austell
battery outdoor lantern trio
£24.99 (sale price) Lights4Fun
01423 816040; www.lights4fun.co.uk

Book review lesser-known


visionaries such as
Head Gardeners by former heroin-
Ambra Edwards addict-turned
(£35 Pimpernel Press) gardener, Paul
Pulford, and those
THIS FASCINATING book is a gardeners whose
thought-provoking read. It’s a star is on the rise.
celebration of 14 of Britain’s finest Each interview
EUPHORBIA BALLOTTA PSEUDO- head gardeners, working at our explains their
CHARACIAS DICTAMNUS Woody best-loved gardens across the country. horticultural vision, accomplishments,
WULFENII evergreen shrub with There are interviews with ‘household approach and insights into their work
Hardy, clump- grey felty leaves. Full names’ such as Fergus Garrett at and planting styles. The book is a mine
forming perennial. sun and well-drained Great Dixter and Troy Scott-Smith of information that reveals what makes
Full sun. H1.2m soil. H60cm (2ft) at Sissinghurst Castle, but also a good gardener great. ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿
(4ft) S90cm (3ft) S75cm (30in)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 9
In
now
flower November is full of
exciting flowers –
provided you know
what to plant. Try
these late perennials,
shrubs and climbers
u ANEMONE
‘WILD SWAN’
Flowering May
to November
this attractive
anemone has
white flowers
with a pretty
lilac-blue
underside.
Part shade
and fertile,
well-drained
soil. ✿ H45cm
(18in) S30cm
(12in). £13 for
1.5L pot from
CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘GOMPIE PINK’
Burncoose Nurseries
This pretty pink spray chrysanthemum will
01209 860316;
flower from August to the frosts, in sun or
www.burncoose.co.uk
part shade. These half-hardy perennials are
frost tender, so cut back after flowering and
mulch with compost. ✿ H1.2m (4ft) S60cm
(2ft). Stocks available in May 2018 from
Unwins 0844 573 8400; www.unwins.co.uk

AMARINE ‘BELLADIVA’
These dramatic flowers are an
unusual nerine/amaryllis hybrid.
The bulbs produce bigger flowers
than true nerines and make
stunning cut flowers from
November onwards. Plant in a
sunny position in a sandy
free-draining soil, with the top
protruding above the surface.
✿ H50cm (20in) S30cm (12in).
£14.99 for 5 bulbs from
Thompson & Morgan
0844 573 1818; www.thompson-
morgan.com

p CLEMATIS CIRRHOSA ‘FRECKLES’


Evergreen climber with bell-shaped creamy
flowers November to March. ‘Freckles’ has
red speckles inside, other cultivars (such
as ‘Jingle Bells’) are a soft greeny-cream.
Both have whiskery seedheads. Plant in a
sheltered sunny spot. ✿ H3–3.5m (10–12ft).
£10 for 2L pot, Taylors Clematis 01302
700716; www.taylorsclematis.co.uk

10 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

...Just add cream Write in


& tell us!
We’re very excited
about strawberry ‘Just
Add Cream’ – its pretty
pink flowers are so
unusual, and the fact it
bears flowers and
berries together is a real
bonus. Plant in full sun
in a patio pot or basket
for fruits from May to
the frosts. H30cm (12in)
S50cm (20in). £2.99
for a jumbo plug from
Thompson & Morgan
0844 573 1818; www.
p VIOLA ‘SORBET YELLOW FROST’ thompson-morgan.com
Winter-flowering violas make attractive container l Like it or loathe it? Write
plants in autumn, flowering in mild spells from to the usual GA address
November to spring. Plant them with evergreen
grasses, trailing ivy or underplant with spring bulbs
for a neat display on your doorstep. Plants prefer full
sun or part shade and a moist but well-drained soil.
✿ H and S15cm (6in). £17.99 for 60 from Crocus 01344
578000; www.crocus.co.uk Sedums for autumn S ix
of the
t PRUNUS
SUBHIRTELLA best
‘AUTUMNALIS ROSEA’
This small cherry tree is a must
for autumn interest. Not only do
the dark green leaves turn gold
in autumn, but also pale pink
flowers appear in mild spells
November to March. Full sun.
✿ H and S4m (13ft). £59.98 in
10L pot from Ornamental Trees
01943 660870; www. ‘STARDUST’ ‘ICEBERG’ ‘MATRONA’
ornamental-trees.co.uk Fleshy grey-green Deciduous sedum Busy pink flowers
foliage with white with flat-topped that turn bronze
and occasionally white flowers on over winter with
pink summer fleshy upright bronze-flushed
flowers. Sun or part stems. Best in leaves and stems.
shade in well- full sun and Sun or part shade.
drained soil. H45cm well-drained soil. H75cm (30in)
(18in) S40cm (16in) H and S45cm (18in) S30cm (12in)

VIBURNUM BODNANTENSE ‘DAWN’


A garden classic, this is the fragrant shrub
to have for winter flowers. Blooming from
‘BRILLIANT’ ‘PURPLE ‘AUTUMN
November to March, this pretty deciduous
Succulent grey- EMPEROR’ CHARM’
green leaves and Dark purple foliage Variegated sedum
shrub has an upright habit and performs best
bright, pink-mauve and red-purple with creamy,
in full sun or part shade. Prune and mulch after
summer flowers flower heads. yellow-edged
flowering. ✿ H3m (10ft) S2m (6½ft). £14.99
that deepen to Foliage can look leaves and large
for 2L pot Waitrose Garden 01344 578811;
rich pink. Sun and black. Full sun or rosy-pink autumn
www.waitrosegarden.com
well-drained soil. part shade. H and flowers. H40cm
H and S45cm (18in) S45cm (18in) (16in) S60cm (2ft)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 11
Patio MAKE A PLANT POT
project
bird feeder
Small vintage flower pots make an attractive feeding station
– just add seeds, nuts and berries

Step by step
You will need: Rusty wheel or similar 2. Melt the vegetable suet in a pan and
salvage item with rope to hang it from gradually stir in the dry mix until the fat
a strong tree l small terracotta pots is absorbed. Allow to cool slightly.
l garden twine l 250g (8oz) vegetable 3. Thread a length of twine through
suet or lard l approx 500g (17oz) each pot – providing sufficient
equal quantities of rolled oats, length to suspend them.
wild bird seed, grated 4. Using a wooden spoon,
cheese, crushed peanuts scoop the suet mix into
l hips and berries a few of the pots.
to decorate 5. Suspend the pots from
a branch (or your rusty
How to make it salvage item), adding
1. Mix the oats, seed, loose berries, hips and
cheese and nuts together seed to the remaining pots.
in a bowl. Decorate with berry garlands.
GAP PHOTOS

12 Garden Answers

❤ Celebrate

Guess the plant from its leaves This month...


Can you tell what these plants are from their autumn leaves? KEW IN WARTIME
1-30 Nov, 12 noon-1pm
Try our quiz – it’s just for fun and answers are at the bottom The Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew, Surrey TW9 3AE
Discover how Kew was affected
by war and how staff and gardens
contributed to the war effort on
this walking tour. Booking advised
– be at Guides Desk 11.45am. £12.50
l tours@kew.org; www.kew.org

WADDESDON IMAGINARIUM
11 Nov-2 Jan, Wed-Sun, 4.30-6pm
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury,
1 Elegant deciduous tree 2 Tall deciduous tree with 3 Vigorous deciduous Buckinghamshire HP18 0JH
with palmate leaves. Slow palmate leaves, sometimes climber. Five-pointed leaves Enjoy a unique new sound and
growing, with open habit. mistaken for a maple. give a clue to its name. Its light show in the gardens. 3D
Prefers light shade and Autumn leaves can turn red, fast-growing, rampaging animations bring the façade to life.
shelter, with light, slightly orange, yellow and purple. nature means it’s not ideal Included in garden admission, £10
acidic soil. Spiky fruits in autumn. for a small garden. H15m l 01296 820414;
H and S1.2–8m (4–26ft) H25m (82ft) S4 (13ft) (49ft) S5m (16ft) www.waddesdon.org.uk

GARDEN IllUMINATIONS
17 Nov-6 Jan, Thurs-Sat, 3-8pm
RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great
Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH
Follow the festive illuminations
through the gardens and lake area.
Late meals available. Garden
admission, adults £12.10, child £6.05
l 01805 626810;
www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor
4 Ancient tree from China 5 Graceful deciduous tree 6 Much-loved deciduous
with fan-shaped leaves. with small leaves that tree/hedging plant in a ANGlESEY ABBEY WINTER lIGhTS
Pungent yellow female rustle in a breeze. Popular bold purple form. Plants 24-26 Nov, 1-3 and 8-10 Dec,
fruits in autumn; good leaf in its stark, white-trunked are able to hang onto 5.30-7.45pm
colour. Prefers full sun and form. Bears yellow-brown young leaves over winter. Anglesey Abbey, Lode,
moist but well-drained soil. catkins in March. H25m Prune to keep small. H and Cambridgeshire CB25 9EJ
H15m (49ft) S5m (16ft) (82ft) S10m (33ft) S20m (66ft) in 20 years Enchanting lighting effects along
the Winter Walk and silver birch
grove, as well as the Abbey itself.
Adults £15, child £10
l 0344 249 1895;
www.nationaltrust.org.uk

cOppIcING AT WESTONBIRT
26 Nov, 10am-4pm
Westonbirt, Tetbury,
Gloucestershire GL8 8QS
Learn how to coppice trees the
7 Bushy deciduous shrub 8 Deciduous shrub famous 9 Deciduous shrub whose Westonbirt way. Besom brooms
with corky stems. Autumn for its colourful winter lobed leaves have the and coppicing products on sale.
foliage is cerise, with pink stems, although its autumn appearance of oak leaves, Adults £10
fruits that split open to leaves look spectacular turning purple-bronze in l 0300 067 4890;
reveal an orange seed too! Sun or part shade. autumn. Attractive blowsy www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt
inside. Sun or part shade. Creamy white flowers in flowers July to September.
H2m (6½ft) S3m (10ft) summer. H and S2.5m (8ft) H2m (6½ft) S2.5m (8ft) SANTA AT WISlEY
PHoToS: ALAMy; SHUTTERSToCk

From 29 Nov, 11am-5.45pm


RHS Garden Wisley, Woking,
Surrey GU23 6QB
AUTUMN LEAVES: ANSWERS Treat yourself to a spot of plant
7 Euonymus alatus 8 Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ 9 Hydrangea quercifolia (oak-leaf hydrangea) shopping while the children visit
5 Betula pendula (silver birch) 6 Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea Group (copper beech) Santa. Tickets per child, £12
3 Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) 4 Gingko biloba (maidenhair tree) l 01483 224234; wisely@rhs.org.uk
1 Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) 2 Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 13
BRIGHT DELIGHT
Brilliant red
Euonymus alatus
contrasts with a
golden Acer
palmatum in this
dramatic autumn
border with asters,
grasses, sedum
and heucheras

14 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

ASTER YOUR VISTA


These delightful daisies
offer masses of reliable
colour until the frosts

Autumn’s
essentials
INVEST IN

Keep your borders looking alive and vibrant with these must-
have seasonal plants. Val Bourne highlights those to go for

T
he weather may be at its frost descends to weave its special
bleakest in November, with magic, the remnants of stiff-
short dreary days, but the stemmed autumn plants catch the
garden can still deliver a frost and sparkle.
surprise or two just when we need it The first of the fresh flowers arrive
most. Late-flowering blooms linger now and, on still days when there’s
on until winter really bites, providing afternoon warmth, the hyacinth
a nostalgic reminder of summer past. scent of Viburnum bodnantense
It could be a late-blooming rose, ‘Dawn’ is at its strongest. If
weighed down by heavy dew and November stays clement, autumn
framed by the symmetry of a garden flowering shrubs respond as well and
spider’s web, or a dahlia waiting for many are sweetly scented to attract
PHOTOS GAP; ALAMY, SHUTTERSTOCK

the first cold snap – a little limp of any late-flying pollinators. Winter
stem, but still vibrant. flowers tend to be small and
There might be a shaft of sunlight weather-resistant, but their subtle
picking up bright-red berries held on charms warm the gardener’s soul. ➤
bare branches, or a lingering leaf
that’s turned a warm shade of orange, PINK SURPRISE Berries of Sorbus
or a rose hip in lipstick-red. pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’
Red is the touch-paper colour that last well into winter, hungry birds
brings the garden to life and when permitting. H8m (26ft) S6m (20ft)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 15

❤ CELEBRATE

AGEING
GRACEFULLY
Prairie planting
schemes fade to soft
parchment browns
via burnished reds.
Plants here are sedum
‘Matrona’, geranium
‘Philippe Vapelle’
and Imperata
cylindrica ‘Rubra’

16 Garden Answers
GO WITH THE PHLO
Vibrant orange Rhus
typhina ‘Dissecta’
helps seedheads of
phlomis to stand out

Savour the fading beauties


T
he last flowers standing are often
GALLERY
Gaura lindheimeri, with their
willowy stems of white, butterfly-
shaped flowers softened by rhubarb-pink
stamens and pink buds. This North
American plant is an evening primrose
relative that tends to be a short-lived
perennial. However, it’s easily raised from
seeds sown in March and will flower in its
first year. There are pink forms including
‘Freefolk Rosy’ and ‘Rosyjane’, but it’s the
ephemeral quality of the soft-white version
that shines best as winter approaches. GAURA ‘ROSYJANE’ MONARDA ‘GARDEN ROSA GLAUCA
Use gaura in a sheltered sunny position White flowers with a VIEW SCARLET’ Single pink flowers
close to hardy salvias, such as bright-pink pink picotee edge. Bright red tufted flowers offset by gunmetal-
S. microphylla ‘Wild Watermelon’. Or try a Flowers May to the July to frosts. Sun or grey foliage. Dark
hardy valerian from Morocco, Centranthus frosts. Likes sun. H75cm part shade. H90cm (3ft) red hips. H1.8m (6ft)
lecoqii with lavender heads of butterfly- (30in) S60cm (2ft) S45cm (18in) S1.5m (5ft)
and moth-pleasing flowers. They’ll all go
on late until winter intervenes.
Certain repeat-flowering roses linger on
too. One of the best is short, pink ‘Bonica’,
bearing clusters of semi-double flowers
from early July onwards. White roses often
have a flourish now and noisette climber,
‘Madame Alfred Carrière’, will still put out
its soft-white flowers tinted with apple-
blossom pink. The foliage is healthy, the
stems are thornless, so it’s easy to train
and bend, and it will tolerate a north wall.
Stiff silhouettes from taller late- ASTER ‘LITTLE CENTRANTHUS PHLOMIS
flowering monarda, asters and phlomis CARLOW’ Masses of LECOQII Bears clusters RUSSELIANA
stand up well over winter and favourites flowers August to the of fragrant mauve flowers Yellow flowers
include monarda ‘Gardenview Scarlet’, frosts. Full sun or part from early summer. May-Sept with unusual
aster ‘Little Carlow’ and shapely shade. H90cm (3ft) Loved by bees. H60cm seedheads. H90cm
Phlomis tuberosa ‘Amazone’. ➤ S45cm (18in) (2ft) S45cm (18in) (3ft) S75cm (30in) ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 17

❤ CELEBRATE

FOCAL POINT
Crab apple Malus robusta ‘Red
Sentinel’ makes a colourful
centrepiece among evergreen
rosemary and coppery sedum
flowers. H and S8m (26ft)

Plant a few attention seekers


P
lants bearing berries, hips and fruit are a GALLERY
surefire way to create an autumnal focal
point in the garden. The small crab
apple, Malus robusta ‘Red Sentinel’, is laden
with clusters of vivid red fruit in November.
Cotoneasters also deliver an infusion of red,
but many need a lot of space. Evergreen
Cotoneaster lacteus can be grown as an
eye-catching hedge while the weeping small
tree cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’, a
semi-evergreen with lots of red berries, is
perfect for a small garden. Cotoneaster berries
usually last until after Christmas, not only COTONEASTER SORBUS ‘PINK ROSA ‘GERANIUM’
providing a winter spectacle, but also luring in LACTEUS PAGODA’ Tree with A Rosa moyesii hybrid
migrant redwings, fieldfares and waxwings. Bright red autumn blue-green leaves and with rich orange-red
Brightly coloured hips also attract birdlife berries that last into pink autumn berries. elongated hips from
and the flagon-shaped, light-orange hips of winter. Full sun or part Sun or dappled shade. single red flowers.
Rosa glauca, an airy species rose with single shade. H and S4m (13ft) H8m (26ft) S6m (20ft) H2.5m (8ft) S1.5m (5ft)
pink flowers and gunmetal-grey foliage, are
adored by finches and tits. Showier and larger
red hips appear on thorny rose ‘Geranium’.
Pink is another attention-grabbing hue in the
autumn garden. The pink berries of Sorbus
pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ appear with
the grey foliage in late-summer and remain
when the ash-like foliage drops, together
making a wonderful foil for pink hellebores.
Colourful stems also come into their own
now. Coral-bark maple (Acer palmatum
‘Sango-kaku’) will have lost most of its orange
autumn foliage but the coral-red stems will last CORNUS ALBA ACER PALMATUM CORNUS SANGUINEA
throughout winter. The dogwoods also have ‘SIBIRICA’ Deciduous ‘SANGO-KAKU’ ‘MIDWINTER FIRE’
glowing winter stems from the thick bright-red shrub with good autumn Flamboyant acer whose Deciduous shrub with
stems of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ to the twiggier colour and bold red cut leaves turn caramel in fiery red and orange
bonfire of orange, coral-pink and red of C. winter stems. Sun or part autumn. Dappled shade. winter stems. Sun or part
shade. H and S2.5m (8ft) H6m (20ft) S5m (15ft) shade. H and S2m (6½ft)
sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ or ‘Magic Flame’. ➤

18 Garden Answers
statement
berries
The bright yellow
berries of pyracantha
‘Soleil D’Or’ create a
seasonal sensation
on this colourful
evergreen hedging
plant. H2.5m (8ft)
S3m (10ft) ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 19
AUTUMN
OPPORTUNITIES
Nerine bowdenii
makes a pretty
companion for late
penstemons. They’re
good in containers and
happiest in a free-
draining soil. H45cm
(18in) S25cm (10in)

20 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

VIBRANT
CANDELABRA
Mahonia media ‘Lionel
Fortescue’ brightens
up this autumn border
(H5m/15ft S4m/13ft)
alongside fiery foliage
of Acer oliverianum

Enjoy the fresh blooms of autumn


F
resh flowers creep in now, especially if
GALLERY
the weather’s kind. The pink flowers of
Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ can be
accommodated on the garden edge and still
fragrance the whole garden. If you have shade
and good soil , the architectural stems and
evergreen foliage of Mahonia media ‘Winter
Sun’ together with its crown of fragrant, pale
yellow tapers look fabulous on a dreary day.
Most gardeners know elaeagnus as a
variegated green and gold evergreen, but there’s
also a silver-leaved version that produces tiny
fragrant flowers – E. submacrophylla. The JASMINUM IRIS UNGUICULARIS VINCA DIFFORMIS
strong lily-like fragrance comes from pendant NUDIFLORUM ‘MARY BARNARD’ ‘JENNY PYM’
clusters of stamens and, planted in a warm Cheerful yellow flowers Velvety purple flowers Pretty flowers autumn–
position, this often flowers in November. on bare stems. Vigorous with yellow markings on Spring. Happy in
A south-facing warm wall would be perfect shrubby climber. the falls need sun. H32cm shade. H40cm (16in)
for a winter-flowering clematis and Clematis H and S3m (10ft) (13in) S30cm (12in) S1.5m (5ft)
cirrhosa purpurascens ‘Freckles’ is willing to
flower in November. This no-prune clematis
has white flowers heavily spotted in red and as
they’re star-like, they’re easier to see. Plant
winter-flowering Iris unguicularis at its base,
which often perform in November, with the
pale-pink winter-flowering periwinkle, Vinca
difformis ‘Jenny Pym’.
Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)
responds well to being clipped in spring, and
produces pale yellow flowers on new olive-
green stems. Team it with winter iris to cheer
up a drab corner; watch Iris unguicularis ‘Mary PRUNUS MAHONIA MEDIA SARCOCOCCA
Barnard’ unfurl over a restorative cup of tea. SUBHIRTELLA ‘WINTER SUN’ CONFUSA
The autumn-flowering cherry, Prunus ‘AUTUMNALIS’ Flowering Nov–March Good evergreen for
subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, produces pale pink Semi-double flowers this handsome evergreen shade. Tufty, sweetly
confetti as its flowers come and go. It’s fabulous Nov–March. Gold autumn makes a bold focal point. fragranced flowers. H2m
seen against a moody November sky. ✿ foliage. H and S4m (13ft) H5m (16ft) S4m (13ft) (6½ft) S1m (3ft 3in)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 21

❤ CELEBRATE

TOP TEN

Variegated PLANTS
Add colour and interest to your planting
schemes with these magnificent foliage
plants, says Louise Curley

W
hile many garden plants Paler variegated leaves can be used to
have leaves of a single brighten up shady spots in the garden.
colour, others stand out Planted at the back of a border, they will
from the crowd thanks to also create the optical illusion of making
their two-tone or multi-coloured foliage. your garden appear more spacious.
In some cases a genetic mutation causes Green leaves with hints of white or
this variegation, in others it’s due to a cream are a useful addition to a white
structural difference in the leaves that border, providing added texture and
means we can see more than one colour. structure, while continuing the
Generally variegated plants are monochrome theme. It’s also possible to
bi-coloured with green joined by white, match the colour of the variegation with
cream or yellow, but a whole range of flowers and foliage of other plants to
other colours can appear. These include create a harmonious planting scheme.
purple, pink, red and orange, sometimes Some variegated plants will revert
in several different tones, creating a back to their single colour over time.
kaleidoscope effect and appearing as Remove these stems as soon as you spot
spots, splashes, stripes and marbling them, because they can grow more
or as differently coloured leaf edges. strongly than the variegated stems.

1 2 3

GRISELINIA LITTORALIS ILEX AQUIFOLIUM HEDERA COLCHICA


‘DIXON’S CREAM’ ‘ARGENTEA MARGINATA’ AGM ‘SULPHUR HEART’ AGM
This variegated cultivar has lustrous, An eye-catching holly with pink-tinged The heart-shaped leaves of this
leathery, green, cream-splashed leaves. young foliage that matures to glossy Persian ivy are mid-green with
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK

Can be pruned for hedging, although dark green with striking cream margins. central splashes of yellow. A
it’s less hardy than its non-variegated This female cultivar will produce shiny vigorous climber, it’s ideal for
cousin: in exposed spots grow against red berries with a male nearby. Grow as masking an unattractive wall and
a sheltered wall. Needs light, well- a specimen tree, as a hedge or clipped its autumn flowers are great for
drained soil and full sun. Hardy to into topiary. Hollies are slow growing pollinators. Prefers a fertile, moist
-10C (14F). It’s great for mild coastal and do best in full sun or part shade, in but well-drained soil. Plant in a
gardens because it can cope with moist but well-drained soil. If unpruned, sheltered spot out of cold winds.
salt-laden air. H3m (10ft) S2m (6½ft) H12m+ (39ft+) S4–8m (13–26ft) H4–8m (13–26ft) S2.5–4m (8–13ft)

22 Garden Answers
4
CORNUS CONTROVERSA
‘VARIEGATA’ AGM
This variegated cultivar of the wedding
cake tree is smaller and more compact
than its plain green relative. Bright green
teardrop-shaped leaves with bold
creamy-white edges are accompanied
by clusters of white flowers in June,
which are held above the branches like
candles on a Christmas tree. The leaves
also turn an attractive pinky-red in
autumn. Grow in full sun in deep, fertile,
moist soil. H and S4–8m (13–26ft) ➤ ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 23
5
ELAEAGNUS
MACROPHYLLA
‘GILT EDGE’ AGM
An attractive, dense evergreen shrub
with shiny leaves that makes a striking
informal hedging plant. With this
cultivar, fresh foliage starts out silver-
grey before maturing to mid-green
with golden edges. The undersides
remain silvery, which gives the leaves a
luminous quality. Small white, fragrant
flowers appear in autumn. An easy
plant to grow in full sun or part shade
– it does well in most well-drained
soils. Good for coastal planting and
hardy to -15C (5F). H and S4m (13ft)

CAREX OSHIMENSIS
‘EVERGOLD’ AGM
Forming neat hummocks of evergreen
foliage, this superb sedge forms dark
green strappy leaves with a bold
creamy-yellow stripe down the centre.
In late spring and early summer spikes
of inconspicuous brown flowers appear.
It’s a useful low-maintenance plant,
happy in full sun or part shade,
in moist but well-drained soil.
H30cm (12in) S35cm (14in)

CORNUS ALBA
‘ELEGANTISSIMA’ AGM
6 7
The red-barked dogwood is grown
mainly for its attractive ruby-
coloured winter stems but it also
has handsome variegated grey-
green foliage with white margins
from spring to autumn. It’s a plant
with year-round interest – small
groups of creamy-white flowers
from May to June are followed by
white berries. Grow in full sun to
make the most of the winter stem
colour. Likes moist roots, so plant
by a pond or in a winter border.
H and S3m (10ft)

24 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

8 9 PHOTINIA FRASERI
‘PINK MARBLE’ AGM
A colourful new cultivar of this
popular evergreen. Glossy,
vibrant pinky-red new growth
fades to reveal a combination
of sage green and silvery-
white. It’s attractive enough to
grow as a specimen shrub in a
border plus it can tolerate hard
pruning, which makes it ideal
for an informal hedge. Thrives
in full sun or part shade, in
moist but well-drained, fertile
soil. H4m (13ft) S3m (10ft)

PHORMIUM
‘SUNDOWNER’ AGM
This New Zealand flax cultivar has
strappy leaves suffused with sunset
colours. Clumps of arching, evergreen
leaves with a base colour of olive
green flushed with rose-pink and
orange, look particularly attractive
when backlit by the sun. Great for
adding a touch of the exotic to a
border or enhancing a coastal or
Mediterranean style garden. Hardy
to -5C (23F) so protect in colder areas.
H and S1.5m (5ft)

10
HEBE
BE ‘HEARTBREAKER’
This recent introduction is a fabulous
chameleon. It’s a compact, evergreen
shrub with narrow green leaves edged
with cream that take on striking pink
tones as temperatures drop in winter.
Bottlebrush-like, mauve-coloured
flowers appear in summer and are
loved by bees. Neat mounds of foliage
make it an ideal plant for containers.
It’s not frost-hardy so will need
protection over winter. Plant in full sun
in moist, fertile soil with good
drainage. H and S60cm (2ft)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 25
PLANT
PROFILE
Penstemons

MEADING The Tium


remperis con eum voloris cus
diciate non pore vendel
ipsam quam quatum exerum
liciet prature anim non
comnim nam est remqui

Keep the flowers


COMING
Long-flowering cottage garden penstemons keep
blooming to the frosts. Val Bourne picks the best

26 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

P
enstemons peak gloriously in
late-summer and autumn,
providing continual flower often
into November. Their airy, upright
spires provide a vertical presence in a
sunny border and their tubular bells come
in shades of white, pink, deep-red, purple,
lavender and electric-blue. Flower shape
can vary from elegantly slender trumpet to
wide-open gaping mouth. Many have finely
veined white throats designed to lure in youDid
know?
bees; penstemons are very wildlife friendly. The name penstemon
Most of our named forms are bred from comes from the Greek for
North American species and hardiness Red penstemons with penta (five) and stamon
does vary. The Victorians, who had much yellow verbascum and (stamens), after the
colder winters than we do now, grew them purple salvia number of stamens
as summer bedding and raised new plants in each flower
from cuttings every year. However in the Success with penstemons Wait until April and
early 20th century, plant breeders began to then cut back hard
Some penstemons tend to be
raise hardier penstemon hybrids and two once you see new growth.
short-lived. Just like their free-
Swiss-bred cultivars, ‘Schoenholzeri’ l They’re easily raised from cuttings
flowering verbascum, snapdragon
(previously ‘Firebird’) and ‘Andenken an taken between June and August.
and foxglove cousins, they often
Friedrich Hahn’ (previously ‘Garnet’) were Look for new side shoots and trim
flower themselves to death.
introduced into this country by the late below the leaf joint and pinch out any
l Give them a bright, sunny position.
Alan Bloom of Bressingham in 1939. flower buds. Submerge two-thirds of
This encourages better flowering.
the cutting into trays of damp, coarse
Secrets of success l Deadhead. This keeps flowers
horticultural sand, or use a 50:50
coming rather than setting seed.
The secret of success is to leave the top mix of compost and sand.
l Don’t cut them back in autumn.
growth intact over winter to protect the
base, then cut them back in spring once new
growth appears. They can look a little
ragged in hard winters, although this didn’t many in her Sissinghurst Castle Much breeding was centred
stop eminent lady gardeners such as garden and passed ‘Sour Grapes’ around the Worcestershire
Margery Fish (1892–1969) of East to Beth Chatto, but it proved to town of Pershore. In the
Lambrook Manor, who enthused about be a muted lilac-purple 1960s, amateur
their ‘continuous colour’ and described called ‘Stapleford Gem’. To breeder and former
lilac and white ‘Sour Grapes’ as ‘iridescent’. this day, the two are still Vice Principal of
Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962) grew muddled. Pershore College Ron Sidwell
(1909–1993) bred a Bird Series.
‘Blackbird’, ‘Flamingo’,
Our pick of the best ‘Osprey’, ‘Whitethroat’ and
near-black ‘Raven’ are still
grown today.
Pershore student Edward Wilson
(1948–2009) raised and named more than
50 new cultivars from 1985 onwards. Many
have Pensham in their name, where
Hayloft Plants is based. They took over
Edward’s collection after his death and still
sell bright pink ‘Pensham Just Jayne’,
‘Pensham Victoria Plum’ and ‘Pensham
Laura’, a pink-edged white. Stong, tall
‘Pensham Ted’s Purple’ has a white throat
and ‘Pensham Plum Jerkum’, my favourite,
is named after a local liqueur. The best
range is available in May.
BEST FOR BEST FOR EARLY BEST FOR BEST AT DUSK Penstemons slot into cottage-style
HARDINESS FLOWERS P. DAINTINESS ‘STAPLEFORD gardens really well and complement
‘ANDENKEN AN HETEROPHYLLUS ‘EVELYN’ Willowy GEM’ Needs a drier silver-leaved plants perfectly. Sultry reds
FRIEDRICH HAHN’ ‘CATHERINE DE stems of slender position thanks to and dark-purple blacks add a richness to
(‘GARNET’) This LA MARE’ An pink flowers its greyer foliage. borders of golden daisies. Wine-red
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK

Swiss-bred, claret upright penstemon supported by fine Tall stems of ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’ is excellent
cultivar flowers with blue flowers foliage, this hardy white-throated lilac with soft-blue nepetas, herbaceous
prolifically over a suffused in pink. penstemon has flowers, streaked clematis and pink roses. Dainty pink
long period. It has This flowers in been a garden in purple, glow ‘Evelyn’ mingles well with Stipa
narrow foliage. flushes, starting in favourite since the as evening falls. tenuissima and blue Catananche caerulea.
H90cm (3ft) June. H90cm (3ft) 1930s. H90cm H90cm (3ft) These amenable plants flatter repeat-
S30cm (12in) S30cm (12in) (3ft) S30cm (12in) S30cm (12in) flowering roses too, filling in any fallow
patches and acting as an encore. ✿

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 27
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What
to do this
month November
Establish a mini orchard,
cut back climbing roses
and plant bareroot
shrubs and trees
says Louise Curley

PLANT TULIP BULBS


Traditionalists hold that tulips should be
planted a month or so after daffodils, once
the temperature has dropped, because
tulips are prone to a soil-borne fungal
disease called tulip fire. Some horticultural
sources say it’s less of a problem once the
ground is cold, but critics argue there’s no
evidence for this.
Either way, November is a good month
to get planting them – there should still be
enough dry frost-free days for the soil to
be workable but it should be feeling
colder. Plant tulips deeply, at least three
times the height of the bulb, with the
pointy end facing upwards. ➤
PHOTO: GAP PHOTOS

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 29
What to do this month...

RICH PICKINGS Grow


a range of tasty fruits
in patio pots if you’re
short on space

PLANT A MINI ORCHARD


Now is the perfect time to
plant fruit trees and create
your own mini orchard

E ven the smallest of gardens can


become a productive little orchard
dotted with fruit trees, and now’s the best
time to get planting. Select a plant that’s
been grafted onto a compact rootstock and
train the stems so you can grow several
Apple ‘Discovery’ AGM Pear ‘Conference’ AGM Plum ‘Victoria’ Lovely
different fruits in a small space, either in
Early-fruiting eater with Reliable heavy crops of orange-red fruit for eating
the ground or in large containers.
attractive glossy red fruit. juicy sweet fruit mid-late raw and cooking. Fruits
Apples and pears, in particular, respond
Sweet and sharp flavour. September. Self-fertile. late summer. Self-fertile.
well to pruning. This means you can train
them as stepovers to edge a path, as an
espalier against a wall or fence, or as single
trunks known as cordons.
Check the pollinating requirements of
your chosen fruit tree – some will need to
have one or two different cultivars planted
close by to ensure fruit production, or
alternatively you can grow a self-fertile
cultivar that doesn’t require a pollinator.
It’s worth contacting a specialist fruit
nursery, who will be able to advise on
both suitable rootstocks and pollinators. Damson ‘Farleigh’ Dark Greengage ‘Imperial Cherry ‘Stella’ AGM
✿ See our plant offer on p106 for four blue plum-shaped fruit for Gage’ AGM Honey-sweet, Plump, shiny dark red
space-saving ‘Duo’ fruit trees, featuring baking or preserving on a golden-green fruit ripen fruit, ready for picking in
two cultivars on each plant compact plant. Self-fertile. in August. Self-fertile. midsummer. Self-fertile.

30 Garden Answers
EASY GARDENING

POT UP A
HIPPEASTRUM
More commonly known
as amaryllis, these huge
bulbs produce superb
trumpet-shaped, exotic blooms.
They grow quickly and can be in
flower 6–8 weeks after planting,
so pop some in pretty pots now
for a sparkling Christmas display.
Hippeastrums are tender bulbs
so they need to be grown in pots
indoors. Stake the flower stalk of
taller cultivars to prevent the pot
from toppling over.

Cut back climbing roses


Although it’s too early to prune roses fully,
it’s a good idea to cut back the long whippy
stems of climbing roses by about one third
before winter sets in. This will stop the wind
from pulling at the top growth, which can
rock the roots and damage stems. Cut back
to an outward-facing bud and tie in the
remaining stems.

PREPARE THE POT Choose

Pick and store 1 a pot that’s slightly larger

Weatherwatch
than the bulb. Fill it about
two-thirds deep with multipurpose
chillies compost or John Innes No. 2.
Once the clocks have If you can keep your chilli
changed it feels very much plants somewhere warm,
like the garden is entering bright and frost-free they’ll
hibernation. Frost, storms go on producing fruit right
and even the first snow up to Christmas.
flurries can all happen ✿ If your greenhouse isn’t
in November. Take the heated, move them indoors
opportunity to wrap up and put them on a warm
warm on dry days and windowsill. Fully ripe
tackle any of those last chillies store better than
jobs that need doing underripe ones.
before winter ✿ If you’ve got something
POSITION THE BULB Place
2
sets in. of a glut, dry them. Just put
them on plate and place it the bulb on top of the
on a warm, sunny windowsill, or tie compost and fill in around
the chillies together with cotton and the sides. At least two-thirds of the
hang somewhere warm and dry. Once bulb should be above the compost.
dried, store them in an air-tight jar.
Clean pots
and trays
Now’s a great time
to start preparing for
next spring. Make the
most of sunny days to
wash and dry seed trays
and plastic pots before
storing them away for
GROW THEM ON
winter. Remove dried
compost or soil with a stiff 3 Give the compost a little
water, and then water only
brush, wash in warm, soapy water, rinse
sparingly until there are signs of
well and leave to dry in the sun.
growth. Place on a bright, warm
✿ Get this job out of the way now, then
windowsill. Once in flower, move
when you come to sow your first seeds
them somewhere cooler to extend
in spring you’ll be all ready to go.
the flowering season. ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 31
What to do this month...
PLANT BAREROOT SHRUBS & TREES
Buying bareroot plants Try to plant bareroot 4. Backfill with soil, firm
is an inexpensive way plants as soon as they’re in around the plant to
to grow roses, shrubs delivered to prevent the make sure there are no air
and hedging plants. roots from drying out. pockets and water in well.
Bareroot plants are only 1. Soak them for about Add a layer of compost
available between half an hour in a bucket to keep weeds at bay.
November and March, in of water before planting. If you can’t do this
the dormant season, and 2. Dig a hole twice the size straight away, leave your
now’s the best time to get of the root ball and add plants in their root
them in the ground some compost and wrappings in a cool place
Protect slightly because the soil is most mycorrhizal fungi. or give them a temporary
likely to be frost-free and 3. Position the bareroot
tender perennials not waterlogged. There plant and gently spread out
home by ‘heeling’ them in.
Simply dig a shallow
Some herbaceous perennials such as
should also be enough its roots. Make sure the trench and pop in the roots,
penstemons, salvias, Verbena rigida,
warmth to encourage roots soil mark on the stem is backfill and water
gaura and alstroemeria are borderline
to get established. level with the ground. in well.
hardy (they’ll survive a mild winter
but may be killed off if it gets colder).

1 Take insurance cuttings...


Taking cuttings in early autumn
will ensure you have plants next
spring, or you can lift plants and
pot up into containers that can be
brought under cover.

2 ...Or mulch the plants


Another option is to mulch these
plants now with a thick layer of Make sure the
chipped bark around the base to soil mark on the
protect the plant from sharp frosts. stem is level
with the ground

3 Don’t cut them back


Leave any foliage in place
because this will provide protection
for the crown of the plant and the
roots below ground.

Louise says:
“Sow some trays of tasty micro
leaves on the kitchen windowsill.
The leaves of coriander, basil,
rocket, radish and mustard will
add a colourful and flavoursome
kick to winter salads”

Clean nestboxes
Now that you can be sure
fledgling birds have flown their
Plant up winter containers nests, it’s a good idea to clean
Pot up a selection of attractive winter flowers and foliage into out nestboxes so they’re spick
containers and gather them by the front door to provide and span before spring. Wearing
seasonal cheer. For flower power choose violas and plants gloves, remove all nesting material
with pretty berries such as Gaultheria procumbens, glossy and wash with boiling water. Make
evergreens such as box, euonymus and skimmia, and don’t sure you let it dry thoroughly
forget winter scent. Christmas box (sarcococca) packs a before replacing the lid and
fragrant punch when it flowers in winter and early spring. they’re ready for the new arrivals!

32 Garden Answers
EASY GARDENING

Mist houseplants
Many of the houseplants we grow
Easy propagation
ROOT CUTTINGS
originate in warmer, more humid
climates than ours. Now that it’s getting
colder and the central heating has been
switched on, the air in our homes can
become very dry. This can cause the
Propagate acanthus, Oriental poppies and Japanese
leaves of indoor plants to shrivel or anemones by taking root cuttings now. It’s so easy!
develop brown patches.
To keep them in tip-top condition, make
sure houseplants have sufficient moisture.
Use a mist sprayer on leaves or stand the
pot in a shallow tray or bowl filled with
pebbles and water – humidity from the
water will rise up around the plant. Make
sure the pot sits just above the water
so the roots don’t get waterlogged.

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK; ALAMY; BAUER


R
oot cuttings are a great way to secateurs or a sharp knife, then

Don’t forget... propagate plants that produce


new shoots from their roots,
such as acanthus, echinops, Japanese
replant the parent plant immediately.
l Cut into sections Trim away the
thin part of the root and any fibrous
INSULATE OUTDOOR TAPS Use anemones, mint, Oriental poppies side roots. Cut the remaining piece
a purpose-made cover or several and verbascums. Root cuttings are of root into sections 5-10cm (2-4in)
layers of bubble wrap secured in easy to make and need little long – use a straight cut at the top end
place with string or an elastic band. aftercare, and it’s best to take them of a section of root and a slanting cut
TIDY ROSE LEAVES Clear away now while the plant is dormant. at the bottom.
fallen rose leaves because they l Pot them up Fill a cell tray or pot
can harbour the fungal disease How to do it with a cuttings compost or a 50:50 mix
blackspot. Composting them can l Lift a clump Choose a vigorous, of multipurpose compost and grit.
spread the spores, so put them in healthy clump and lift it carefully Insert the cuttings so the straight cut
your council green waste. from the ground with a spade or fork. is flush with the top of the compost,
CLEAR ANNUAL PLANTINGS Wash the root ball to remove some of then cover with a thin layer of grit.
Clear the last annual plantings from the soil and expose the roots. Water and pop in a cold frame or a
borders and containers and add to l Remove roots Select a few roots sheltered corner.
the compost heap. about the thickness of a pencil that New growth should appear in
MOW AND EDGE LAWN If it’s look young and healthy rather than spring. The new plants can be planted
been a mild autumn, give the lawn old and woody. Remove the root from up individually into their own pots and
a mow and edge it. The clean lines just below the crown of the plant with grown on when rooted.
and neat grass will provide your
garden with a crisp finish right
through the winter months.
TORE SEEDS
ck dry
edheads
d store
paper
gs.

Cut into sections, slanted at the base Plant in gritty compost

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 33
EASY
PROJECT
Autumn
container

Plant up a pot of
SILVER
& PINK
Brighten up the patio with this
container display in frosty pastels

34 Garden Answers

❤ CELEBRATE

YOU WILL NEED


✿ Large frost-proof pot ✿ Crocks ✿ Gritty compost ✿ Trowel ✿ Plants:
Cyclamen cilicium, Fascicularia bicolor, Euphorbia characias ‘Glacier Blue’,
Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, Sedum cauticola, Thymus vulgaris ‘Silver Posie’

1 PREPARE YOUR POT


This planting needs good drainage, so
place a layer of crocks in the base of your pot.
2 ARRANGE THE PLANTS
Plant the aromatic purple-leaved sage and
‘Silver Posie’ thyme in the centre. Finish with the
Top with compost and plant the fascicularia pink-flowering sedum and cyclamen positioned
at the back then add the variegated euphorbia. at the front, making sure all plants are level.

3 TOP WITH COMPOST


Fill between the plants with extra compost,
brushing any excess off the leaves, then firm in
4 WATER SPARINGLY
Water your pot lightly – these plants are
susceptible to rot if they become waterlogged.
the plants well. You can also provide a topping Aim to keep the compost surface just moist –
of gravel for a more decorative finish. always check how it feels before watering.

USE THESE PLANTS

SEDUM EUPHORBIA CYCLAMEN THYME FASCICULARIA PURPLE SAGE


CAUTICOLA ‘GLACIER CILICIUM ‘SILVER POSIE’ BICOLOR Aromatic
PHOTOS: GAP PHOTOS

Glaucous leaves, BLUE’ Blue- Pink flowers, White-edged Evergreen evergreen with
tiny pink flowers. green/cream marbled aromatic leaves. bromeliad with purple leaves.
H8cm (3in) foliage. H and leaves. H and H30cm (12in) spiky leaves. H H80cm (31in)
S30cm (12in) S30cm (12in) S10cm (4in) S45cm (18in) and S60cm (24in) S1m (3ft 3in)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 35
Winter
TUCK UP
TENDER
PLANTS
FOR

Protect frost-tender plants


outdoors with our timely advice

FLEECE WIGWAMS
Pack gently around
the plants’ stems with
straw for insulation,
then construct a
teepee of canes and
fleece around them

36 Garden Answers
EASY GARDENING

G
ardeners with a
penchant for tender
plants have been
reasonably lucky for the
past few years. A succession of mild
winters have meant that most
tender plants have sailed through
the cold season unscathed. Yet
there’s always the risk that frost and
cold temperatures can bite when
you least expect it.

KEEP LAY A MULCH


ALPINES
1 DRY
Growing at altitude
in the wild, hardy
2 Adding a thick
10cm (4in) mulch
around the bottom
alpine plants can shrug off frost
and use a blanket of snow for
of a borderline hardy shrub, or
insulation. Their real enemy in over the top of a dormant
winter is heavy rain and boggy soil,
which can make them rot. Ensure tender perennial, can insulate
they’re planted in a well-drained the soil and keep its roots,
gritty soil and use a vented plastic
cloche or build a small perspex A vented plastic
tubers, bulbs or corms from
shelter supported on columns of cloche will prevent freezing. Organic mulches
bricks, so they can stay ventilated alpines from rotting
without getting their crowns wet. (that will rot down in time)
include bark, garden
shreddings, compost, well-

3 Lift tender tubers


Plants such as dahlias, eucomis,
begonias and gladioli have tender
bulbs, tubers and corms that benefit from a
deep mulch of compost topped with a layer of
chipped bark in winter. In colder parts of the
rotted manure, grass clippings,
leafmould and straw. Try
mulching with penstemons
and semi-hardy fuschias...
country it’s better to lift dahlias and cannas
before the frosts, shaking off any soil, cutting off Lift and store dahlia
the stems to 10cm (4in) and leaving them to dry for tubers frost free
a couple of weeks. Then, store them in a frost-free
place in a suitable plastic tray filled with compost.

ADD A LAYER OF FLEECE

s in autumn!
4 Tender plants, rooted cuttings and young
autumn crops can all be protected from
frost, wind and hail by swaddling them

ber
with horticultural-grade fleece. This
u lightweight, porous fabric allows
t plants to receive the light, warmth
Lift my

and moisture they need to


grow, without making them
overheat or increasing
humidity. Hold it in
place with heavy stones
or bricks, but don’t
drag the plant down.
Make a tent over
taller plants using
garden canes and
pegs or clips.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 37
EASY GARDENING

WRAP UP TENDER

5 EXOTICS
Tender exotic plants such
as banana plants and tree
ferns will die if exposed to freezing
temperatures, so if you can’t grow in
pots and move them into a frost-free
greenhouse or conservatory, it’s best
to wrap them in a layer of fleece or
hessian, with straw or polystyrene
packed inside to protect their crowns.
Aim to get this protective layer in
place by late autumn.
During any long
periods of warmer
PHOTOS: ALAMY; BAUER; SHUTTERSTOCK

weather, remove
the ‘duvet’ to
prevent the plant
from ‘sweating’
Wrap up tender tree
and possibly
ferns in autumn rotting.

6 Protect patio pots


with bubblewrap
Plants in containers are especially vulnerable to frost damage
because their roots don’t enjoy as much insulation as they would if
TOP TIPS
● Don’t feed plants with nitrogen-rich
fertilisers late in the season because
this encourages them to put on
cold-vulnerable sappy growth

planted in the ground. Wrap the pots in a duvet of bubblewrap and ● Work out where your warm
hide it with a layer of hessian and twine for a more aesthetically and sheltered positions are in
pleasing look. Don’t forget that terracotta pots are porous, so the garden and then group
ensure they stay well drained by setting them up on pot feet. container plants in these
spots over winter

● Plant early-flowering
magnolias and
camellias in a north or
west-facing site to
protect them from early
morning sun on frosty days

● Invest in cloches and


fleece for nights when frost
or snow are forecast – all
small plants will appreciate
the extra insulation

● Knock snow off shrubs


and hedges because the extra
weight can snap branches

● Protect tender fruit


blossom from a late
Bubblewrap frost by constructing a
provides useful cage around the plant
insulation for and covering it with fleece
patio pots

38 Garden Answers
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BORDER

UNBUTTONED BEAUTY
Pink and blue asters,
dahlias, geraniums and
sedums luxuriate in the low
rays of autumn sunlight

40 Garden Answers
EASY GARDENING

Relax into autumn with


ASTERS & GRASSES
Intermingle pinks and blues with grasses to create a softly
layered effect. Helen Billiald shows how to plant them

T CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS


here’s an unwinding and loosening to autumn that’s STEP 2
miles apart from spring’s galloping haste and the
self-conscious displays of summer. Few plants do
unbuttoned beauty better than the season’s asters, or
symphyotrichums as some of the plants (including
Michaelmas daisies) have been rather awkwardly renamed.
The combination of delicate slender petals on masses of
flowers is a potent one. Partner them with bronzed grasses and
irrepressible dahlias with a frill of heucheras and tumbling
geraniums at their feet, and position them where they’ll
catch the low-raking sunlight. Who cares if the days are
getting shorter, when they’re filled with sights
as gorgeous as this?

STEP 1
3steps
easy SYMPHYOTRICHUM
‘HARRINGTON’S PINK’
Upright New England aster
SYMPHYOTRICHUM
‘LITTLE CARLOW’
Masses of violet-blue flowers
bearing clusters of double with an eye-catching yellow
DESIGN YOUR candy-pink flowers above centre and dark wiry stems
BORDER Anemanthele
bright green foliage. H1.2m that shouldn’t need staking.
(4ft) S60cm (2ft) H90cm (3ft) S60cm (2ft)
lessoniana
Dahlia Symphyotrichum
‘Melody Gipsy’ ‘Harrington’s Pink’

DAHLIA ‘MELODY GIPSY’ GERANIUM ‘ROZANNE’


This attention-grabbing pink Unbeatable blue geranium

PHOTOS: GAP/FRIERICH STRAUSS; ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK ILLUSTRATION: GILL LOCKHART


semi-cactus dahlia has a with generous white-centred
yellow centre and flowers flowers appearing from May
from July to the frosts. Tubers to the frosts. Foliage has red
may need lifting in winter. autumn tints. H60cm (2ft)
H and S60cm (2ft) S75cm (30in)

ANEMANTHELE LESSONIANA HYLOTELEPHIUM


(STIPA ARUNDINACEA) ‘HERBSTFREUDE’
Hylotelephium
Elegant airy grass with arching (SEDUM ‘AUTUMN JOY’)
‘Herbstfreude’
bronze-pink flowers and Succulent foliage and flat
narrow orange-tinted foliage flower clusters that darken
Symphyotrichum that darkens to copper-red in to pink and red. Adored by
‘Little Carlow’ autumn. H and S90cm (3ft) butterflies. H and S60cm (2ft) ➤
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 41
EASY GARDENING

Or try
STEP 3

GET PLANTING! 2 Plant the


asters
this Pink-tinged grass
Miscanthus sinensis
‘Adagio’ reflects the
asters’ ruby flowers
Autumn is a great time to prepare new Michaelmas
borders; the ground is easy to work after daisies aren’t the
recent rain but not yet saturated or first out of bed in
frozen. These are amenable the New Year and
plants, coping with sun or it pays to wait until
part shade and soils from late spring before
heavy to light as long as planting. Add
they have enough further compost or
organic matter to hold other well-rotted
onto moisture in drier organic matter to
months but don’t each planting hole,
become waterlogged. water in well and
Once the planting site is mulch around plants
free from perennial weeds, cover when you’ve finished.
it with plenty of well-rotted organic While both these asters
matter this autumn and leave the worms have fairly good resistance to
and the weather to start improving the soil mildew, try not to overcrowd
for you, forking things over in six months’ them or pack them in too tightly.
time as the ground starts to warm. Taller asters need staking so be sure
to get supports in early.
1 Start the dahlia Once they’ve finished flowering, cut
into growth back hard and renew the mulch annually to
Buy dahlia tubers in late winter, keep down weeds and help retain moisture.
pot them up in a frost-free After a few years, lift and divide large
greenhouse and you’ll have clumps in April to spread the display 4 Dot in the geranium
thriving plants to go out into the and reinvigorate the planting. and sedum
garden after the last frosts in May. Although these can go into the ground in
Or, plant the tubers direct in 3 Add a sweep autumn or spring, it makes sense to wait
May. Stake them with a strong of anemanthele until spring. Add compost to each planting
cane and tie in with loops of Wait until mid or late spring before hole and mulch after planting (avoiding the
soft twine as they grow. planting this grass in a sweep through the crowns) and across the border annually.
Deadhead regularly to planting. It’s not fussy about soil and can The geranium will flower for months but
keep the display going. cope both with sun and shade but it’s still if it starts to look tired in summer, give it a
Once the stems have worth adding a little well-rotted organic trim and tidy after which it will reward you
been blackened by frost, matter at planting. It’s an evergreen so with another flush. ‘Rozanne’ is sterile so it
dig up the tubers and don’t cut plants back, instead comb through won’t self-seed, but if you want to increase
store them in a shed in with your hands each spring. Divide your stock, divide it in spring.
barely damp sand or old potting established plants in late spring, using a Leave the sedum flowers over winter
compost. In well-drained soil in saw to split clumps if needed. You may also – they look beautiful dusted in frost. Cut
sheltered parts you can risk leaving find seedlings popping up around the them back before too much new growth
them in the ground covered with a garden because it tends to self-sow gently comes through in early spring. If you’re on
protective blanket of mulch. without being over-enthusiastic. rich soil and they tend to flop, use plant
supports or tip back shoots in early June. ✿

Make the display last...

MISCANTHUS SINENSIS PEROVSKIA ‘BLUE SPIRE’ HEUCHERA ‘PURPLE ACTAEA SIMPLEX


‘KLEINE SILBERSPINNE’ Masses of violet-blue flowers PETTICOATS’ ‘BRUNETTE’
Upright clump-forming with aromatic ferny foliage Frilly greenish-purple-leaved Almost-black foliage and
grass with silvery-red and narrow silvery stems heuchera with deep purple stems with slender spikes of
flowers from late summer. that glow in winter borders. undersides and small cream white bottle-brush flowers.
H1.2m (4ft) S60cm (2ft) H90cm (3ft) S60cm (2ft) flowers. H and S40cm (16in) H1.8m (6ft) S75cm (30in)

42 Garden Answers
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44 Garden Answers
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BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

“I’ve planted for a


succession of colour”
This beautiful garden on the outskirts of London is
full of bright ideas for late-season colour. Owner
Alison Green shares her clever planting and design ideas

CREATING A SPECTACLE Layers


of colour-rich planting and
dramatic foliage enliven the
borders at Theobald’s Farmhouse
all year round. In the border here
are the striped leaves of canna
lilies, blue aconites and dahlias
‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and ‘Tartan’

46 Garden Answers
READER
GARDEN

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BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

“I wanted to use the concept


of ‘garden rooms’ to divide
the space into different areas”

A
and utumn colour can be so vibrant DESIGNATED ROOMS (clockwise from
IN THE and exciting – not least in this above left) A mature fig tree dominates
GARDEN special garden just north of the gravel garden; the farmhouse dates

WITH… London. The two-acre plot has


been specially designed for a succession
from 1650; the knot garden comprises
undulating hedges of buxus; stripy cannas,
Alison Green of year-round flowers, in colour-themed dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and orange
areas divided by yew hedges. chrysanthemums grace the Jewel Garden
“The grade II listed farmhouse was until the frosts; tall reeds Phragmites
AT Theobald’s Farmhouse, Crews built in 1650,” says owner Alison Green. australis screen the swimming pond
Hill, Enfield “We bought it in 1999 from a property
GARDEN SIZE 2 acres developer and spent a few years restoring
SITE South-facing, gentle slope it using traditional materials. I started planting areas. Each room would have a
FEATURE LIZ POTTER; PHOTOS: MMGI/MARIANNE MAJEREUS

SOIL Improved London clay work on the garden straight away, and completely separate character with plants
FEATURES Pebble mosaic; topiary within the first few weeks a leylandii for a succession of colour all year.”
and knot gardens; Jewel Garden with hedge and several self-sown trees had Alison and her landscaper, Marc
fountain; ornamental garden with been cleared.” Rapacioli of CMC, soon got to work,
circular lawn and seating area; yew Initially the house sat in the top north- removing grass, marking out new borders
hedging to make garden rooms; spiral west corner of a huge field. “The developer and planting yew hedges. “We started by
landform feature; woodland walk; had cleared the site, removing lots of old creating four small gardens around the
colour-themed herbaceous borders; fruit trees and laid it all to grass,” says house, making them symmetrical for a
successional planting for year-round Alison. “I loved the fact the garden was so sense of balance and proportion. There’s a
colour; water gardens; wildflower big and such a huge blank canvas. I had small shady courtyard on the north side; a
lawn; series of ‘walks’ qualified in the mid-1990s with a City & gravel garden with lots of white roses and
VISIT By appointment for groups Guilds in Garden Design from Capel perennials to the west; a knot garden to
CONTACT Alison on 07710 083911; Manor so I was keen to get started. I the south, in-keeping with the age of the
or email alison.g.green@talk21.com wanted to use the concept of ‘garden house; and a small circular lawn and
rooms’ to divide the space into different seating area to the east.”

48 Garden Answers
Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 49
Beautiful gardens

“The borders are planted Nearby, Alison’s pebble mosaic garden Hidden deligHts (clockwise from
is full of tall grasses such as Miscanthus above left) Cotinus ‘Grace’ with yew
with flowers and foliage in sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ and Phormium tenax archway; fountain in the Jewel Garden; the
Purpureum Group, which help to screen circular lawn, with storks; Verbena
saturated jewel-like colours” the swimming pond just beyond. bonariensis; Alison’s pebble mosaic;
In landscaping terms, Alison’s piece de ‘Grayswood Ghost’ birches around the
In 2004 Alison began planting a Jewel resistance is her Spiral Garden, with a spiral; Aconitum carmichaelii
Garden complete with ornate central raised spiral landform based on the
fountain, inspired by Monty Don at golden section. “It’s planted with nine
Longmeadow. “The borders are planted ‘Grayswood Ghost’ silver birches,” “I’ve also planted a blue border with
with flowers and foliage in saturated explains Alison. “We measured out all the flowers in blue, white and pale lemon,”
jewel-like colours,” explains Alison. “It squares and rectangles on the bare soil, she says. “You have to have some lighter
was the first time I’d got away from the marked out the curve in spraypaint, then hues to complement the blue, or the blue
cool end of the colour spectrum and I created the spiral bank using soil we’d just disappears. The display starts in
began planting in orange, purple, red and excavated from other garden projects. The early February with Iris reticulata
bright yellow. In spring there are tulips idea is that the elevated bank and tree ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ and early narcissus,
‘Red Shine’, orange ‘Ballerina’ and ‘Black trunks create a series of picture windows then darkish-blue forget-me-nots and
Parrot’, which give way in summer to to frame the views.” white tulips. In summer we have
orange hemerocallis and alstroemeria Alison has incorporated several Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’
‘Inca Exotica’. stunning herbaceous borders that reveal and Cephalaria gigantea with its pale
“In autumn, until the frosts, there are her eye for colour and form. “By the spiral lemon scabious-type flowers. Drifts of tall
tall canna lilies such as orange ‘Pretoria’, is an exotic border that’s hidden by a yew white alliums ‘Mount Everest’ and
orange and yellow ‘Tropicanna Gold’ and hedge until you turn a corner,” she says. aconitums in purple-blue, creamy white
stripy ‘Durban’, with rich blue Aconitum “Here I’ve planted the yellow daisies of and silvery blue ‘Stainless Steel’, help the
carmichaelii, yellow rudbeckia and Silphium perfoliatum, Achillea border hang together. You have to be
crocosmias, late-flowering red filipendulina ‘Gold Plate’, dark orange careful not to be too bitty.”
penstemons ‘King George V’ and dahlias Harkness rose ‘Fellowship’, purple and There’s a large woodland garden along
including single red ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ red lobelia, orange tithonia, black-leaved the south boundary. “We kept the native
and maroon-and-white ‘Tartan’. I’ve canna ‘Tropicanna Black’, hemerocallis oak, hawthorn and blackthorn, adding
planted Verbena bonariensis at the front ‘Stafford’, red rose ‘Dusky Maiden’, purple more specimen trees so it’s now a lovely
of the borders here, so you can see through salvia ‘Amistad’ and brooding black woodland walk,” says Alison. “In autumn
them to the dahlias and cannas behind.” Eucomis comosa ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. the acers turn a dazzling shade of red.” ✿

50 Garden Answers
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DESIGNER
GARDEN

52 Garden Answers
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

“The garden looks good


every day of the year”
This chic modern garden in Oxford is full of seasonal
interest yet is low maintenance at the same time.
Designer Sarah Naybour reveals its planting secrets

DRAMATIC STRUCTURE Angular


granite paving, architectural tree
silhouettes, sculptures and a
horizontally slatted fence provide
the bones of this chic urban plot

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 53
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

and

N
ovember is a good month to assess interest and a subtle palette of pinks,
IN THE the ‘bones’ of a garden. In this purples, blues and mauves,” says Dieuwke.

GARDEN
urban plot on the outskirts of Sarah was delighted to take on the brief.
Oxford the structure is especially “Dieuwke and Henk are a very design-
WITH… dramatic – thanks to its angular granite conscious couple,” she says. “They’re
paving, architectural tree silhouettes, minimalists and their attention to detail
Dieuwke and sculptures and a horizontally slatted fence. is strong. For instance, it was important
Henk van Es “It was just a normal urban garden that we could match up the granite plank
when we moved here,” says owner pavers with the colour of the interior
AT North Oxford Dieuwke van Es, who lives here with her flooring, for continuity indoors and out.
GARDEN SIZE 7x16m (22x52ft) husband Henk. “It had grass in the middle, We had the pavers cut to the same size as
SITE South-facing a shed and seven beech trees that had to the floorboards and aligned them
SOIL Heavy clay be removed because they were very close carefully for a seamless effect, either
FEATURES Granite pavers and to our neighbour’s house wall. We didn’t side of the large glazed doors.
‘hit-and-miss’ fencing; small trees want the lawn either – we’re not that “Dieuwke’s interior colour scheme is
FEATURE LIZ POTTER; PHOTOS: LYNN KEDDIE

for seasonal interest; good use of young anymore and we didn’t want to very chic and minimalist too,” says Sarah.
groundcover and minimalist design; spend time mowing it.” “My approach outdoors was to keep the
mix of evergreens and deciduous Dieuwke contacted garden designer palette very restrained with little accents
shrubs for autumn interest; Sarah Naybour to come up with some of colour, selecting fewer plants but then
sculptures to add shape and structure design ideas. “We wanted a low- repeating them in large quantities.
all year round; small trees and maintenance garden with year-round “One of the plants Dieuwke did want
evergreen shrubs was Alchemilla mollis, as her mother
CONTACT Sarah Naybour for “My approach was to keep always had it in the garden. Another plant
design commissions via her website I’ve used that works really beautifully is
www.sarahnaybour.co.uk
the palette very restrained Anaphalis triplinervis ‘Summer Snow’.
with little accents of colour” Its tiny white flowers almost look dried

54 Garden Answers
minimalist design (clockwise from top
left) Epimediums colour up in autumn;
structural evergreens, trees and sculptures
enliven the planting areas; Dieuwke and
Henk’s home; low box hedges run along
the sightlines with gaps to accommodate
Dieuwke’s sculptures; the pavers were
matched indoors and out for continuity

in summer, above a mat of hairy green


foliage. The flowers last right through to
autumn, and look like a dusting of snow.
“For winter there are lots of evergreen
ferns and a mix of hellebores. People don’t
realise how much variety there is among
hellebores but their evergreen foliage is
really useful.”
Epimediums are another good source
of groundcover. “They look fantastic
under trees,” says Sarah. “They colour up
in autumn, providing a range of subtle
tints just as hydrangeas do.”
Pretty Pennisetum thunbergii ‘Red
Buttons’ adds a gentle, wafty accent
among easy-care shrubs such as fragrant

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 55
sarcococca, climbing trachelospermum limited palette (clockwise from above)
and low box hedges. “I’ve used the box Plums and a rowan provide good autumn
along the main sightlines of the garden,” colour with a multi-stemmed amelanchier
explains Sarah. “They’re designed to be for architecture; a blue-grey bench echoes
all the same height, even though the window frames; white flowers of Anaphalis
garden naturally dips in the middle, with triplinervis ‘Summer Snow’ pop among
a sunken terraced section. I included the evergreens; Henk’s studio; heathers
breaks in the box hedges so Dieuwke can and epimediums add splashes of pink
position her sculptures in the gaps.”
Trees provide height and seasonal
interest in the garden. “We kept a few, middle because it cuts the space into two
including two plums and a rowan, which halves. Asymmetry feels more spacious.”
all provide good autumn colour. We added Dieuwke loves Sarah’s design and says
a couple of multi-stemmed Amelanchier the family use the garden all year round.
lamarckii for their architecture and an “All the views from indoors are lovely; the
evergreen magnolia at the far end. garden feels very much like it’s part of the
“The hit-and-miss fencing is made house. The two spaces seem to melt into
from treated softwood and cut extra wide each other. Our sliding doors are so huge
for a more industrial feel,” says Sarah. that even with the windows closed you
“The fact that it runs horizontally creates can’t really see where the house ends and
the visual impression that the garden is the garden begins. When it’s raining we
longer than it really is.” love to sit under the loggia – the sheltered
Sarah has lots of design tips for those overhang just outside our patio doors –
renovating a small city garden. “Avoid looking out at the garden.
curves if the garden is small or narrow,” “Although I love the garden, I’m not a
she says. “Straight lines and angles work keen gardener so it had to be very, very
far better. But, never put a path down the low maintenance. We have an excellent
professional gardener, Geoff Burke, who
comes to look after the garden every four
“The horizontal fencing to six weeks. With his help, every single
minute of the year there’s something to
creates the impression that look at and it always looks pretty. I can’t
the garden’s longer than it is” praise Sarah’s design highly enough.” ✿

56 Garden Answers
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

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BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

“We wanted to keep


the history alive”
This
his enchanting garden in his
historic County Antrim
enjoys a fresh flourish of colour in autumn.
Owner Maurice Parkinson reveals its highlights

NATURAL BLEND Japanese


anemones and pink hesperantha
vie for space among grasses and
a carpet of bergenia under an
old apple tree at Ballyrobert

58 Garden Answers
READER
GARDEN

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BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

T
and his unusual garden near Ballyclare
IN THE in County Antrim is full of Irish
“Fairy folklore, paganism and
GARDEN heritage and folklore. There are early Christian symbolism
WITH… Irish plants such as McGredy
roses, silene and escallonia, pagan symbols
all feature in the design”
Maurice and embedded in the design, and local basalt
FEATURE LIZ POTTER; PHOTOS: ANDREA JONES/GARDEN EXPOSURES PHOTO LIBRARY

Joy Parkinson stone used in the walls, steps and bridges. farmers had to adhere to strict conditions
Patterned walks, ‘fairy’ trees and an regarding the layout of their fields –
AT Ballyrobert Gardens, orchard of old Irish apple trees create a typically in a square or rectangular
154 Ballyrobert Road, Ballyclare, poetic atmosphere that’s sympathetic pattern divided by banks and ditches,
Co Antrim BT39 9RT to the garden’s rural setting. with trees and hedges planted on the
GARDEN SIZE 6 acre garden “We bought the property in 1995 and banks. These became a distinctive
in 16-acre farmstead started developing it soon after,” says landscape feature in this part of Ulster,
SITE Sunny and shady areas owner Maurice Parkinson, who created and are still here at Ballyrobert Gardens.
SOIL Heavy clay the garden with his wife, Joy. “It was a “We realised this heritage should be
FEATURES RHS partner garden; small, run-down 16-acre farmstead uppermost in the design for our new
collections of native Irish plants; lake; complete with cottage, defunct kitchen garden,” says Maurice. “So, we set about
formal parterre garden at front with garden and farm buildings – some of integrating traditional landscape features
informal layout at rear; herbaceous which are at least 300 years old. that reflect the broader history of the
borders; colour-themed plantings; “It was only once we’d moved in that we area, but without it looking too contrived.”
wildlife habitat; historic elements. realised the significance of the site and its Today, fairy folklore, paganism and
VISIT 1 March–30 Sept 10am–5pm; surrounding landscape. It’s one of the early Christian symbolism all feature in
Sundays by appointment only. £4.99 original plantation settlements the design. “The surrounding landscape
CONTACT Tel 02893 44 0101; email established under the dictat of Sir Arthur includes pagan rock carvings, stone
information@ballyrobertgardens. Chichester, Lord Deputy of Ireland from circles and landforms such as the
com; www.ballyrobertgardens.com 1607–1616. Sir Arthur was the principal Holestone at Doagh, which is just a few
landlord in the east of Ulster, and tenant miles away,” says Maurice. “Here at

60 Garden Answers
sweeping scale (clockwise from
top left) Red-stemmed cornus echoes
the peeling cinnamon bark of Acer
griseum contrasting with Euonymus
fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’; the formal
front garden; Euphorbia cornigera
‘Goldener Turm’; red persicaria, mauve
phlox, pink-tinted Hydrangea paniculata
and white astilbe jostle in this cool pastel
bed; Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Heavenly
Blue’; late crocosmia ‘Zambesi’

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 61
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

AUTUMN TINTS (clockwise from above) with its surrounding landscape. “It’s been have a colourful impact that continues
Maurice clipped this hornbeam into a designed so there are no boundaries,” says into early spring to herald the snowdrops
‘holetree’; Cyclamen hederifolium; Maurice. “I dislike the idea of garden and hellebores,” says Maurice. “We have
Ballyrobert has its own lake complete rooms, so here we’ve created a series of more than 150 snowdrops, with the
with crannog (protected island); informal areas that flow from one to the earliest ones flowering in December
Darmera peltata, rodgersia and hostas next, each with its own theme. and the last in April.”
beneath Abies koreana; a floral feast of “We like to use colour, form and texture From spring onwards, the garden
sunny rudbeckia with calamagrostis to hold the planting schemes together – comes alive with successive waves
with pastel shades in one border, cool of colour from herbaceous plants such
areas of white, blue and yellow, and hotter as hemerocallis, astilbe, geranium
Ballyrobert I’ve created my own ‘holetree’ planting schemes in the sunnier locations. and persicaria.
in the garden, by trimming a hornbeam For us the real strength of a planting Wild creatures seem pretty keen on the
into a similar shape. scheme lies in its ability to blend garden too. “We have a policy of gardening
Fairies or ‘little folk’ are an ever- gracefully with the natural and organically and making habitats for
present part of the Ulster landscape too. traditional landscape. We do this by wildlife,” explains Maurice. “A vast array
“We had to include them,” says Maurice. avoiding plants such as hybrid tea roses of birds come – everything from snipe and
“We’ve got a fairy tree at the entrance to and brightly coloured bedding plants. And woodcock in winter to long-eared owls
the garden, a basalt pillar with a flat top there’s not a leyland cypress tree in sight!” and spotted flycatchers in summer. And
so the fairies can dance on it, and moon Autumn is an important time for the otters are frequent visitors to the lake.”
windows along the main drive as a garden. “We’ve chosen plants for flowers While the current garden extends to
reminder of the area’s pre-Christian and foliage to create a major show at this six acres, Joy and Maurice have begun
history. At the back of the garden we’ve time of year,” says Maurice. “We’ve got developing the remainder of their 16-acre
indented a Celtic spiral into a field of Japanese maples and a bronze rodgersia, site, creating patterned walks through
rushes, with an oak tree at its centre. which really excel. fields of rushes and wildflowers.
“Ulster has been subject to human “In winter we have Cornus alba “We’ve laid out the paths in concentric
invasion throughout its history, and at one ‘Sibirica’ and Cornus sanguinea rings and spirals because both of these
time the native population responded by ‘Midwinter Fire’, whose vibrant stems shapes feature a lot in the stonework at
building protective islands on the lakes ancient burial grounds throughout
called ‘crannogs’. Our lake at Ballyrobert “The strength of a planting Ireland,” explains Maurice.
has its own crannog accordingly.” “Our main aim has been to create
The garden here is quintessentially
scheme lies in its ability areas for quiet contemplation, in a
natural and informal, merging seamlessly to blend with the natural” wildlife-friendly setting.” ✿

62 Garden Answers
Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 63
GARDEN
TO VISIT

KNOLL
GARDENS
This Dorset garden is an atmospheric showcase
for grasses in autumn, says Louise Curley

F
or many gardens November is the chance to see different grasses growing
tipping point into hibernation as in a garden setting, with inspiring ideas
flowers and foliage fade, but at for planting combinations.
Knoll Gardens in Dorset it’s a Although primarily known for its
different story. Home to thousands of grasses, Knoll used to be a private botanic
grasses, this haven of naturalistic planting garden and as a result it also has an
is reaching its crescendo right now. The impressive range of trees and shrubs. The
four-acre garden had its beginnings in the delicate white, bell-shaped blooms of the
early 1970s when the first nursery on the Australian snowdrop tree (Atherosperma
site was established on a carrot field. In moschatum) announce the arrival of spring
1994 Neil Lucas came to the garden and has as their delicate scent fills the air. Summer
since established one of the country’s most highlights include herbaceous borders and
extensive collections of grasses. hydrangeas, but it’s late summer when
‘Right plant, right place’ is very much Knoll hits its stride, with late-flowering
the approach at Knoll, where planting is perennials such as sedums, asters and
dictated by the soil and climate, rather than the wafty stems of Verbena bonariensis
trying to grow unsuitable plants that will forming wonderful drifts of colour.
never thrive. The garden is also the perfect Spectacular autumn hues from trees
showcase for plants on sale in its award- including Gingko biloba and shrubs
winning nursery, and offers visitors the such as Hydrangea quercifolia light up the

64 Garden Answers
BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

Fluffy pennisetum,
deschampsia, cortaderia
and miscanthus in the
famous Dragon Garden

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BEAUTIFUL GARDENS

gardens with a fiery glow. The collection of


spindle trees (euonymus), which thrive on
the free-draining sandy soil, put on an
eye-catching display of vivid crimson and
scarlet. Impressive specimen trees at Knoll
Gardens include one of the best willow oaks
in the country, a cork oak and a collection of
magnificent eucalyptus.
When owner Neil Lucas first came here
more than 20 years ago the Dragon Garden
(previous pages) consisted of bedding
plants, formal hedges and lawn. It’s now
been transformed so a single path weaves
through a swathe of grasses and perennials,
which create a tall meadow effect. At this
time of year, late autumn sunshine
enhances the warm browns, golden honey
and bleached blonde tones of the grasses,
and early morning frosts highlight the
structural shapes and seedheads.
The vast range of grasses includes
low-growing pennisetums that tumble
over paths to towering miscanthus and
calamagrostis. One of the most effective
planting combinations here is the native
grass Molinia caerulea planted in drifts
along with perennials such as persicaria,
scabious and sanguisorba.
Although grasses are mostly associated
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK

with large-scale naturalistic planting

“Late autumn sunshine


enhances the warm browns,
golden honey and bleached
blonde tones of the grasses”
66 Garden Answers
GARDEN HEROES

“We’re at our
peak in autumn”
Knoll Gardens’ owner Neil Lucas explains
what goes on behind the scenes
Neil Lucas has there’s a gap in a border or we’ve
been the owner decided to do something in a different
of Dorset-based way, we’ll take up the plants, move
Knoll Gardens and them around and replant.
its award-winning
nursery since Do you have a favourite part of the
1994. His passion garden? This year I do rather love the
for the naturalistic Dragon Garden. We took out a hedge
planting style and knowledge of about a year or so ago and did a lot of
ornamental grasses has led to him new planting, so it’s much more
receive multiple gold medals at expansive now. It’s a bit reminiscent
the RHS Chelsea Flower Show of a prairie.

How did you come to be at Knoll? I What’s the most challenging aspect
was working and living down in Devon, of your job? Running a small business
SEASONAL FINALE (clockwise from and saw an advert that said the gardens is always highly demanding of personal
top left) Mixed grasses with red-leaved were for sale. So we – my mum, dad and time. Actually finding time to do all the
euonymous and purple verbena; slender myself – decided to buy it. Horticulture necessary jobs – but also leave a little
Pennisetum macrourum and has always been important in the bit for the one or two jobs we really like
calamagrostis with blue eryngiums; family. My grandfather, in particular, to do, such as planting new areas – is
Miscanthus sinensis ‘Blütenwunder’ was very much into plants and always tricky.
in the Decennium border; waterfall especially his delphiniums. Some of
my earliest memories come from What’s the best part of your job?
summer holidays with him in his Playing with plants, seeing new
schemes, such as those created by Dutch garden and watching him exhibit combinations and watching them grow
plantsman Piet Oudolf, small, easy-care at the RHS Halls in London. and develop. It’s a real thrill to see a
beds have been created at Knoll showing plant that’s happy and successful and
how they can be used in a more modest plot. How big is the team? We have one settled into the garden.
Knoll Gardens is an impressive garden to full-time gardener, so we practise
visit whatever the season, but at this time what we preach with low maintenance. Do you have any future projects
of year, with the seedheads and skeletons We also have half a dozen or so that you’re planning to carry out?
of the grasses and perennials catching the volunteers who come and help us Our eucalyptus lawn is relatively old,
sunlight, it’s a place that shows how there on a Friday morning. the trees have got too big and are
can be beauty even in the dying embers casting a lot of shade, so we’re going to
of a garden. ✿ What are the main seasonal jobs? redevelop that over the next few years,
We’re a late-season garden, so we peak which will be quite a big project for us.
in interest in the second half of the

Fact file year. This means we cut down in early


to mid-spring and do a spring clean
preparing the borders, doing
● LOCATION Knoll maintenance and mulching.
Gardens, Stapehill We weed in summer and then
Road, Hampreston, carry out the structural projects
Wimborne, later in the year.
Dorset BH21 7ND
● OPEN Tues–Sat, In November what are you working
10am–5pm (4pm Nov– on? November is still our peak time in
Mar). Closed from 22 the garden, so we won’t be doing a lot to
Dec, reopens 1 Feb 2018 the borders. But before Christmas we
● CONTACT 01202 873931; do try and complete one or two planting
www.knollgardens.co.uk jobs. If things haven’t worked so well,

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DOUBLE HELLEBORUS
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WILDLIFE

AUTUMN
WILDLIFE

Discover
FINCHES
These colourful birds are
special guests at garden
feeders. Adrian Thomas
looks at how to help them
in winter and beyond

W
e’re not blessed with many visiting some 40% of our gardens according
gaudy birds in Britain, so to this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
those that possess some Interestingly, that the further north and west
paint-palette splashes are to you are, the greater your chance of seeing
be treasured. In this respect there are few them, with sightings in 60% of Scottish
better-looking birds than the finch family. gardens and 66% in Northern Ireland.
We’re lucky, then, that three finch The old saying, ‘Separating the wheat
species are very familiar in our gardens; from the chaff’, gives a clue as to the origin
another four are scarcer but still fairly of its name. This is a bird that forages for
frequent visitors. Between them, they inject bits of food in the fields after the grain has
greens, reds, oranges, yellows and pinks been harvested. In our gardens, it’s not the
into our world, and the fact they do so at our most adept at clinging to bird feeders, and
bird tables and feeders means we can feast so is much more likely to feed on the ground
our eyes while they fill their bellies! beneath, where small groups can gather,
The most widespread is the chaffinch – once again picking around in the chaff. ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 69
WILDLIFE

Small but feisty Chaffinches forage around in


the chaff of wheat fields –
However, in terms of sheer numbers in
and beneath garden feeders
gardens, the chaffinch has now been
overtaken by the goldfinch. This red-faced
stunner might only be recorded in about a
third of gardens, but where it occurs it can
gather in flocks of 10, 20 or even more.
It may be one of the smallest of finches,
but it’s surprisingly feisty, barking raspy
calls at other goldfinches or even larger
birds that dare to try to land on the bird
feeder that it’s occupying. ‘This is mine!’
is the clear message.
Until only about 20 years ago, the
goldfinch was a relatively uncommon
winter bird in the British countryside, let
alone in gardens, with a large part of our
breeding population spending their winter
holidays wandering the trees and
hedgerows of southern
France and Spain. Now,
thanks to all our garden
handouts, it enjoys a
staycation instead!
The third most visitor, but two things starting to do better is the redpoll,
common finch in changed that. Firstly, the ‘poll’ meaning ‘head’. Their numbers
gardens is the breeding population in the wider countryside crashed
greenfinch, or at least (once restricted to upland dramatically in the 1970s and 80s, but
it was until tragedy With luck
pine forests) spread small flocks are now learning to visit seed
struck. A disease called you may see
southwards, taking feeders, providing a welcome shift in
trichomonosis jumped a redpoll
advantage of maturing behaviour and hence fortunes.
across the ‘species barrier’ forestry plantations. Once the There are two other finches to look for.
from doves and pigeons about trees are old enough to produce The dapper bullfinch is still a regular in
10 years ago, and the greenfinch cones, they provide all-important some gardens but, being rather portly, is
population has gone down every year since. summer seeds for the siskins, and from most likely to be seen on a bird table than
Birds become listless and puffed up, there it’s only a short hop into gardens. clinging to a feeder. It’s a shy bird of
lingering at birdfeeders and on the ground The other factor was that gardeners thickets and hedgerows, so bullfinches are
underneath, unable to swallow food but started feeding peanuts in red mesh bags. mostly seen in rural gardens.
still trying. Their presence only serves to The theory is that the siskin mistook these The other is a winter visitor from
spread the disease to other greenfinches. for large pine cones, came to investigate, Scandinavia, the brambling, whose
and found that they were something numbers here are determined by how good
Developing resistance different but still very tasty! the crop of beech seeds is. If there is a
Maybe some greenfinches will manage to Mesh bags are now a thing of the past, bounty of ‘beechmast’ in woods, the
develop resistance to the disease, but for having fallen from favour brambling doesn’t need to venture
now the problem is causing a downward because too many birds into gardens. If there’s little
spiral in population numbers. In the Big were getting their feet natural food, they follow the
Garden Birdwatch this year the greenfinch trapped, but fortunately chaffinches in, and
slumped to 18th in the list of garden birds. the siskins have now individuals can linger in
The good news is that some of our scarcer learnt to visit bird one garden for days on end,
finches are doing well. The siskin, for feeders instead. adding a bit of northern
example, was once a very rare garden Another finch at last Scandi spice. ✿

MEET THE FINCHES


● CHAFFINCH MALE ● CHAFFINCH ● GREENFINCH MALE ● GREENFINCH ● BULLFINCH The
Muted colours of FEMALE AND YOUNG Moss-coloured rather FEMALE AND YOUNG male is stunning, with
greyish-pink below, BIRDS Even more than grass-green, with BIRDS Duller than the salmon underparts,
greyish-blue on the muted colours than yellow flashes along male, and young birds grey back and black
crown, with bold white the male, but sharing the wing edge. Has a have fine streaks cap; the female is a
flashes in the wing. pale wing panels. chunky, pointed bill. above and below. more faded version.

70 Garden Answers
WILDLIFE

Nyjer seed is
a favourite
of siskins,
Not just a pretty face Greenfinches sing
strings of sweet notes

shown here Most of our finches manage to combine good


on a specialist looks with vocal prowess. In fact, such is their
metal seed tunefulness they were once caught and sold
feeder by the tens of thousands for the Victorian
cagebird trade.
The best singer is perhaps the greenfinch,
whose song is rather like a canary, with
strings of sweet notes such as ‘wee wee wee,
dibby dibby dibby, choop choop choop’.
However, the tinkling song of the goldfinch is
also very attractive and upbeat.
There is one exception – the bullfinch. Its calls
are an embarrassed weedy piping noise, like
someone trying to whistle short notes and failing.

Portly bullfinches
prefer to snack
from bird tables

● GOLDFINCH MALE ● GOLDFINCH YOUNG ● SISKIN Small ● REDPOLL Very ● BRAMBLING Similar
AND FEMALE Has gold in the wings yellowish-green finch streaky grey-brown to chaffinch, but with
Unmistakeable, with but a pale head, with bold black and finch, with a small red orange breast and
red face in a black and giving it a different yellow markings, the forehead, and black wing flashes, a black
white head and gold expression until adult male with a black cap bib. Males sport a pink head, white belly
flashes in black wings. plumage emerges. and bib. breast in summer. and rump. ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 71
WILDLIFE

WILDLIFE GARDEN
How to help finches in gardens JOBS FOR NOVEMBER
Welcome the finch family with supplementary food and shelter
l HANG A FEEDER OR TWO... All garden
finches like to visit feeders and bird tables
with sunflower hearts being their favourite
convenience food. Redpolls, siskins and
goldfinches also eat nyjer seed, and in some
gardens choose it in preference, but they
can also ignore it completely.
l GROW THEIR FAVOURITES... Teasel seeds
are a goldfinch favourite, and the seedheads
look fabulous left standing in the winter PLANT TULIPS Open-
border. For an even bigger treat, plant a
birch tree; it will produce seeds after only a
1 flowered tulips are one of the
few spring bulbs that are
few years that will be relished by enjoyed by pollinators – now’s the
goldfinches, siskins and redpolls. best time to plant them.
l LET THE LAWN FLOWER... If you can bear PRUNE SUMMER
to let dandelions flower in parts of your lawn
(they do look lovely!), their fresh, green
2 RASPBERRIES Cut back
the canes that bore fruit to
seeds are prime spring food for goldfinches. the ground. Your bees will enjoy
l GROW A TREE FOR NESTING... This is one pollinating the new canes next year.
group of birds for which nestboxes are of COLLECT BERRIES TO
no use, for they all build their own nests in
trees. Chaffinches construct a camouflaged
3 GROW Kick through the fiery
leaves on an autumn walk and
nest in a fork, goldfinches build theirs out on collect tree seeds and berries to grow.
slender limbs and greenfinches choose to
nest in large conifers.
l KEEP FEEDERS CLEAN... Try to keep
disease at bay by keeping feeders clean
and avoid scattering food on the ground.

Acrobatic
goldfinches forage
for teasel seeds in
the winter borders

Look out for...


l FABULOUS FUNGI Watch after rain
for fungi springing up in lawns and
logpiles. Join a fungi foray to find out
more about these fruiting bodies.
l ROBINS SINGING Listen for the
sweetly sorrowful winter song of the
robin, which is sung by both the males
and females.
l LATE POLLINATORS See how ivy
brings the last great burst of pollen
and nectar into the garden – a perfect
feast for late insects.
PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK; ALAMY

72 Garden Answers
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GOURMET
GROWER

GET CREATIVE WITH

Edibles
Plan your potager garden now for crops
next year. Helen Billiald shares her advice

T
here’s been a seismic shift in modern potager, the first question to
gardening over the past two ask is how far are you willing to go?
decades. Where once we decided Are you after an underlying formality
to have either a veg patch or an planted up with a profusion of edibles
ornamental garden, or perhaps a formal and ornamentals? Or maybe you’re
potager, now people are fusing them all seeking a wildly cosmopolitan
into a single attractive melting pot that’s cottage-garden mash-up, threading
as good for the soul as it is for the stomach. yacon through the penstemons?
If you’re keen to embrace this disregard Whatever option you choose, there
for boundaries and create your own are lots of tasty plants to consider. ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 75
GOURMET GROWER

Plan next year’s potager

NOVEMBER IS an ideal time to plan


Make space for perennials. Remember less
ahead. The ground’s easy to work and
plants have sunk back far enough
4 Perhaps you already grow globe
artichokes, rhubarb and asparagus, but
6 is more. Instead
of sowing 30
to make landscaping projects
why not make room for sea kale, sorrel, overcrowded
easier. But whatever look
chives or perennial kales such as kohl rabi, it’s
you’re after, here are a
‘Taunton Dean’ and ‘Daubentons’? better to lavish
few useful pointers:
You might keep root vegetables care and attention on
Look at the
1 garden’s layout.
Hunt for design
and quick-to-crop salads in rows
or large pots, then use perennials
10 widely spaced
Chelsea-worthy
to create a mixed border. Plant examples. It doesn’t just
ideas in magazines, redcurrants as a tall back-of- reduce gluts; an awareness of
design books or border shrub; use strawberries individual plants means you spot pests
Instagram then and chives as edging; yacon gives and diseases sooner too.
mark out plans for amazing autumn foliage against Welcome flowers and herbs.
beds, divisions, paths,
seating areas and larger
dahlias and cosmos, while kale, bay,
fennel and lovage foliage complements
7 Whether you’re a keen cook or just
enjoy a splash of colour, try alternating
plants with white lawn spraypaint herbaceous plantings. rows of vegetables and flowers, or let
and bamboo canes. Ask yourself: do you Study seed catalogues and self-seeding borage, opium poppies or
need a lawn? Would it pay to edge paths?
Might the seating area be better at the heart
5 experiment! Grow what you love to
eat, but also think about what will bring
calendula travel through the plot.
Plant in succession. Keep sowing
of the garden? Can you reach the centre of
each raised bed?
colour, texture and height. Each year,
surprise yourself by growing a new crop
8 seed in modules and you’ll always
have sturdy young plants to pop into gaps.
Make your mark. Take a willow-
2 weaving course, try a bit of metal
working, save up for a sculpture, build
– anyone for tree spinach or pig nuts? One tiny propagation area can generate
hundreds of plants.
Interplant crops. Maximise space
an arbour, bean wigwams or a pumpkin
arch. If you love spending time cooking,
9 around slow-growing Brussels
sprouts or purple-sprouting broccoli
how about buying a pizza oven with large by planting quick-growing baby leaf
containers of herbs sited nearby? rocket, spinach, mizuna and mustard
Plant a fruit tree. November marks
3 the start of the bareroot-planting
around their feet.
Banish bare soil!
season and with rootstocks and training
methods including standards, espaliers
10 Keep bare
surfaces weed free
and step-overs, there’s something for every by mulching in
corner. Find a good nursery and consider Plant a fruit tree for
height, structure, spring with a 5cm
quince, apricot, cherry and hazel as well as (2in) layer of manure
apple and pear trees. blossom and harvests
or garden compost.

76 Garden Answers
BROAD BEANS

GROW BROAD
BEANS
H ave you ever walked past broad
bean plants in full spring
flower and been knocked sideways
by their delicious scent? Add to this
the arrival of the first tiny pods and
sweet beans when there’s little else
to harvest, and these plants are
worth making room for.
Early harvests are part of their
charm, so it makes sense to go for an
extra-early harvest in May rather
than late June. The best route to this
is an autumn sowing between mid-
October and early November.
By sowing this late, there’s still
sufficient warmth and light for beans to
germinate and produce short, stocky plants
for overwintering but
they won’t rush to put on
height – lanky plants are
more likely to get damaged
by cold.
Dont forget to choose
a hardy autumn
cultivar (see below).

Step by step

1 Grow in a sunny spot 2 Sow a double row 3 Pop in supports


Choose a sunny, sheltered bed, on Leave 20cm (8in) between seeds, Plants may look pretty unwell over
well-drained soil. Seed and young plants and sow in double rows. Keep fleece handy winter, but don’t lose faith because it’s
might rot if they sit in the cold and wet, and if severe frosts are forecast, drape it amazing how they rev into growth in spring.
and exposed sites risk plants being lightly over small plants or over cane Once they start moving upwards add a
battered by winter gales. supports for taller-growing beans. couple of circles of twine and stakes on
the corners to act as a loose corset around

Autumn cultivars each double row.

‘The Sutton’ ‘Valenciana’


‘Aquadulce Claudia’
AGM £2.99 £2.59 for
£3.29 for 30 seeds
for 45 seeds 65 seeds
Thompson
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0844 326 www.
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suttons.co.uk co.uk
morgan.co.uk

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 77
GOURMET GROWER

GROW SOMETHING NEW

APRICOT
‘GOLDEN
Store GLOW’

pumpkins
What is it? A hardy apricot discovered by
chance in the 1980s growing in the
Malvern Hills. The fruit is small, but trees

for Christmas
are hardy, self-fertile and heavy croppers
with deliciously fragrant fruit.
When can I plant it? Bareroot plants
are available from late November to
early March.
How should I grow it? Grow it as a fan
against a south- or south-west-facing wall
or fence, or as a free-standing bush. You
don’t need to mollycoddle this cultivar but
HARVESTING PUMPKINS is easy. Here’s it will still do better on a sheltered site to
how to store them for good longevity... Store on straw in protect the April blossom – the tree itself is
a cool, airy spot
1 Cut them with a stem. Once frosts
are forecast cut the fruit with a long
handle of stem (but don’t carry them by
hardy. Plants growing on a St Julien A
rootstock should reach up to 4m (13ft).
When can I pick them? Early August.
it) and wash the skin. Dry thoroughly Fruits have a juicy orange flesh but need
before moving to a sunny windowsill, gentle handling.
greenhouse or frame to ‘cure’ for a
couple of weeks. This helps the skin to
harden and prolongs their storage life.

2 Keep cool and well-ventilated. An


unheated spare room is ideal as you
don’t want them to drop much below Roast pumpkin seeds
10C (50F). Store them on wooden for a tasty snack
shelves or racks lined with newspaper.

3 Use the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a


delicious treat, especially if you’ve
grown a hull-less cultivar such as ‘Baby
Bear’. Scoop them out, wash and place
in a bowl with olive oil and a pinch of
salt, seasoned with chilli flakes or herbs.
Spread on a baking tray and roast at Apricot ‘Golden
180C (gas mark 4) for 10 minutes until Glow’ £17.99 for
golden. 1.2m (4ft) potted
tree. Primrose
0118 903 5210;

Easy recipe www.primrose.co.uk

MAKE YOUR OWN SLOE VODKA


This is a gorgeous winter You will need:
warmer and a favourite l 500g (17½oz) sloes
Christmas tipple in our l 150g (5oz) caster sugar
household. It takes a year or l 700ml (24fl oz) vodka
more to mature so start an
annual liqueur-making tradition Method:
for a rolling supply. The longer 1. Put all the ingredients into
you keep it, the tastier it gets. a large jar and give everything
Hedgerow sloes will be a good shake.
disappearing fast by now so 2. Mix daily for the next week,
you’ll need to be quick. Put then put in a store cupboard
them in the freezer overnight and give it a swirl whenever
to burst the skins and use a you remember it over the next
good-quality vodka. This three months.
recipe uses less sugar than 3. Strain through a fine sieve,
some, but I find it’s better to bottle and label. Tiny clip-top
add more to taste later on bottles make beautiful
because you can’t take it out! Christmas presents.
ho w
FRUIT TRAINING
Know VEGETABLE GARDEN
JOBS FOR NOVEMBER

PROTECT WINTER CROPS


1 The first severe frosts can
ruin Florence fennel or late
summer lettuces, so keep lots of
fleece and cloches handy or use
plants for cooking. Pick late apples,
pumpkins and winter squash.

DIG UP ROOT VEG


2 Leaving beetroot and
carrots in the ground is
an open invitation to slugs, so
dig them up now. You can store
undamaged roots in just-damp
sand or old potting compost.

Create a pear espalier


THE HORIZONTAL, LADDER-LIKE three buds that will grow on; two to form
layers of an espaliered pear must be the arms and one the vertical leader.
one of the most alluring fruit tree l Following summer Train in the two
forms around. It takes time to train a arms over summer. Run angled bamboo OVERWINTER TOMATOES
tree in this way because you add a new
‘rung’ each year. You can buy a part-
canes diagonally above the horizontal
wire and gradually lower the shoots to
3 Insert 5–10cm (2–4in) long
side shoots in moist compost
trained espalier with a couple of the wire by late autumn. and keep frost free in a light place.
established layers; just check that the l Late summer Prune sideshoots from They’ll be tall and lanky by early
vigour of the rootstock is suitable for each arm back to three leaves (ignoring spring when you can grow new
the size of wall you hope to cover. the cluster of leaves at its base). plants from the sideshoot cuttings.
Add a system of support wires to l Second winter Cut back the leader to
the wall or fence with each wire the next horizontal wire to train another Don’t forget
45cm (18in) apart from its neighbour. layer, and prune established arms back l CLEAR debris into compost bins
Add the wires after you’ve by a third of the year’s growth to and spread manure or compost
brought a part-trained tree encourage strong growth next year. over beds to improve soil
home so you can check they Add layers until the top of the support l PLANT garlic, rhubarb crowns,
match the tree’s structure. is reached and train each arm to fill the bareroot fruit trees and bushes
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK

l First winter Start with a available width. Rub out shoots that l OVERWINTER pruned chilli plants
one-year-old maiden whip. appear between layers on the main stem. in a frost-free spot
Cut back the leader to a Each August prune new l PAINT a greaseband around fruit
bud that’s level with sideshoots back to three trees to protect against winter moth
where you’d like the first leaves, and any shoots l PRUNE gooseberries and currants
layer of the espalier to growing off these to a l STAKE tall brassicas to prevent
be. You’re looking for single leaf. them flopping in winter winds.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 79
Ask the Your

Experts
Our experts will help you get the best from your garden

TENDER PLANTS
questions
answered

Solution of the month


Inside
82 Bulbs
83 Flowering shrubs
85 Trees
87 Fruit & veg
88 Pests & diseases
90 Border rescue
92 Design solutions

Our experts
GEOFF STEBBINGS
gives expert answers
to all your gardening
problems. Geoff is an
author and gardening writer, and
was head gardener at Myddelton
House, north London.

IAN HODGSON casts an


expert eye over unruly
borders, providing advice
on how to revamp them.
Ian is author of Great Gardens, in
association with the Society of
Garden Designers.

Q How can I overwinter


DAWN ISAAC shows how
to use bold plants and
visual tricks to transform
a bare plot into a tropical
my Echium candicans?
garden. Dawn is a garden designer, JOHN MEASE, NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE

A
writer and author of 101 Things for
Echium, or pride of Madeira, is a tender, shrubby plant with
Kids to do Outside.
30cm (12in) blue flower spikes in spring and early summer. In
CONTACT US Send
yourus mild coastal areas it can be kept outside in well-drained soil, but in
By post: Garden Answers, most parts of the UK it should be treated as a potted plant and
queries!
Bauer Media, Media House, Lynch overwintered under cover. However, it only needs frost protection,
Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA
Email:
not high temperatures, to survive.
gardenanswers@bauermedia.co.uk Dig it up and plant it in a pot of John Innes No 3 compost, then
Web: www.gardenanswersmagazine. move it into a greenhouse or conservatory to protect it from frost.
co.uk In late spring, when all chance of frost has passed, move it into
Social media: Find us on the sunniest spot in your garden.
Facebook as Garden Answers
Twitter @GardenAnswers
Callistemon subulatus (bottle brush) and
Instagram as gardenanswers Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine) need
similar treatment.
l See our feature Tuck up tender plants for winter
on p36 for more guidance.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 81
Q&A
Why are rose petals spotted? How do I grow quality sweet peas? Read on...

BULBS

What’s this plant? Q Are my crocus


leaves emerging
already?
GRANT RIVERS, ESSEX

A The leaves you spotted in


late summer are more likely
to be those of muscari (grape
hyacinths), which often emerge
in late summer and autumn.
Crocus speciosus is an
autumn-flowering crocus
but its leaves appear after
flowering. That’s also the case
with autumn-blooming Q Why did stored
Colchicum autumnale, whose calla lilies not
leaves follow in November.
flower again?
J D BERRIDGE, BY EMAIL

Q What’s this mystery bulb


in our garden?
RON & LINDA EYDMANN, BY EMAIL
A It’s often the case that
coloured calla lilies don’t
flower as well in their second
year. It can help if you divide
the roots in spring before

A Your bulb is hymenocallis (ismene or spider lily), a beautiful


bulb that’s hardy in mild areas, though is most frequently
grown in a pot so it can be given frost protection in winter. The
replanting. This way, you
won’t have too many shoots
competing for space and light.
elegant flowers are produced in summer and last several weeks. Crocus speciosus blooms Make sure you keep the
Keep the plant well watered and fed in summer and allow it to die in autumn on bare stems plants well fed and watered
down in autumn. Keep it almost dry over winter. when in growth.

Q How can we get rid of wild garlic


Weed it or feed it? plants in our borders?
FREDA GRIFFITHS, BY EMAIL

A Wild garlic can be invasive


and digging up the bulbs will be
a laborious job, especially if
they’ve been there for some time
and have shed seeds into the soil.
You’ll be able to weaken the
plants by hoeing them off in
spring. Or, spray them, when
they’re in full leaf, with a
weedkiller containing
glyphosate, such as Roundup.

Q Why did many A The most likely reason


for plants producing short
Q Can you identify this pretty of my border flowering stems is a check to
red-stemmed plant (inset)? plants flower growth, probably caused by
JULIE SURTEES, BY EMAIL on unusually lack of water. This may be a
result of the hot weather we
A The plant that’s appeared in your garden is a short stems? had earlier in summer.
sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and unless you have M KENDRICK, MANCHESTER
room for a very large tree, it’s best to pull it up now!

82 Garden Answers
PROBLEMS SOLVED

FLOWERING SHRUBS

Boost next year’s growth


ROSES
Q How did these
spots appear on
my rose petals?
JEAN COOPER, DUNFERMLINE

A Rose discoloration is most


often caused by wet weather.
Yellow and orange roses seem
more prone to the spots. Later
flowers shouldn’t be affected,
but as the season progresses into
autumn, the damp conditions
that encourage it are more
common.

Q Why is my Daphne odora


struggling to grow?
LESLEY WOOD, VIA FACEBOOK
Q What’s the tiny
green worm that’s
A The poor growth of your daphne is probably caused by using bark or wood mulch
around the plant. The danger of such a thick layer is that it can rob the soil surface
of nitrogen as the wood decomposes. This leads to poor plant growth. You can try to
stripping my roses?
JEANETTE HAYWOOD, BY EMAIL
alleviate the effect by digging in a source of extra nitrogen, such as hoof and horn or A It’s rose sawfly. These voracious
pelleted chicken manure. Apply it around the plant in spring every year. grubs can strip plants in days.
They then drop to the ground to
pupate and hatch as adults the
Q How can I perk up my following year. Try picking them
languishing lacecap? off by hand or spray with Bayer
SHIRLEY LONG, BRISTOL Sprayday Greenfly Killer (£5.99
A Most ericaceous composts are based for 30ml) or Westland Resolva
on recycled materials that decompose Bug Killer (£4.99 for 1L spray).
over time, often presenting problems
with drainage. Nor do they contain Q Where can I
sufficient nutrients to support long-term
growth, which is why (judging from the buy cornmeal to
White fungal swellings
photo you sent) your hydrangea looks reduce blackspot?
starved. Next spring, add a controlled- A KAYE, HELSTON
are caused by azalea gall
release fertiliser to feed the plant all
A Many ‘alternative remedies’
summer, or apply a liquid fertiliser every
are alleged to prevent or cure
Q How can I stop azalea week from April to September. Use an
ericaceous feed to keep the flowers blue.
blackspot on roses, but their
leaves turning white? effectiveness is unproven and
MARY SMITH, VIA FACEBOOK they may damage the plant.
Instead, use a tested fungicide,
A Azalea gall is a fungal disease that’s applied as directed.
usually worse in wet springs. It only Remember that
affects Japanese azaleas and usually fungicides
just a few leaves on the plant. At first prevent
the leaves look swollen, distorted and further
pale green, but as the fungal infection infection
progresses, the swellings turn white so use them
as more spores are produced. before the
There is no chemical control: carefully disease
pick off and dispose of the affected leaves takes hold.
before they turn white.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 83
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PROBLEMS SOLVED

SMALL TREES

Frosted blossom
Q Can I help my
healthy mimosa
to flower?
MRS S DRAPER, SHROPSHIRE

A Mimosa (Acacia dealbata) is


a fast-growing tree that’s best
suited to milder areas. It
flowers in early spring (usually Plant bare-roots
February and March) from up until March
buds produced the previous
summer. The buds remain on
the tree throughout autumn Q Why won’t my
and winter and if the winter is bareroot potted
cold or the plant’s in a cold spot,
the buds might be damaged and magnolias grow?
not open at all. FAMIE SORBIE, GLASGOW
If it’s still small, try moving it A Unless bareroot trees and
against a sunny wall to protect
the plant from a cold snap.
shrubs are planted between
November and March they’re
unlikely to grow well. In a
container, use John Innes No3.
The hot, dry weather in early
Q How can I encourage my
potted wedding cake tree
to produce more than one tier?
summer would have stressed T KWAN, BURY, LANCASHIRE
the plants if they didn’t have
adequate water. If the trees A Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ grows rather slowly at first and
simply haven’t put on much takes several years to establish before it finally summons the
growth, they’re probably still strength to produce a strong leader. The fact that yours is in a tub
settling in and should make might be a factor here, and it may need more regular feeding.
more growth next year. Try giving it a dressing of pelleted chicken manure in spring and
However if there were no leaves then feed weekly with a general fertiliser such as Growmore to give
the plants might well be dead. it a boost, which might result in an extra tier.

Q What’s growing
Plants for wildlife on the leaves of
our weeping elm?
BEVERLEY LOVEGROVE, MANEA

A This is a gall, caused by a gall


mite. It’s unlikely to cause the
plant much harm and is largely
cosmetic. If there are just a few
affected leaves it’s best to pick Honey fungus
them off since there aren’t any
effective sprays against mites. Q Why did our
two willow trees
die just a few
months apart?
ELKE EINSMANN, BY EMAIL

A Willows are prone to


anthracnose disease that can
Q Where can I buy the gigantic cause premature defoliation
Canadian solidago? in summer and, if combined
JUSTINE ATKINSON, VIA FACEBOOK with other stress might cause
the slow death of the trees.
A ‘Fireworks’ is a good, tall cultivar (H1.5m/5ft) that
Honey fungus is another
produces a spectacular display of finely branched stems
culprit, making bark peel off
with huge yellow heads smothered in bees and butterflies
and a mushroomy smell. This
in summer. It’s available from nurseries such as The Beth
autumn look for honey brown
Chatto Gardens (01206 822007; www.bethchatto.co.uk).
toadstools in the area.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 85
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PROBLEMS SOLVED

FRUIT & VEG Q Can I stop mice

Wet spring
eating sweetcorn
on my allotment?

curls leaves
B WHIBLEY, SURREY

A Rats, mice and squirrels can all


attack sweetcorn as it matures.

Q
You can’t use conventional traps

Why are peach


outdoors because of the danger
they pose to pets and garden birds.
leaves curling? But you could use ‘live mammal’
traps among the plants, or place
ANNE TAIT, BY EMAIL bait stations in the area that

A
prevent anything except mice and
Outdoor peach trees are prone to the
rats from eating the poison bait.
fungal disease peach leaf curl. The
spores attack wet leaves in spring and
cause the foliage to turn red and curled.
If the peach is against a wall, erect a
cover to keep the plant dry in spring.
On dry days, use a small paintbrush
to hand pollinate the flowers, which Peach leaf curl
will improve your chances of fruit.

Q How can I help Q Why are all plums


all my courgette marked on my tree?
flowers to fruit? LUCINDA FREW, OXFORD
PATRICIA WICEBLOOM, BY EMAIL
A These blobs of hardened resin
A Courgette plants produce aren’t caused by disease but are the
separate male and female result of environmental stress.
flowers: the males on longer This is most likely caused by
stems and the females with a irregular watering or
small courgette behind them. extreme hot
Your non-fruiting flowers are weather.
male ones. Leave them on the Sometimes they
plant because bees transfer can be caused
pollen from them to pollinate by physical
the female flowers so the damage such
courgettes can develop. In time as insect or
female flowers will appear. bird, but the
plums are
perfectly fit to eat.
Q Why does my Chaenomeles
superba ‘Pink Lady’ produce Q Which pest wiped
plenty of flowers but no fruit? out three rows of
MRS R PICKTHORNE, BIRMINGHAM beetroot overnight?
A Some Japanese quince cultivars are more reliable at MR HARPER, HEREFORD
Male and
producing fruits; those with double flowers tend to be the female A Beetroot are usually free from
least productive. An old cultivar with scarlet flowers such courgette pests and it’s unusual that a pest
as C. superba ‘Crimson and Gold’ or ‘Knap Hill Scarlet’ flowers would wipe out so many plants so
should be more reliable. quickly, so I think rabbits or deer
are the most likely culprits.

Q How do I espalier a ‘Gala’ apple? Q What’s this fruit


KEV BUNN, BY EMAIL on my large tree?
JUNE WILKINSON, NOTTINGHAM
A Set tree stakes about 2m (6½ft) high and apart, with
the tree in the middle. Put the lowest training wire about A The green fruits are walnuts,
60cm (2ft) high, the rest 40cm (16in) apart, above it. Cut which will drop in autumn and the
off the top of the main stem at 55cm (22in) above soil flesh will fall away from the nut
level. Next year three shoots should grow up and, at the as it turns brown. Walnut trees
end of the season, train one each side along the horizontal (Juglans regia) can take some years
wire and cut the middle one off just below the next wire. to start cropping, but yours should
l See page 79 for more details continue to crop from now on.

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 87
PROBLEMS SOLVED

GROWING ADVICE

Sowing in
containers
Q I don’t have a greenhouse or room
indoors, so are there any seeds I can
grow in pots outside?
IRIS BLACKABY, WEST YORKSHIRE

A Most hardy vegetables and


annuals can be sown and
grown on in outdoor pots, but
they really need protection
from rain. You’ll get better
results if you buy a mini
Q How can I grow quality
sweet peas like my mum’s?
LEONARD STEELES, BY EMAIL

greenhouse or coldframe. A Give your sweet peas a rich soil with good drainage. Make sure
If you don’t have space for they don’t dry out at any stage because growth will be checked and
that, cover the pots with they’ll be inclined to get mildew and flower poorly. If you have
large plastic bottles with the wet, heavy clay, incorporate lots of grit to prevent the young plants
base cut out. from developing root problems and rot near the base, resulting in
Because of the lack of heat, yellow, dying leaves. Finally, cut the flowers regularly to prevent
delay sowing until late March seed formation, which keeps them blooming.
or April. Late sowings usually
catch up, so you should still
get good results. Q What’s causing these
bumps on geum leaves?
JANET ANDALUN, BY EMAIL

A The bumps on your geum leaves


are probably caused by a gall mite.
Plant identification Cecidophyes nudus is a native gall mite
that frequently attacks native Geum
urbanum. They’re difficult to control so it’s Gall mite
best to simply remove affected leaves and damage
dispose of them. It’s unlikely to affect other
plants in the garden.

ASK THE EXPERTS

Send us your questions!


Need some gardening advice? Fill in this form and post it to
us, or email your query to gardenanswers@bauermedia.co.uk

Dear Garden Answers,

My gardening problem is

Q Can you identify this purple-


PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK; ALAMY; BAUER

flowered plant for me?


DEBRA ALICE SMITH, VIA FACEBOOK

A An attractive but rarely grown garden plant,


Proboscidea louisianica is a sparsely branched annual My name & address
with rather hairy, glandular leaves (which have an
unpleasant smell) and large, foxglove-like flowers in
clusters at the ends of the stems. It’s commonly called
the unicorn plant because of its large, curved seedpods. Send to: Garden Answers, Bauer Media, Media House,
Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA

88 Garden Answers
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Border Rescue
This cottage-style border is far too relaxed
for its formal setting. Editor Liz Potter
asks for some planting advice

LAYOUT

Fact file
SITE Small front garden with
circular lawn and mixed hedges
ASPECT West-facing
BORDER DIMENSIONS 3x3m
Q How can I give my border
more structure?
THIS BUSY BORDER looked fabulous about
two seasons ago. But now it looks an unholy
plants and dividing the bigger specimens to
plant elsewhere in the garden.
(10x10ft) mess (top right). Part of the problem is that it “Staking in early spring would give the
SOIL Improved clay (alkaline pH8) contains too many lax plants – my penstemons, remaining perennials better support. Also, it
PLANTS USED L-R Pittosporum grasses and gaura all love flopping on each might be an idea to swap the lax plants for
‘Silver Queen’, white Iris germanica, other and making an untidy tangle. species that are more upright and self-
sedum ‘Autumn Charm’, white Another problem is the fact I have too many supporting. I’d remove the anemanthele in
lupins, gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, plants in there – probably about 25% of them favour of more upright grasses such as
penstemon (hidden), Anemanthele need to go and live elsewhere. The soil might variegated Miscanthus sinensis ‘Dixieland’ or
lessoniana, aquilegia ‘Green look bare in spring but by June the lupins and steely blue Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’.
Apples’ (hidden), ribes ‘Elkington’s other perennials arrive and are anticipating Also, consider white-flowered plants with a
White’, Stipa tenuissima, more a leisurely summer of unbridled flopping. stronger upright habit such as Physostegia
lupins, another penstemon and “This border needs a combination of plant virginiana ‘Summer Snow’ and Veronica
anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ removal and replacement,” says our longifolia ‘Charlotte’ or ‘White Wands’.”
STYLE Disorganised cottage gardening expert Ian Hodgson. “First Liz
COLOUR SCHEME White & green needs to thin out the planting by trimming l Need help with a border that’s lost its
back unwanted growth, removing excess lustre? Write to us at the address on p103

90 Garden Answers
PROBLEMS SOLVED

Take a floppy border in hand...


Next
Remove the anemanthele 1
and swap with more NOW steps
upright grasses such as
miscanthus ‘Dixieland’.
Move the pittosporum 2 out
from behind the iris 3 so
you can see its silhouette.
Swap the cream-variegated
sedum 4 for a glaucous
green-leaved one (which 7
will better complement the
blue-grey iris foliage). 2
Locate the aquilegia 5 and 1
3
place it nearer the front so 5
it can enjoy more space and 6
light. Stake the gaura 6 and
penstemons, 7 or replace
with more upright 4
perennials.

Planting plan Pittosporum


Ribes
‘Elkington’s
White’
Physostegia
‘Summer snow’

Iris
germanica

TWO YEARS ago the


border was neat and
well behaved, but Penstemon Erigeron
Sedum ‘White Bedder’ Miscanthus Lupin
already the gaura and ‘Stardust’ sinensis ‘Gallery
grasses are showing a ‘Dixieland’ Aquilegia
White’
tendency to flop ‘Green Apples’

Choose upright plants

Lupin ‘Gallery White’ Miscanthus sinensis Veronica longifolia Panicum virgatum Physostegia virginiana
Densely packed flower ‘Dixieland’ Deciduous ‘Charlotte’ White- ‘Heavy Metal’ ‘Summer Snow’
spikes appear June to striped white and green flowering cultivar with Steely blue-grey Attractive, clump-
August. Cut back spent grass with ubright habit tubular white flowers deciduous grass with forming, white-flowered
stems to encourage and arching fronds. Best June–Aug. Full sun or pink flowers from Aug– perennial July–Aug, for
second flush of flowers. in sun or light shade. part shade in moist but Sept. Best in a sunny, sun or part shade in rich
Plant in sun or part shade. Good winter interest. well-drained soil. H90cm well-drained border. soil. H60cm (2ft)
H and S45cm (18in) H1.5m (5ft) S1.8m (5ft) (3ft) S30cm (12in) H1.5m (5ft) S75cm (30in) S40cm (16in)

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 91
Design Solutions
Bold planting can transport your plot to the tropics, says Dawn Isaac

Q How can I give my garden


a tropical feel?
WE MIGHT NOT HAVE the hot and plants are hardy enough to withstand
humid climate of a tropical rainforest, a cold winter. It’s also worth including
but it’s still possible to conjure up a evergreens so your carefully layered
jungle-inspired design in a British beds aren’t denuded in winter.
garden. Set the tone with bamboo or Colour is less important to the
rattan furniture and log paths: the overall look, but you can inject some
materials to hand in a tropical by using shade-tolerant begonias or
landscape. If you want longer-lasting astrantias. Or add splashes of
features, choose imitation or synthetic flowering plants in more
versions, which are better able to open areas. Grow them
survive our cold, wet weather. in pots to introduce
The most vital element of a tropical some truly exotic
garden is the planting; a lush jungly species that can then
look demands lots of large leaves. be overwintered
Thankfully many exotic-looking under cover.

BEFORE

2 4

Problem areas
1 Bare walls and fences give a hemmed-in look
2 Lack of plants mean there are no seasonal surprises
3 There’s nothing to hide the neighbouring houses
4 Although the garden seems spacious,
you can see it all at once
DESIGN: DAWN ISAAC; MAIN ILLUSTRATION: GILL LOCKHART

THE SKETCH

Create interest in the


heart of the garden
A small hut and swing-seat area,
separated from the surrounding
plants by a pond and bamboo
bridge, creates interest in the
heart of the garden. Tall plants Use hardwearing
at the perimeter help hide the materials
urban setting, while mixed Reconstituted stone
foliage shapes and sizes add stepping stones (made
impact. The log path and natural to look like cut logs)
materials convey the jungle look. set among gravel make
a hardwearing feature

92 Garden Answers
PROBLEMS SOLVED

Create foliage- Hide the


rich planting neighbours
Large-leaved foliage plants Birch trees create an
offer a lush tropical feel, with upper tree canopy
deciduous, tender plants around the garden
balanced among hardier Build a tropical perimeter, helping to
evergreens for winter interest hideaway mask neighbouring Plumb in a
A hut with a thatched properties and casting water feature
roof provides a jungle- light shade for a A large bamboo stem
themed dining area in the forest feel acts as a spout to
centre of the garden, also circulate water using a
acting as a focal point in pump. The trickling
the forest ‘clearing’ water helps evoke the
sounds of the jungle

Make the path Find room for a Add a Install a


disappear suspended seat tranquil pond bamboo bridge
This curving path offers Rattan-effect furniture This stylised garden pond is A wooden bridge with
a sense of mystery, creates an old-colonial feel covered with large-leaved bamboo balustrades
leading off among the and is hard wearing too. waterlilies, which are provides the perfect
jungle plants and A hanging chair conjures up perfect for the ‘jungle crossing point to the central
inviting you to explore a relaxed holiday mood lagoon’ look hut and seating area ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 93
Design Solutions
Choose a clump-forming
bamboo species and keep
Bamboo – dos and don’ts
An elegant bamboo can add the barrier slants out towards
it compact and contained
instant height and an exotic the top so that rhizomes are
flavour to a border, but don’t encouraged to grow upwards
plant without careful thought. where they can be cut off, rather
● Do go for a clump-former than down below the barrier.
Choose clump-forming species ● Do plant deeply The bamboo
(such as fargesia), which are less rootball should sit slightly lower
likely to spread than a running than its original depth and be
one (such as pseudosasa). covered with 2.5cm (1in) of soil.
● Don’t let them spread Plant ● Don’t let them dry out Water
them inside a physical barrier: during dry periods and give a
dig a trench or hole at least 60cm nitrogen-rich feed in spring.
(2ft) deep and line with paving ● Do prune in spring Cut out
slabs, corrugated iron sheets or thin, old or overcrowded stems
specialist root-barrier fabric. and remove lower side branches.
Overlap and bond the fabric and The plants can recycle nutrients
set all barriers at least 7.5cm from leaf litter so sweep spent
(3in) above soil level. Make sure leaves back into the grove.

Top 10 plants for a tropical look

Trachycarpus fortunei Polypodium vulgare Musa basjoo The Dicksonia antarctica A Fatsia japonica This
The Chusan palm has An evergreen fern hardiest banana plants tree-like fern with long, useful evergreen shrub
distinctive fan-shaped native to Britain, it with dramatic paddle- tough fronds, its roots with glossy palmate
leaves and a fibrous will happily colonise shaped leaves up to form the trunk. Water leaves and unusual
trunk. Full sun or part areas under trees 3m (10ft) long. Crown trunk and crown in round autumn flower
shade. Needs winter where other plants and foliage need summer and protect spikes may need some
protection. H20m may struggle. H30cm winter protection. crown in winter. H6m protection in cold
(66ft) S2.5m (8ft) (12in) S1m (3ft 4in) H5m (16ft) S4m (13ft) (20ft) S4m (13ft) areas. H and S4m (13ft)

Hosta ‘Sum and Acanthus mollis Hedychium Asplenium Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’


Substance’ Enormous Architectural bear’s gardnerianum With scolopendrium This Sword-shaped leaves
corrugated yellow- breeches has large dramatic foliage and a evergreen fern with give rise to arching red
green leaves are a glossy leaves and tall giant spike of scented wavy-edged fronds flowers in August and
feature of this hosta spikes of white blooms late-summer flowers, can grow in shady September that add a
with lilac flower spikes hooded by purple ginger lilies need some and even dry spots dash of hot colour. Can
in summer. H75cm bracts in summer. protection. H1.5m (5ft) (when established). take part shade. H1m
(30in) S1.2m (4ft) H1.5m (5ft) 90cm (3ft) S1m (3ft 3in) H and S60cm (2ft) (3ft 3in) S80cm (32in)

94 Garden Answers
PROBLEMS SOLVED

Get
Notebook Large flappy leaves and vivid flowers
will transport you to the tropics the
look
LUSH LEAVES
Maze Rattan Malibu
hanging chair £296
(sale price) Mode Living
0800 999 3830;
www.modeliving.co.uk

White ginkgo 5-tier bamboo


water feature (88cm) £89.99
Primrose 0118 903 5210;
www.primrose.co.uk

Royal thatched
Finding plants with an exotic look is all
garden gazebo
part of the fun of creating a jungle garden.
£4,799 Internet
Visit specialist nurseries, open gardens or
Gardener 0115
shop online, but take care to note the
828 3745;
hardiness of any species you buy.
www.internet
Some species from tropical climes won’t
gardener.co.uk
tolerate frost or struggle with waterlogged
soil, while others may be borderline hardy
and survive all but a prolonged cold spell. Bamboo
You can lift tender plants each autumn, pot torches (pack
lea of 10) £14.99
them up and overwinter them in a heated Passi flora caeru Partyrama
greenhouse or conservatory. Or try leaving
them in situ swaddled in a duvet of straw and 01908 261280;
fleece, which is lifted on warmer winter days. www.partyrama.
Recent mild winters have made it possible co.uk
to keep all but the most tender plants alive
outdoors, but it’s safer to invest in plants that
you know will tolerate frost (-5C/23F). Square rattan planter
Choose bomb-proof evergreens, such as £12 Garden Trading
Fatsia japonica and Aucuba japonica; hardy 01993 845559; www.
palms including Trachycarpus fortunei, garden trading.co.uk
Cordyline australis and Chamaerops humilis; Cordyl
striped grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis i ne australi
‘Cosmopolitan’ and bold-flowered climbers s
Personalised jungle
including hardy Passiflora caerulea.
outdoor cushion
£45 Oakdene
MATERIALS Designs at Not on
the High Street
0203 318 5115;
www.notonthe
highstreet.com
PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING
PHOTOS: ALAMY; SHUTTERSTOCK
Cut out and keep

Natural speckled bamboo Papillon 6x6ft Timberstone log


poles £5.10–£9.58 UK bamboo fence panel stepping stones £13.43
Bamboo Supplies Ltd with frame £64.99 per slab Stonemarket Faux rattan folding garden lounge

01825 890041; Primrose 0118 903 5210; 0345 302 0603; set in clay £195 The Farthing 0844
www.ukbamboo.com www.primrose.co.uk www.stonemarket.co.uk 567 2400; www.thefarthing.co.uk

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 95
GOOD CLEAN FUN
BUYERS’ The Spear & Jackson Power

GUIDE Tools PW1800, £119.99


with 1800W motor and 130
bar pressure (see over)

Brighten up the
PATIO
Give your patio a good clean this
autumn. Geoff Hodge gives a round-up
of the gear you’ll need

96 Garden Answers
GARDEN BUYS

A
HOSE

What to look for


sparkling clean patio can
brighten up the whole garden.
LENGTH
A longer hose makes
Spotless pavers and gleaming
the machine more
decking boards create a light and
flexible and you won’t
well-cared for appearance, transforming a HANDLES need to move it
shabby eyesore into a sunny seating area. Quality, sturdiness around as much
Conversely, moss and weeds between paving and length aren’t a huge
gaps, stains, algae, lichens and liverworts consideration because
will all detract from the overall look. And they don’t need to
poor maintenance can make all hard support much weight,
surfaces incredibly slippery – turning them but fold-down handles
into a hazard for young and old. take up less space
MOTOR
If your patio looks a mess there’s nothing The more
in store
for it – it’s time to get out the cleaning kit powerful the motor
ON-BOARD
ARD (measured in Watts),
to restore it to its former glory. But does it
STORAGE the more pressure it
need to be hard work? The simple answer is:
Facilities for
not at all! In fact it can be fun. can create, giving
storing cable, hose and
a more efficient
accessories means
Under pressure clean
fewer trips to and
As long as there’s a source of water and
from the garage
electrical power close by, using a pressure
or shed
washer will get any cleaning tasks finished in
no time, with zero fuss. Most household
models are powered by electricity, are ELECTRIC WHEELS
Good-sized,
relatively light and quiet, need little upkeep, CABLE
sturdy wheels will
and don’t produce any emissions. They start LENGTH
make the machine
and stop quickly and easily, and are simple to A longer cable means
easier to move around,
control and maintain. you can move the
especially on
Good quality pressure washers have machine more freely
uneven or rough
induction motors, whereas cheaper models around the
ground
may have a plastic pump and brush motor, garden
which are less robust over time.
l How powerful? If you only need a pressure
washer for cleaning bikes, cars and outdoor
furniture, you won’t need a top-of-the-range More expensive, mid-range models output gives quicker cleaning, but your
model. Unless you want adjustable water (1600–2000W motor and water pressure household water pressure determines the
pressure output and other advanced around 110–120 bars) are a much better actual output. If you don’t have an outdoor
features, a compact, entry- choice for patios – as well as a wide range of tap handy, most pressure washers will
level model with other cleaning tasks. work from an alternative water source,
low-wattage motor Larger models (with powerful 1800– such as a water butt, but check first.
(around 1200W) 2500W motors and water pressure outputs l What size should I go for? Size and
and water up to 150 bars) will tackle large areas of weight are key factors if you have to move
pressure output paving and very ingrained dirt. the machine around a lot and if you’re short
of 90–100 bars l How much water will I use? Water output on storage space. Also check the water hose
will suffice. is measured in litres per hour (L/h); a larger and electricity cord are long enough for
your needs, and consider how comfortable
the nozzles and trigger are to hold. This
will be a factor over long periods.
l Do I need a turbo lance? A rotary jet
lance that spins the water jet as it leaves the
nozzle is more effective at removing
stubborn dirt. Some lances also offer
variable-pressure. However, use these with
care as very high pressure, and oscillating,
rotating or ‘turbo’ spray lances could
damage polished or fine surfaces.
l What happens to all the muck? When
blasting dirt and debris from your patio,
there’s nothing worse than looking around
and realising all you’ve done is spread it
over the rest of the garden! A specialist
patio cleaning head to ‘contain’ the debris is
very handy. These have a plastic cover over
the nozzle that helps to stop dirty water
spraying everywhere. This makes patio
cleaning much quicker and easier. They’re
particularly useful for cleaning block
paving and sometimes are included in the
The Stihl RE 109 Pressure washer, £240 with 1700W motor and 110 bar pressure washer kit, or sold as a separate accessory. ➤

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 97
PRESSURE WASHERS

Draper Tools 1500W 230V Kärcher K2 Full Control Bosch Universal Vax PowerWash 2200w
Pressure Washer with Total £99.99 1400W motor, 20–110 Aquatak 135 £199.99 Complete £179.99
Stop Feature 83405 £84.96 bar pressure, 360L/hour. 1900W motor, 135 bar 2200W motor, 160 bar
1500W motor, 105 bar Premium Car & Home model pressure, 410L/hour pressure, 470L/hour, with
pressure, 300L/hour (£169.99) has accessories Patio & Car Cleaning Kit

Black & Decker Spear & Jackson Power Draper Tools 1900W 230V Kärcher K7 Premium
BXPW1800WSR £156 Tools High Pressure Pressure Washer with Total Full Control Plus Home
1800W motor, 135 bar Washer PW1800 £119.99 Stop Feature 83407 £129.96 £569.99 2800W motor,
pressure, 420L/hour 1800W motor, 130 bar 1900W motor, 135 bar 20–180 bar pressure,
pressure, 380L/hour pressure, 390L/hour 600L/hour

Hozelock Pico Power


The Handy 2 in 1 Pressure Pressure Washer £179.99
Nilfisk C-PG 130.2-8 X-tra Mac Allister Pressure Washer/Wet & Dry Vacuum 1700W motor, 140 bar
£199.99 1800W motor, Washer £127 1800W motor, THHPWVAC £109.99 1700W pressure, 438L/hour.
130 bar pressure, 130 bar pressure, motor, 150 bar pressure, The Home model (£149.99)
520L/hour 440L/hour 400L/hour includes Patio Cleaner

98 Garden Answers
CHEMICAL CLEANERS GARDEN BUYS

BRUSHES
Chemical patio or ‘surface’ cleaners are based on less- or non-toxic ingredients A good brush is a really useful piece
can be added to pressure washer water that break down into natural components. of kit. Look for one with rows of stiff
bottles to enhance the cleaning effect. Some chemical cleaners need to be (usually converging) wire bristles,
Traditionally stain and dirt removal applied with a scrubbing brush and 3-4.5cm (1¼-1¾in) long, that clear
products incorporate chlorine bleach, rinsed off afterwards – or try ‘apply and away and clean out debris such as
acids or solvents, but many new products forget’ products that are easier to use. algae and grime. Some also feature
built-in blades or hooks to remove
more stubborn weeds and moss lying
deep between the slabs or paving
Spear & Jackson
Block Paving Cleaner
blocks.
£9.99 152cm ash
handle, durable wire
bristles, integral
scraper blade

Burgon & Ball Miracle


Block Paving Brush
£9.99 158cm ash
Bayer Garden Path Brintons Patio Magic! ecofective Path, Patio handle, three rows
& Patio Cleaner 5L £18.49 & Decking Cleaner 2.5L of tough wire bristles
Concentrate 2.5L Benzalkonium chloride. £7.49 Acetic acid.
£6.49 Non-ionic Coverage: Coverage:
surfactants. Coverage: up to 34sq m/litre up to 24sq m/litre Wolf-Garten multi-change
up to 12sq m/litre Weeding Brush £12.99
+ handles from
£9.99–£21.99
Choice of handles
from 1.17–1.7m, stiff
steel wire bristles

Draper Tools Paving Brush


Set with Twin Heads and
Telescopic Handle 58683
£13 Telescopic handle up
to 1.4m, interchangeable
large six-row head
and triangular
Wet and Forget: Westland Horticulture VivaGreen MossOff head of steel
Mould, Algae, Lichen Hero Paving & Decking Multi Surface 5L £29 wire bristles
and Moss Removal Power Cleaner No active chemical,
& Killer 5L £34.99 Concentrate 2.5L £6.99 forms a suffocating
Non-caustic, no bleach. Benzalkonium chloride. film on the moss.
Coverage: Coverage: Coverage:
30–60sq m/litre up to 24sq m/litre up to 35sq m/litre

PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING

Using household bleach


Provided you’re using it just to clean dirt away, ordinary household Gardener’s
bleach is allowed by law under Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR) Mate Patio Brush
guidelines. However, if you use it as a ‘surface biocide’ (to prevent £5.99
build-up of moss, algae, lichen, liverworts and mould), you’re committing 140cm beech head,
an offence under the regulations, which could lead to prosecution. shaft and handle with
steel bristles

Suppliers PRESSURE WASHERS ● Black & Decker 01753 511234, www.blackanddecker.co.uk ● Bosch 03447 360109,
www.bosch-garden.com ● Draper Tools 02380 494333 for stockists, www.drapertools.com ● Hozelock 0121 313 1122, www.
hozelock.com ● Kärcher 01295 752000, www.karcher.com/uk ● Mac Allister from B&Q 03330 143098,
www.diy.com ● Nilfisk 01768 868995, www.consumer.nilfisk.co.uk ● Spear & Jackson Power Tools 01904 727505,
www.spearandjackson-power.com ● Stihl 01276 20202, www.stihl.co.uk ● The Handy from Handy Distribution
01793 333201, www.handyonline.co.uk ● Vax 03300 268455, www.vax.co.uk CHEMICAL CLEANERS ● Bayer Garden
www.bayergarden.co.uk ● Brintons Patio Magic! from Scotts Miracle-Gro 0845 190 1881, www.lovethegarden.com;
● Ecofective 01763 212100, www.ecofective.uk.com ● VivaGreen 0203 808 9124, www.vivagreengroup.com
● Westland Horticulture 01480 443789, www.gardenhealth.com ● Wet and Forget 03339 007007, www.wetandforget.co.uk
BRUSHES ● Burgon & Ball 0114 233 8262, www.burgonandball.com ● Draper Tools 02380 494333 for stockist details,
www.drapertools.com ● Gardener’s Mate from Gardman 01406 372227, www.gardman.co.uk ● Spear & Jackson 0114 281 4242,
www.spear-and-jackson.com ● Wolf-Garten 01869 363674, www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 99
Make light
work of fallen
LEAVES
Tidy away autumn leaves without
getting your hands dirty... Here’s our
pick of the grabbers

100 Garden Answers


GARDEN BUYS

DRAPER LEAF GRABBER £17.39 LEAF SCOOPS £6.49 WILKO GET GARDENING LEAF
Tools Today 01384 482789; Great Little Garden 0333 003 0516; GRABBER GREEN £3.50 Wilko 0800
www.toolstoday.co.uk www.greatlittlegarden.co.uk 032 9329; www.wilko.com

LEAF GRABBERS £4.99 PLASTIC LEAF GRABBER GARDENHOME LEAF SCOOPS £7.99
The Range 0345 026 7598; £15 Spear & Jackson 0114 281 4242; (sale price) Gardenhome on
www.therange.co.uk www.spear-and-jackson.com www.amazon.co.uk
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK. ALL PRICES CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING

TUDOR LONG-HANDLED LEAF GARDENHOME LEAF GRABBERS DRAPER HEAVY DUTY HAND LEAF
GRABBERS £34.93 Tudor Tools 02476 LADY BIRD SHAPE £8.99 COLLECTORS £7.55 World of Power
856856 www.tudorenvironmental.com Gardenhome on www.amazon.co.uk 01298 213145; www.worldofpower.co.uk

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 101


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WRITE TO US AT Garden Answers, Bauer Media, Media House, Lynch
Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA EMAIL gardenanswers@bauermedia.
co.uk TEL 01733 395076 WEBSITE www.gardenanswersmagazine.co.uk

Titchy sunflower
enjoys a leg up
Those who despair of ever
getting a decent broadband
signal can take hope from
my router (illustrated,
searching for the sun),
which picks up a
remarkably fast rate of
sunnybytes and turns in
all directions.
No monthly fee but an
upload of watering now
and then keeps that sun
signalling in order. Any
hanging basket will do.
Showers of flowers Next year, it’s a hollyhock!
I was very pleased to see Garden Colin Walsh,
Answers recommending Persicaria Great Shelford,
affinis ‘Superba’ in your September Cambridgeshire
issue. I’ve planted this amazing plant
beside some steps, where it showers
down beautifully to cover a rather dull CONGRATULATIONS Our star letter author Colin Walsh
4ft wall. In winter it still does its job in wins this complete set-up for feeding garden birds
tones of russet and brown. from the RSPB – comprising a classic seed feeder,
I t’s also growing at ground level at nut and nibble feeder and lots of lovely bird food.
the edge of my patio, but I think its ● The feeding station is part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature
elevated position here shows it off to a Home initiative. For more information on this and
perfection, and gives delight all year! other RSPB products, go to www.rspbshop.co.uk
Margaret Barton, All proceeds go towards helping birds and wildlife
Avening, Gloucestershire

Exotic superhero
This is one spider that everyone will surely Toxic foxgloves
love. Dahlia ‘Hollyhill Spiderwoman’ really My poor mum, who’s 96, cut some
has the wow factor with its exotic-looking foxgloves and put them in a vase
twisted red and white petals. indoors. She simply sniffed them to
Marlene Slee, by email see if they were scented and inhaled
the poisonous pollen. This resulted in
her suffering a range of side effects
including feeling weak and shivery,
exhausted and with a
racing pulse for
nearly a week.
Yes foxgloves
are beautiful,
but don’t Beware
Yucca surprise forget that sniffing
An unexpected reward at the end of this all plant foxgloves
dreary summer with all the endless rain parts are
was a massive spike of white bell-shaped poisonous.
flowers suddenly erupting from my yucca. A DR Melton,
very tropical sight in my Berkshire garden! Essex
Kathy McGreal Kilgour, Mortimer

102 Garden Answers


YOUR GARDEN LIFE

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IN THE GARDEN
GARDE
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60 FREE * WORTH
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*just pay £5.65 postage

T
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brighten up borders, rockeries
and patio containers. Bulb size
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Your collection comprises the
following plants:

● 15 x narcissus ‘Martinette’
● 15 x narcissus ‘Niveth’
● 10 x narcissus ‘Golden Dawn’
● 20 x narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’

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104 Garden Answers


GARDEN BUYS

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quoting GA228Z. Subscribers quote GA229Z for 10% off. Phone lines complete your payment details below.
open 9am-8pm weekdays, 9am-6pm weekends.

Code Product Price Subs Qty Total


price Title.................. Initial......... Surname ........................................

TCC45572 Tulip ‘Red Impression’ x 16 £9.99 £8.99


Address .................................................................................................
TCC45573P Tulip ‘Red Impression’ x 32 £14.99 £13.49
................................................................ Postcode..........................
TCC45574P Tulip ‘Red Impression’ x 64 £19.99 £17.99

TCJ45415 Iris ‘Metallic’ Mixture x 50 £12.99 £11.69 Daytime phone number ..............................................................

TCJ45416P Iris ‘Metallic’ Mixture x 100 £17.98 £16.18


Email address ....................................................................................
TCF10516P Fritillaria imperialis ‘Red’ x 3 £11.99 £10.79
I enclose a cheque for £ ......................... made payable
TCF10364P Fritillaria imperialis ‘Red’ x 6 £18.99 £17.09
to payable to Thompson & Morgan with your name
TCK46008B Crocus ‘Yellow Mammoth’ x 40 £9.99 £8.99
and address on the back.
TCK46009PB Crocus ‘Yellow Mammoth’ x 80 £14.99 £13.49
OR charge my Visa/Mastercard/Maestro
TCC62653 Narcissus ‘Sagana’ x 10 £9.99 £8.99
Card number...................................................................... .............
TCC62674P Narcissus ‘Sagana’ x 20 £14.98 £13.48

60 *Free Dwarf Narcissus £5.65 CV2........................... Expiry date........................................


TCF81271
(worth £27.96) (one per reader)
FREE FREE 1 postage

GA228Z–GA229Z Total £ Signature .............................................................................. ............

TERMS & CONDITIONS Your free* 60 dwarf narcissus bulbs will be ● Please note that your contract for supply of goods is with
despatched from October 2017. All other orders will be acknowledged with Thompson & Morgan, Poplar Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3BU
a despatch date in writing, by letter or email. Offer closes 14 November 2017 ● Terms & Conditions available upon request
*Please pay £5.65 postage ● All offers are subject to availability
● If in the event of unprecedented demand this offer is oversubscribed, ● Go online for priority ordering! Visit www.thompson-morgan.com/
we reserve the right to send suitable substitute cultivars GA228Z. Subscribers go to www.thompson-morgan.com/GA229Z

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 105


FOUR
DUO FRUIT
to pick
TR
TREES
These superb ‘duo’ fruit trees
are perfect for any garden size.
Select any two and get the
second tree free – save £19.99! PLUM ‘VICTORIA’ & ‘CZAR’

‘Victoria’ is the nation’s favourite


plum, with very heavy crops of
classic red-skinned, sweet-tasting

BUY 1 fruit on established trees. ‘Czar’


produces firmer, deep purple-

GET 1 skinned plums, with a good sweet


flavour. They’ll pollinate each other.

FREE ● 1x 1.2m (4ft) duo tree


£19.99 – buy 1 get 1 free.
Item code 300066
Only with offer
code RGA102

W
ith these specially Each tree is meticulously Choose any two from these
grafted ‘Duo’ fruit ‘double-grafted’ together onto four options – all supplied on
trees, you can grow dwarfing rootstock by highly 1.2m (4ft) bare root trees:
up to eight different cultivars skilled nurserymen – which ● Duo Plum
from just four trees. They’re means the trees will remain ‘Victoria’ & ‘Czar’
perfect for anyone who loves compact in your garden and ● Duo Apple
the idea of picking their own are even happy growing in large ‘Braeburn’ & ‘Bramley’
home-grown fresh fruit, but pots on your patio. Because ● Duo Pear
has limited space – because they’re already trained into a ‘Conference’ & ‘Concorde’
each tree produces two V-shape, they can be grown ● Duo Cherry
different fruits on it! against a wall too! ‘Stella’ & ‘Morello’

APPLE ‘BRAEBURN’ & ‘BRAMLEY’ PEAR ‘CONFERENCE’ & ‘CONCORDE’

‘Braeburn’ is the UK’s most ‘Conference’ is a prolific


popular eating apple with cropper of firm-fleshed
crisp, juicy white-fleshed fruits excellent for cooking
fruits offering the perfect and eating. It’s Britain’s
balance of sweet and most popular pear in
tangy flavour. gardens and orchards.
‘Bramley’, the world’s ‘Concorde’ bears large
MAIN PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

best-known and favourite crops of scrumptious


cooking apple, has stood white-fleshed fruits, each
the test of time for more packed with an incredibly
than 200 years! sweet juice – delicious!
● 1x 1.2m (4ft) duo tree ● 1x 1.2m (4ft) duo tree
£19.99 – buy 1 get 1 free. £19.99 – buy 1 get 1 free.
Item code 300063 Item code 300064

106 Garden Answers


GARDEN BUYS

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE


2 ADDITIONAL OFFERS
OFFER 1: TREE-PLANTING KIT FOR TWO TREES

This kit offers all you


need to plant your
fruit trees with ease.
It contains two
tanalised tree stakes,
two rubber ties and a
pack of mycorrhizal
granules for stronger
root growth.
● 1x tree planting kit
for two trees £6.99

OFFER 2: BLOOMING FAST ORGANIC


FISH, BLOOD & BONE FERTILISER

Try this natural,


slow-release,
multipurpose feed.
CHERRY ‘STELLA’ & ‘MORELLO’ It’s perfect for use all
around the garden,
‘Stella’ is a heavy, reliable and is the cooking cherry particularly
cropper bearing pounds and cultivar most often used for when
pounds of incredibly sweet making delicious pies or jams. planting
cherries, perfect for eating ● 1x 1.2m (4ft) duo tree trees!
freshly picked from the tree! £19.99 – buy 1 get 1 free. ● 1.5kg tub
‘Morello’ has a fine flavour Item code 300065 £9.99

ORDER COUPON
● ORDER ONLINE www.yougarden.com/RGA102 ● ORDER BY PHONE 0844 6 569 569 (calls cost 5p/min plus your network’s
access charge) ● ORDER BY POST Offer RGA102, YouGarden, PO Box 637, Wetherby Road, York YO26 0DQ

Code Description Qty Price Cost Title.................. Initial................. Surname ..............................................................

Address ................................................................................................................................
Duo plum ‘Victoria’ & ’Czar’
300066 £19.99
1 x 1.2m (4ft) bareroot tree ...................................................................................................................................................
Duo apple ‘Braeburn’ & ’Bramley’ Postcode.......................... Daytime phone number.........................................
300063 £19.99
1 x 1.2m (4ft) bareroot tree
Email address ...................................................................................................................
Duo pear ‘Conference’ & ’Concorde’
300064 £19.99
1 x 1.2m (4ft) bareroot tree I enclose a cheque for £ .................... made payable to You Garden
Duo cherry ‘Stella’ & ’Morello’
300065 £19.99 with my name and address on the back.
1 x 1.2m (4ft) bare-root tree
OR charge my Visa/Mastercard/Maestro
150051 Tree-planting kit for two trees £6.99
Card number......................................................................................................
Blooming Fast Organic
100046 £9.99 3 digit security code (on back of card).....................................................
Fish Blood & Bone Fertiliser
Start date.........................................Expiry date............................................
Postage 1 £6.99
Maestro issue no..............................................................................................
Select any two trees and get the second FREE. There’s
Total Signature..............................................................................................................
no limit to how many you buy – save at least £19.99!

HOW TO ORDER ● Call 0844 6 569 569 quoting RGA102. Calls charged at 5p a minute from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary.
● Order online at www.yougarden.com/RGA102 ● Order by post using the coupon above and send to Offer RGA102, YouGarden, PO Box 637, Wetherby Road,
York YO26 0DQ ● Orders dispatched from 31 October ● Your contract for supply of goods is with YouGarden Ltd, Eventus House, Sunderland Road, Market Deeping
PE6 8FD ● Offer subject to availability and in the event that it is oversubscribed, You Garden reserves the right to send suitable substitutes ● UK delivery only.
Delivery surcharges may apply for outlying areas ● Full terms and product details at www.yougarden.com ● Offer closes 30 November 2017

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 107


DOUBLE UP for 1p

The best winter clematis


you’ll ever grow Delightfully fragrant
Lush, all year round foliage
Flowers December to February
Customer favourite
DOUBLE
Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’
UP FOR 1 Plant £14.99 - 2 Plants £29.98
1p
NOW
ONLY
HURRY OFFER MUST END OCTOBER 25th
£15
Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’
This superb, sought after evergreen with dense
rich green foliage and waxy, snow white blooms
bears its delicately fragrant flowers in the depths of
winter. The foliage, which keeps its vibrant leaves
throughout the seasons, is so lush, that you’ll think
it’s summertime all year round! The thick luscious
nodding bells emerge as soft pale green buds,
turning white as they mature. Plant this energetic
Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ against a warm house wall
so that you can appreciate its winter flowers and
fragrance from your window. This popular variety
will appreciate a sheltered site.
Height: 4m (13ft). Spread: 1.2m (4’). Pruning Group: 1
Dispatched as 7cm potted plants
in October/November
Tower pot Supportive frame,
specially designed to train plants
into pillars of colour on your patio.
Each pack contains; 1 black lattice
design pot.
(39cm/15in diameter, 30cm/12in high),
1 pot saucer and a 2 part frame.
Total height of pot & frame:
1.3m (4’). From £19.99
All made from strong, durable plastic

www.thompson-morgan.com/TSOP1799
When ordering online please use order code TSOP1799 to access our special offers
9am-8pm Mon - Fri YOUR SATISFACTION GUARANTEED
Tel: 0844 573 7414 9am - 6pm Sat- Sun
Maximum call charge for BT customers is 7p per minute. Calls from other networks may vary.
or your money back
We want you to be 100% satisfied with any product you buy from us.
Please send to: Thompson & Morgan, Dept TSOP1799, Poplar Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP8 3BU. If you’re not 100% happy then neither are we, so let us know and we’ll
replace your product or give you your money back.†
I enclose a cheque/postal order made payable to ‘Thompson & Morgan’ for £
ORDER CODE
Product Code Item Description Price Qty Total
Name TSOP1799
TJ10048A Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’, 1 x 7cm pot £14.99
Address
TJ10049A Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’, 2 x 7cm pot Worth £29.98 £15.00
Postcode
TJ47569PA Tower Pot™ Pack (with saucer, pot and frame) £19.99
Telephone

Email TJ47570PA 2 x Tower Pot™ Packs (with 2 saucers, 2 pots and frame) Worth £39.98 £29.99

By providing us with your email address, you'll be able to: P&P £4.95
Please debit my: Visa Mastercard Maestro
✓Access your order information online ✓Receive delivery date updates Grand
✓Receive despatch notifications ✓ View order tracking 24/7 Total
Occasionally we make our mailing list available to other reputable organisations. If you prefer not to be included in mailings from other carefully selected companies please tick .
CSV Please turn your card over and write the last 3 numbers from the signature strip.
By providing your email address we will be able to contact you quickly in the event of a query with your order. You will also receive our regular email newsletter with all our latest special offers. If you do
not want to receive our email offers please tick . We DO NOT pass email addresses or telephone numbers to any third parties. Offer subject to availability. We reserve the right to substitute varieties
if necessary *Please note that savings are based on the equivalent of multiples of the cheapest pack size. © 2017 Thompson & Morgan. † For full T & C’s, please visit www.thompson-morgan.com. Cardholder’s name Expiry Date /
Regretfully we are unable to ship live plants to the following postcode areas: GY, HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3.
YOUR GARDEN LIFE

PUZZLES & PRIZES


Test your gardening knowledge with our brain teasers this month!

CLUES ACROSS
1 Green-skinned citrus fruit more
tender in gardens than lemon (4)
3 Raphanus sativus, pungent-tasting,
red-skinned salad root vegetable (6)
7 Cactus family genus that includes
the edible prickly pear (7)
8 Night-scented - - - - -, fragrant
member of the matthiola genus (5)
9 Euphorbia martini ‘- - - - - Rainbow’,
spurge sharing its name with a
‘royal’ Berkshire racecourse (5)
11 Genus of around 30 species
to which mallows belong (5)
13 Liriodendron tulipifera commonly
known as - - - - - tree (5)
15 Conifer whose blue-black fruits
are used to flavour gin (7)
16 Purple or white-flowered Hesperis
matronalis or sweet - - - - - - (6)
17 Athyrium filix-femina or - - - - fern
with divided, pale green fronds (4)

CLUES DOWN
1 Arum maculatum, red-berried
perennial or - - - - - and ladies (5)
3 Name sometimes given to yarrow
or Achillea millefolium (7)
4 Genus of ground-covering
blue-flowered bugles (5)
5 Bleeding - - - - -, dicentra with
arching stems of drooping blooms (5)
6 ‘Bishop of - - - -’, dahlia grown for

Prize crossword
Solve the clues and fill in the grid, then send it to us – you could win this
its dark foliage and golden flowers
(4)
10 Feathery, pink-flowered annual
coxcomb genus of the amaranth
Botanicum poster book by artist Katie Scott. Entry form is overleaf family (7)
11 Astrantia - - - - -, larger of these
Seven lucky readers who enter our decorative pink or white beauties (5)
prize crossword will win this fabulous 12 Fruit belonging to malus genus (5)
Botanicum Poster Book, worth £12.99. 13 Lilium martagon or - - - -’s cap lily
Featuring plantlife from around the world, WORTH with curled-up hat-like petals (4)
Botanicum is a stunning celebration of all £12.99 14 - - - - - black, world’s first postage
things botanical, illustrated by talented EACH stamp and Nemophila menziesii
London-based artist Katie Scott and cultivar (5)
published by Big Picture Press.
SEPTEMBER CROSSWORD SOLUTION
With 28 pull-out Across: 1 Ants, 7 Yarrow, 8 Olea, 9 Rosemary,
posters, the big, bold 10 Nancy, 12 Neeps, 15 Scabious, 18 Puck, 19 Bidens,
and beautifully 20 Rose. Down: 2 Nolana, 3 Star, 4 Gypsy, 5 Crambe,
detailed images are 6 Four, 11 Cobaea, 13 Pisces, 14 Gorse, 16 Chit, 17 Spur.
Find November answers in our January issue
perfect for framing up
and decorating interior CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!
walls. The book will September crossword: Mrs S Allen, Bonita Carter,
also make the ideal Claire Chantler and Moira Montgomery each win
a set of Heathcote & Ivory gardening goodies.
gift for Christmas.
September wordsearch: Kathy Tully
l For more on Katie’s wins a £50 Hayloft voucher
work visit www.
katie-scott.com/shop

Subscribe at www.greatmagazines.co.uk 109


YOUR GARDEN LIFE

Wordsearch G
G
R
E
S
Y
U
M
M
U
Y
N
N O
R U
U
B
E
I
F
V
A
U
G
N
E
R
A
L
Enter our wordsearch to win a £50
Hayloft voucher. The words are all A T M A I M M I K S Q A C A A
plants with autumn berries and U S P H A W T H O R N T N H C
may appear in any direction. You
need to find them all for a chance L A H M U R D N E D O R E L C
to win. Use the coupon below.
T E O M N F N B I S O A H S O
WORDS TO FIND:
H N R W U C E N T H H C C O R
ARCTOSTAPHYLOS HOLLY
ARONIA IVY
BERBERIS MAHONIA
E O I A E R A A T O D U A R N
BLACKTHORN NANDINA
BUCKTHORN PYRACANTHA R T C V B Y P K L E T A I B U
CALLICARPA ROSA GLAUCA
CLERODENDRUM SKIMMIA I O A E Y H C L S U L L N U S
CORNUS MAS SORBUS
COTONEASTER SYMPHORICARPOS A C R T Y A Y A R A M G O S M
EUONYMUS VIBURNUM
GAULTHERIA YEW N I P L L C A L L I C A R P A
HAWTHORN
S A O B A I N O H A M S A B S
HOW TO ENTER
1. Please complete the crossword
I S S U M B U C K T H O R N O
and/or wordsearch grid(s)
2. Fill in this entry coupon A H T N A C A R Y P E R L B J
3. Send the whole page to: November
Puzzles, Garden Answers, Media House,
Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6EA. WIN A £50 VOUCHER FROM HAYLOFT PLANTS
Closing date is Thursday 9 November.
Hayloft is a friendly
mail order
I have entered (please tick):
company offering VOUCHER
Crossword PRIZE
gorgeous
Wordsearch
perennials, WORTH
annuals, shrubs £50
Name .............................................................. and trees. Sit back
and relax while you
Address .......................................................... browse through
its colourful
.......................................................................... catalogues, picking
out favourite plants
.......................................................................... and discovering
new ones.
Postcode....................................................... Alternatively, Delosperma
search online at ‘Jewel of Desert’
Phone number.............................................. www.hayloft.co.uk
where you can
Email .............................................................. choose from an even more extensive range
of stunning blooms, perfect for a range of
Terms & conditions: Competitions are open to garden types and styles.
residents of the UK only, aged 18 years or over, Hand-packed and delivered fresh from
except employees of Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Hayloft’s nursery in Worcestershire, you’re
or anyone else professionally associated with the
guaranteed top quality service with a
competitions. The decision of the judges is final
and no correspondence will be entered into. personal touch. You’ll get to know the Lobelia Belamcanda
The winners will be selected at random from the customer care team by name – they’re ‘Fan Salmon’ ‘Freckle Face’
eligible entrants and notified within 30 days of always happy to help with advice, queries
the closing date. All prizes are non-transferable and orders while upholding a no-quibble l Winning vouchers are valid for one year,
and there are no cash alternatives. The winners’ guarantee. Whether you’re a novice or an and can only be redeemed against an order
names can be obtained by writing to the editorial
expert, you’re certain to find something from the Hayloft Plants catalogue or online.
office. The Promoter is Bauer Consumer Media
Ltd. The registered office of Bauer Consumer rare, unusual and exciting. Vouchers can be used in payment
Media Ltd is: 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Call the Hayloft team on 01386 562999 or or part-payment of goods, and cannot
Peterborough PE1 2RF. Registered No. 1176085. email customercare@hayloftplants.co.uk be exchanged for cash.

110 Garden Answers


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112
Hedging, Trees & Shrubs Miscellanous

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PLANTS GROWN ON OUR OWN 80 ACRE NURSERY. FURTHER DISCOUNTS FOR LARGER ORDERS.
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AMELANCHIER LAMARKII 60/80cm transplanted £19.00 £82.20 LAUREL, PORTUGAL 100/120cm rootballed* £284.30 £1355.40
BEECH, GREEN 40/60cm bare root £7.80 £37.20 LAUREL, PORTUGAL 175/200cm in 25 litre pots* £659.90 £3149.40
BEECH, GREEN 60/80cm bare root £10.70 £50.40 LAVENDER, HIDCOTE 5/10cm in 11cm pots £33.50 £155.40
BEECH, GREEN 80/100cm bare root £17.30 £81.60 LAVENDER, HIDCOTE 8/12cm in 1.6 litre pots £45.50 £215.40
BEECH, GREEN 125/150cm feath. whips £39.50 £183.60 LAVENDER, MUNSTEAD 8/12cm in 1.6 litre pots £45.50 £215.40
BEECH, GREEN 150/175cm feath. whips £69.40 £337.20 LEYLANDII, GOLD/ GREEN 60/80cm in 1 litre pots £45.50 £215.40
BEECH, PURPLE 40/60cm bare root £17.30 £81.60 LEYLANDII, GOLD/ GREEN 80/100cm in 2 litre pots £67.10 £317.40
BEECH, PURPLE 60/80cm bare root £27.50 £127.20 LEYLANDII, GREEN 125/150cm 5 litre pots* £131.90 £629.40
BEECH, PURPLE 80/100cm feath. whips £43.50 £208.80 LEYLANDII, GREEN 150/175cm in 5 litre pots* £159.50 £755.40
BEECH, PURPLE 125/150cm feath. whips £74.90 £358.80 LEYLANDII, GREEN 175/200cm in 10 litre pots* £331.10 £1577.40
BERBERIS DARWINII 30/40cm in 1.6 litre pots £67.10 £317.40 MIXED NATIVE HEDGING 40/60cm bare root - £27.60
BERBERIS,GREEN/ PURPLE 40/60cm bare root £17.30 £75.00 MIXED NATIVE HEDGING 60/80cm bare root - £38.40
BLACKTHORN 60/80cm bare root £8.20 £37.20 MIXED NATIVE HEDGING SPECIAL MIX 60/90cm b.r. - £54.60
BOX, COMMON 15/20cm transplanted £17.60 £82.80 MIXED NATIVE HEDGING SPECIAL MIX 90/120cm b.r. - £68.40
BOX, COMMON 20/25cm transplanted £19.80 £93.60 PHOTINIA RED ROBIN 60/80cm in 3 litre pots £92.30 £443.40
BOX, COMMON 30/40cm transplanted £31.80 £153.60 PHOTINIA RED ROBIN 100/120cm in 5 litre pots* £184.70 £881.40
BOX, COMMON 40/50cm transplanted £39.50 £187.20 PRIVET, GREEN 40/60cm bare root £12.50 £54.60
BOX, DWARF 10/12cm in 9cm pots £27.50 £131.40 PRIVET, GREEN 60/90cm bare root £15.80 £68.40
BOX, FAULKNER 30/40cm bare root £31.80 £153.60 PRIVET, GREEN 90/120cm bare root £23.80 £110.40
COTONEASTER LACTEUS 60/80cm in 1.6 litre pots £57.50 £275.40 PRIVET, GREEN 150/175cm in 10 litre pot* £263.90 £1259.40
DOGWOOD RED STEMMED 60/100cm trans £14.20 £61.20 PRIVET, GREEN 175/200cm rootballed* £436.70 £2081.40
ESCALLONIA, APPLE BLOSSOM 40/60cm potted £57.50 £275.40 PRIVET, GOLDEN 60/90cm bare root £44.20 £192.60
ESCALLONIA RED 60/80cm in 1.6 litre pots £67.10 £317.40 PYRACANTHA IN VARIETY 60/90cm in 1.6 litre pots £69.50 £335.40
GRISELINIA LITTORALIS 40/60cm 1 litre pots £52.70 £251.40 QUICKTHORN (HAWTHORN) 40/60cm bare root £6.30 £27.00
GRISELINIA LITTORALIS 60/80cm 2 litre pots £83.90 £395.40 QUICKTHORN (HAWTHORN) 60/80cm bare root £7.80 £33.60
HOLLY, GREEN 40/60cm in 9cm pots £39.50 £179.40 QUICKTHORN (HAWTHORN) 60/90cm bare root £9.20 £40.80
HOLLY, GREEN 80/100cm in 2 litre pots £92.30 £443.40 QUICKTHORN (HAWTHORN) 90/120cm bare root £11.90 £52.80
HORNBEAM 40/60cm bare root £7.80 £35.40 QUICKTHORN (HAWTHORN) 125/150cm bare root £21.90 £94.80
HORNBEAM 60/80cm bare root £10.20 £47.40 ROSE RUGOSA RED OR WHITE 60/90cm transplanted £13.00 £57.60
HORNBEAM 100/125cm bare root £25.50 £116.40 THUJA PLICATA ATROVIRENS 60/80cm in 2 litre pots £52.70 £251.40
HORNBEAM 125/150cm feath. whips £39.00 £178.80 THUJA PLICATA ATROVIRENS 120/150cm 10 litre pots* £225.50 £1073.40
HORNBEAM 150/175cm feath. whips £67.80 £297.60 THUJA PLICATA ATROVIRENS 175/200cm rootballed* £383.90 £1829.40
LAUREL, COMMON 40/60cm transplanted £26.20 £124.80 YEW, ENGLISH 30/40cm transplanted £28.60 £135.60
LAUREL, COMMON 60/80cm transplanted £35.90 £172.80 YEW, ENGLISH 40/60cm transplanted £33.00 £158.40
LAUREL, COMMON 120/150cm rootballed* £284.30 £1355.40 YEW, ENGLISH 60/80cm transplanted £54.80 £250.80
LAUREL, COMMON 150/175cm rootballed* £416.30 £1979.40 YEW, ENGLISH 100/125cm rootballed* £304.70 £1451.40
LAUREL, PORTUGAL 60/80cm in 2 litre pots £79.10 £377.40 YEW, ENGLISH 150/175cm rootballed* £737.90 £3527.40

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113
gaRdEn vIEw

“Houseplants are
back in vogue”
Dust off the swiss cheese plant! Indoor
plants are trendy again, says helen Billiald

F
or the past three decades about gardening: a mix of moss and That spider plant has disappeared too – a
houseplants have languished on compost, capable of healing your soul. victim of student negligence, but not before
dining room tables and kitchen I wish I could tell him what a powerful it reached Olympic heights. It was allowed
windowsills, gathering dust and touchpaper his generosity turned out to be, to grow a waterfall of tresses from a high
biding their time. But no longer. Today you but his tiny nursery has long since gone. windowsill in the downstairs loo, almost
can’t browse an interiors magazine or enter blocking out the light and turning the room
a trendy restaurant without noticing “Someone trapped a delicate watery green, until someone
there’s a huge amount of potted greenery Pilea trapped its plantlets in the toilet seat and
around. In the curious manner of all trends, the spider plant in the toilet peperomoides
sent the whole lot tumbling into the pan.
it feels as though everyone has had the seat and sent the whole lot My excitement with the houseplant
same bright idea all at the same time. revival comes down to the breadth of plants
Perhaps this renaissance is due to our tumbling into the pan” on offer. You’ll still encounter the old
lack of outdoor garden space, or a worry favourites such as aspidistra, mother-in-
over air pollution, or perhaps it’s all part law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata),
of the retro style revival? Either way, pop Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) or Swiss
down to your local bookshop and you’ll cheese plants (Monstera deliciosa), but you
find the trickle of new houseplant may also find the oh-so-trendy fiddle-leaf
books has turned into a publishing fig (Ficus lyrata) with its enormous,
tsunami. No longer need we turn to a heavily veined glossy leaves.
dog-eared, brown-tinted tome Watch out too for the succulent-
complete with images of lava lamps stemmed mistletoe cactus
and people in flares to seek (Rhipsalis baccifera), an
out watering advice. epiphyte with tresses of
Equally telling has strokeable green
been the ‘hair’. Or there’s the
horticultural simple little
industry’s round-leaved
response. Chinese money
My local plant (Pilea
garden peperomioides),
centre has like a bowlful of
morphed spinning
from offering a single table plates.
of orchids and a few poinsettias at Should you
Christmas, to a tiered display topped be visiting your local garden centre to see
by a mini rainforest with hanging what all this fuss is about, may I ask a
baskets of exciting mouse-tailed favour? Would you also pick up a plant
cacti and fuzzy-rhizomed hare’s foot for a child you know? Find a little
ferns. (Hats off to whoever styled it; bombproof ‘potted pet’ to keep them
it’s gorgeous!) company in their bedroom for a while –
Even if you’re not a houseplant who knows what gardening spark it might
Photos: shutterstock

aficionado, most of us have a certain CHIC & CHEERFUL: happen to ignite?


fondness for these plants, thanks to a swiss cheese plants are
childhood ‘pet cacti’, or African violet. enjoying a renaissance l Helen Billiald is a garden writer with a
For me it was a spider plant, thrust into Phd in Ecology and an MSc in Pest
my hands by a local nurseryman whose Management. She’s currently polishing
premises smelt of everything that’s good her ficus leaves

114 Garden Answers


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