Gardens to visit – The Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex

In times of drought it’s pretty much inevitable that the gardening press turns its spotlight on the Beth Chatto Gardens, as was the case this summer. This garden was created back in the 1960s and its owners, Beth and Andrew Chatto focused entirely on using plants which they knew could thrive in the different conditions […]

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5 essential … plants for a flowering hedge

We tend to think of hedges as plain green blocks, made up of plants such as Yew, Beech and Laurel, marking the boundaries of our beds and gardens and providing the backdrop to more interesting planting. It doesn’t have to be this way: flowering hedges can be decorative elements in their own right.  As the […]

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5 essential … plants for winter seedheads

Even in death plants with interesting seed heads that stand well over autumn and winter manage to look strikingly beautiful especially on those rare but magical early mornings when they are coated in hoare frost and sparkle in the sun.  Not only do they look good, but their seeds provide a valuable source of food […]

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5 essential … small grasses

This month’s focus is on small grasses, a group of plants that between them provide a long season of interest, striking focal points, a wonderful foil to other plants and contrast and movement in almost any aspect and planting scheme.  At a time of year when gardens can start to lose their oomph, grasses are […]

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5 essential … plants for a tropical look

Luckily for UK gardeners who fancy going for a tropical look, steamy tropical weather is not required to achieve it.  Dramatic and contrasting foliage is the key to creating an exotic look with a long season of interest and there are both sun and shade loving plants that fit the bill.  Here are a few […]

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5 essential … plants to brighten a shady corner

Many people panic when faced with shady areas to plant and seem to think ‘nothing will grow in shade’.  SO not true!  It’s a fact that flowering interest is limited by shade (mainly to spring time), but by focusing on contrasting foliage colour and textures it’s possible to create a lovely scheme for shady areas.  […]

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5 essential … plants to grow under trees

One of the trickiest places to grow plants is under trees and shrubs where moisture and light are at a premium.  Here’s a small selection of plants which are perfectly suited to this difficult environment. They say there’s a hardy Geranium for every site and Geranium maccrorhizum thrive in full shade and dry soil.  Add […]

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Fabulous plants for November

All is not lost!  Although there’s no denying there isn’t as much colour and interest to enjoy in the garden at this time of year, there’s still a number of valuable plants worth considering planting.  Here’s a small selection: Fagus sylvatica Beech (Fagus sylvatica) makes a great hedge for the garden, offering interest more or […]

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Fabulous plants for October

As the days grow shorter and things start to wind down in the garden world, there’s still a lot to enjoy before Autumn truly kicks in.  Here are some of my top planting recommendations for October. Verbena bonariensis If I had a pound for everyone who has told me they love Verbena bonariensis I’d be […]

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