Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

Features

More than just hanging around!

Tue, 18/04/2017 - 15:37 Post author: Aidan Gill

They are not every gardener’s favourite, but the rich choice of plants when planting can make hanging baskets look spectacularly colourful and stylish rather than just ordinary.

It sounds obvious but when it comes to making a spectacular hanging basket first choose your plants…

It could well be that one of the reasons hanging baskets divide opinion amongst gardeners is that so many of the finished versions are just not very good on the eye.

It’s time to make a start...

Fri, 10/03/2017 - 19:14 Post author: Aidan Gill

The bulbs are already up among the wreckage of the winter, spearing the ground with signs of the next season. This is the clue that the beds need clearing. The remains of last summer's perennials and the leaves that fell among them were left deliberately, and the recycled foliage and stems have mostly should have been pulled into the soil by the earthworms, and will now be improving the humus content. 
Where new life is coming up, it is time to make a start.

Christmas gardening books to enjoy - Compiled by Vivienne Lewis

Wed, 14/12/2016 - 11:27 Post author: Aidan Gill

There have been some lovely books published this year to mark the tercentenary of ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth and Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago, delightful books in a wide selection we’ve chosen to put on a Christmas list or to just treat yourself to a good winter’s read.

Boxed in with problems

Wed, 14/12/2016 - 11:10 Post author: Aidan Gill

A recent survey showed that of all the enquiries the RHS Gardening Advice receives every year, box is always in the top few – evidence of how popular a plant it is – and the worry it causes.

Are gardeners starting to admit they’ve had enough of box?

Box (Buxus) is still commonly planted in gardens as a clipped, formal plant or hedge, but it is now proving more difficult to grow well due to disease and pests. 

There is a real trend now to find alternatives as a variety of problems affect what had become a traditional part of many formal and informal gardens.

The secret life of a wall

Wed, 14/12/2016 - 11:04 Post author: Aidan Gill

Elizabeth McCorquodale delves into the ecosystems contained in the living, breathing and feeding wonders of dry stone walls.

Dry stone walls are a conservationist's dream. They are wildlife apartment blocks, larders and hideaways and they are packed full of a myriad of interesting and beneficial creatures tucked just out of sight but right under our noses.

‘Who said there is nothing to do in winter!’

Wed, 30/11/2016 - 16:00 Post author: gemmastringer

Gill Heavens rejects the idea that winter is the time when gardening jobs stop and urges us all to enjoy the invigorating air with some important tasks

If I had a pound for every time someone asked “What do you all winter?” I would be a very rich gardener.  However, I can understand that to the uninitiated this might appear the case.  If you are one of these misguided folk, allow me to enlighten you.

Atmospheric winter walks on Cornwall’s coastline

Wed, 30/11/2016 - 15:57 Post author: gemmastringer

We may want to look at Cornwall through the TV drama 'Poldark' on a winter’s evening, but if you get out there and discover the coastal paths it’s much more fun

Many of us have to be coaxed out of our semi-hibernation through the winter months. But getting out for a brisk walk, especially around our coastline, will really blow the cobwebs away and make you feel so much better.

TV audiences have been glued to the drama of Poldark – and not only the characters’ stories. The main star is Cornwall and its coastline.

Big trees – friends or threat?

Fri, 15/07/2016 - 15:08 Post author: Aidan Gill

Mark Hinsley defends the importance of trees not only to our landscape but critically  providing shelter for homes, crops and prevention from flood damage.

When you were young did you have a big older friend or sibling? You were a little in awe of him/her, even a bit afraid, but this person meant that the bullies would leave you alone.  

Consequently, you readily accepted the slightly risky element of the friendship in return for the much wider protection from harm from which you benefited. 

Big trees in towns are a similar proposition. 

Please take care in the garden

Fri, 15/07/2016 - 15:05 Post author: Aidan Gill

Grenville Sheringham says gardening injuries - from falling off ladders to accidents with power tools makes it vital to keep concentrating when gardening.

One of the great pleasures of gardening is being able to relax and unwind, enjoying the fresh air and exercise.  But it is easy to drop one’s guard and have a silly accident, as I recently had the occasion to remind myself.

Summer planting

Fri, 15/07/2016 - 15:01 Post author: Aidan Gill

The start of high summer and hopefully warm weather and the ideal time of year to be planting so how should you deal with purchases at this time of the year.

The months of June and July are often dry and warm, and aren’t the best time for planting. 

The soil can be unforgiving and it’s easy to lose plants. But that shouldn’t stop you from buying and adding things into your garden and there are a few practical steps you can take to make sure anything you buy in summer thrive and add instant attraction – or be ready in place for the following year.

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