Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

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The last of the roses

Thu, 22/10/2015 - 12:06 Post author: Aidan Gill

There is a world of difference between a shrub rose that throws a few niggardly autumn blooms and one that puts on a really good display; although it may not quite match the first flush, it gives genuine pleasure on an autumn day.

Seven for September!

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 14:00 Post author: Aidan Gill

Don't say goodbye to summer too soon. These days summer can stretch into early October, and the traditional midsummer floral display seems like a flash in the pan. Where once gardeners threw all the big guns at June and July, you now need a second set of late-flowering plants to see you through September and October. 

Few of us plan and plant for autumn bloom. But September and October don't have to be only two months of falling leaves and waning blooms in the garden. There are several perennials that work hard to bloom in the garden right through September.

Why growing an olive tree remains special

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 13:46 Post author: Aidan Gill

It has long held associations with peace, stability and fertility in Mediterranean cultures, and in some Christian churches its oil still holds a sacred place but more gardeners are adding this special tree and growing it successfully.

There’s more than the thrill of having something special in your garden if you opt to grow an olive tree.

The olive is a powerful ‘Tree of Peace’ and has long been associated with immortality, holding a special place throughout history for its strong symbolic and spiritual significance.

Guerilla gardening – a growing passion

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 09:28 Post author: Aidan Gill

There’s a trickle in the gardening world that’s about to break its banks and flood parts of the UK - guerilla gardening. In other words, growing things on land that does not belong to you.

It all began in New York in the 1970s and smacks of people clambering over fences by torchlight to sow a neglected space. But now in 2015 guerilla gardening is much further on than that.

South African style!

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 09:23 Post author: Aidan Gill

Gill Heavens delves into the exotic and spectacular world of South African plants which can be grown successfully with colourful and lasting benefits to almost every garden.

You may think that successfully growing South African plants in this country is beyond the realms of fantasy. Even if it were possible it would involve much tending and tinkering. 

In truth there are many plants that are relatively easy to grow. 

Some are well known to gardeners, others a little less familiar, but they are all worth a try.

Gardening jobs for September

Tue, 15/09/2015 - 09:04 Post author: Aidan Gill

September is the beginning of what for many gardeners is one of their favourite times of year, not least for the fact that the garden is more relaxed than it has been for some time. The fight to keep your plants watered or producing or deadheaded has eased and a new wave of tasks is ready and waiting.

Holiday time for your garden

Fri, 14/08/2015 - 15:16 Post author: Aidan Gill

Got your money, tickets, passports and suntan lotion?  As well as checking that you have all the holiday essentials ready for your break away, don’t forget about your garden.

Summer holidays can be disastrous for the garden if there’s no one to take care of important jobs such as watering while you’re away. But with a little preparation, you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about what’s happening at home.  

Here’s the Country Gardener checklist:

How your garden will change as you grow older

Tue, 14/07/2015 - 12:27 Post author: Aidan Gill

Is your garden going to change the older you get?

Award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster will unveil a show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which runs from Tuesday 30th June to Sunday 5th July that celebrates the joys of retirement.

It picks up on a relevant theme for the numbers of gardeners who are not able to be as active as they used to be but still want to continue their hobby as passionately as they can.

Counting butterflies this summer

Tue, 14/07/2015 - 12:21 Post author: Aidan Gill

It isn’t too dramatic a phrase that butterflies reflect the pulse of nature. They represent an early warning for wildlife loss and that is why counting them regularly is important.

Our butterflies are in trouble. 

Butterflies react very quickly to changes in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses.

That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature.

Plan early for stunning autumn colour

Tue, 14/07/2015 - 12:17 Post author: Aidan Gill

Andrew Midgley picks out his personal favourites as he urges you to bring colour, variety and interest into the garden with sensational autumn hues.

Autumn is one of my favourite times of year with its fantastic autumn colours. 

You only have to visit Colby Woodland Garden in Pembrokeshire or Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey in the autumn to appreciate the spectacular autumn tints from the trees and shrubs. Every garden should have a shrub or tree that provides seasonal interest throughout the main gardening season; especially spring and autumn interest. 

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