Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west


Light up the outdoors

Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:42 Post author: Aidan Gill

We all know about recessed deck and ground lights which can make entertaining spaces more versatile during the night-time but the world of solar lighting is much more dramatic and romantic than perhaps you thought.

If you’re one of the country’s passionate gardeners, you probably spend hours breaking your back keeping your garden looking its absolute best. Whether it’s the constant battle against weeds, tackling the mysteries of pruning or simply mowing the lawn, a huge amount of thought and effort goes into creating a garden to be proud of.

‘Christmas Pippin’ - a Somerset apple discovery

Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:33 Post author: Aidan Gill

Our October issue feature on local apple varieties has sparked off a huge response from readers who have their own stories of how apple varieties were discovered.

Retired horticulturist Geoffrey Rowson was driving down the M5 when he spotted some spectacular looking apples hanging from a small tree on the pubic side of the motorway fence.

It was an easy matter to pick a good sample of the fruit.

We still need more orchards

Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:28 Post author: Aidan Gill

The huge decline in the number of orchards has finally been stopped but a new initiative aims to provide long-term answers to the problems of the past 50 years.

Gardening clubs and communities throughout the south west are being encouraged to help increase the number of community orchards in the county over the next 12 months. 

While the decline in the number of orchards has been stopped over the past few years, more traditional orchards are still needed.

Christmas time berries!

Wed, 22/10/2014 - 12:09 Post author: Aidan Gill

Gill Heavens helps to get gardeners’ juices flowing by looking at the colourful and increasingly popular options for ornamental fruits that can bring sensational colour right through to Christmas.

As another year approaches its end a new player comes to the fore in the garden, the often under-appreciated ornamental fruit. 

These laden plants can provide vital colour, texture and welcome food for wildlife and can extend the season by several months.

Willow and working with nature

Tue, 23/09/2014 - 09:28 Post author: Aidan Gill

by Susie Hunt

It’s hard not to be impressed by Anne Coate.  Meeting her at the Willows and Wetlands Centre in Stoke St Gregory on an unseasonably dreary August day, her enthusiasm for the 200 year old business and her family’s determination to make it succeed is, quite simply, inspirational.

Five ways to ease knee pain for gardeners

Wed, 17/09/2014 - 12:13 Post author: Aidan Gill

John Hardy, Bristol based Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon has some advice for gardeners when it comes to looking after their knees.

Whether you’re pulling weeds or planting seeds, gardeners can spend a great deal of time on their knees, so the last thing you want is knee pain which can ruin quality time in the garden.

Knee pain can start from an injury to even the smallest part of your knee and can arise from overuse in childhood or adulthood.

Asters - stars by name and by nature

Wed, 17/09/2014 - 12:10 Post author: Aidan Gill

There’s something old fashioned, unpretentious and unflashy about asters but Gill Heavens remains a fan of these flowers which bring a new lease of life to summer borders.

The splendid aster is the namesake of the Asteraceae, better known as the daisy family. 

Until very recently this family contained around 600 species but the botanists decided to have a bit of shake-up and have reduced the number to approximately 180. 

Autumn gardening mistakes to avoid

Wed, 17/09/2014 - 12:04 Post author: Aidan Gill

Forgetting to cut the lawn, letting leaves build up and not protecting pots are amongst the most common autumnal gardening mistakes.

As the nights draw in and the days get colder, researchers found that many simply forgot the basic chores to prepare the garden for winter.

The top mistakes also included: 

Forgetting to net the pond

If you are fortunate enough to have a pond, one of the first things you should start doing in September is cover it with a net.

Not doing a big clear and clean out

Autumn - and the best colours of the year

Wed, 17/09/2014 - 11:50 Post author: Aidan Gill

This month the summer school holidays are drawing to a close and a semblance of normality returns to previously busy – and often noisy - attractions and gardens.

As the leaves turn and begin to fall the vibrancy of the changing season takes over. It’s that time of the year to visit some of the best displays in gardens,nurseries and arboretums and this year the choice is even greater.

There aren’t many people who don’t like autumn and let’s be honest – what’s not to like? 

Saving real apples!

Wed, 17/09/2014 - 11:41 Post author: Aidan Gill

Old and traditional varieties of apples have never been more popular as gardeners now seek out something different to grow which have both an affinity to where they live and which help to rediscover England’s apple heritage.

If you are growing apples it looks set to be another bumper year- the second in a row- producing a wonderful harvest of hundreds of varieties of eating, dessert and even cider apples.


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