Beat the winter blues

Colour and light affect our mood, so if you are someone that feels down as the nights draw in, take steps now. People who get the blues in winter are said to be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For your home and workplace you can buy daylight bulbs and fluorescent tubes that mimic the Read More

Berried treasures

Enjoy the rich rewards of autumn up close, by planting your garden with these fab four shrubs that put on an unusual and flamboyant display of colourful seedpods and berries. Enjoy non-stop pots on the patio by replacing summer flowers with the bright marble-like berries of the dwarf evergreen shrub, Gaultheria mucronata, which is often Read More

Gap-fillers for late borders

Now, is a precious time in the garden when you can reflect and write notes on all your trials and tribulations and enjoy remembering all of the seasonal surprises that just happened without any clever forward planning. It’s always a good idea to take photographs of your best plant associations, so that you can repeat Read More

Hydrangeas – masters of chemistry

Lacecaps and mopheads, cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla, also known as Big Leaf Hydrangeas, are popular shrubs that have been around for decades and over the years become stalwarts of British summer gardens. Even bright summer bedding plants can’t compete with the eye-catching neon blue or pink flowers of the Mopheads pom-pom like flower heads. These giant Read More

Reignite the romance

If your relationship has taken a bit of battering in recent years then I suggest that you turn to your garden, as it will help heal the rifts and especially if you design and plant it together. Gardening will also give your serotonin or happy hormone levels a boost making you both emotionally stronger and Read More

Grow summer scent

Apart from showy plants, a garden needs to satisfy the strongest and most mysterious of our sensual pleasures – our sense of smell, which is linked directly by the brain to our emotions. There are plenty of seductive plants that are hard to resist and because of their timeless appeal, most are filled with a Read More

10 of my favourite plants

When it comes to picking plants to grow, it pays to visit the garden centre regularly from Easter to autumn and check on-line, mail order suppliers for the newest and most impressive-looking plants. Garden Shows like the Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live and others (visit Read More

magnificent magnolias

For a stunning spring garden, you must plant at least one magnolia. Appearing just before the leaves, the showy flowers, which can be fragrant depending on variety, appear alongside other garden favourites like camellias, rhodoendrons, forsythia and flowering currants. As with other great garden plants, magnolias also have a shapely habit and features such as attractive Read More

Wake up call for bees

Without our gardens, many bees would starve when they wake up early in the year, as they need a ready supply of open flowers, with easy access to pollen and nectar. First bees to appear are the large queens of the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. You’ll likely come across them still looking a bit drowsy on Read More

DIY compost – it’s as simple as ABC are working with councils across the UK to deliver great value compost bins, water butts and more to help you, so make your mantra this year “recycle and reuse”. Garantia Thermo-King compost bins are easy to fill and make speedy compost – cost for 600L size is around £65 Turning garden waste into Read More