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Amateur GardeningAmateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 2-Mar-2019

Every week, Amateur Gardening is the first choice for both beginners and knowledgeable gardeners looking for advice and easy-to-follow practical features on growing flowers, trees, shrubs as well as fruit and vegetables. Be inspired, by our beautifully illustrated features covering plant and flower groups, both home grown and exotic, and take a sneak peek into some of the most beautiful private gardens around the country. Plus, every week we feature expert opinion and tips from some of gardening’s most influential exponents including Toby Buckland, Bob Flowerdew, Anne Swithinbank, Peter Seabrook and Jo Whittingham.

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51 Edities


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easy summer colours

WHAT’S not to like about summer-flowering bulbs? The majority of them are so easy to grow – simply put them in the ground, mark their spot and they will delight for many seasons, getting bigger and better with each passing year. Even more tender varieties such as gladioli, begonias and dahlias that need lifting each winter are pretty easy to look after. Just store them somewhere frost-free through the coldest months, then restart them in spring in time for the summer. Right now, garden centres, online suppliers and nurseries are splitting at the seams with summer bulbs of all colours and for every situation. You can extend the season further by planting autumn-flowering varieties such as nerines too. Many plants are sold as single varieties, but you can also buy bags of different…

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starting tubers

1 Whether your dahlias tubers are new or saved from last year, check that they are firm and healthy and discard any soft ones. 2 Open out the tuberous ‘fingers’ and pot them up in multi-purpose compost, making sure they have ample room. 3 Cover them with compost, water and place in a frost-free greenhouse. When shoots develop, you can select some for cuttings. 4 Begonia tubers should be placed in pots of dampened fresh multi-purpose compost, ‘hollow’ side up, and kept in a light warm room to shoot.…

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six of the best for summer

1 Alstroemeria ‘Duke Edouard’ is one of this year’s three new hardy varieties from Woolman ( ✆ 0845 658 9137, woolmans.com). 2 Who doesn’t like a dahlia? They give months of colour in a mad variety of styles and colours – and are popular with pollinators, too. 3 Glorious crocosmia, or montbretia, such as flame-red ‘Lucifer’, are dramatic, easy-going plants that flower for weeks, coming back year after year. 4 Voluptuous tuberous begonias have a blowsy habit, but are pretty resilient to most conditions and grow well in pots and baskets. 5 One for later in the year when everything else is quietening down, the lovely pink-hued trumpets of nerines are an autumn treat. 6 You can’t call lilies shy and retiring, but they do well in pots and borders, come in an array of…

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restarting my jalapa mirabilis

Jalapa mirabilis, also known as the ‘tea-time plant’ because they tend to bloom in the early evening, are gorgeous summer perennials. With a fantastic scent, beautiful flowers and an easy-going nature, they get better the longer they are in the ground. I had some in a pot that I wanted to use for other bulbs, so I stored the Jalapa tubers in the greenhouse through winter . They survived and started to sprout, so I have potted them up in multi-purpose compost, with the shoots just sticking out the top, and returned them to the greenhouse. With any luck they will survive so I can pot them on or plant them out again in late spring.…

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looking after the pennies

GARDENING can be an expensive pastime and in times of financial uncertainty it pays to save money where you can. A lot of the steps you can take are common sense – washing and re-using pots, buying compost in bulk on special offer, and taking care of your tools. But there are lots of smaller things that you can do to stretch out those pounds. Growing from seed is an economical way of creating plants, and it becomes even thriftier if you team up with members of your local gardening club or allotment. Collecting seeds and taking cuttings is another worthwhile economy, as is setting up a ‘barter’ system. Our neighbours grow excessive amounts of produce on their allotment, which they share with us in return for jars of homemade chutney and marmalade…

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shop locally

Garden centres, DIY chains and online retailers are great for bulky items such as compost deals, but don’t always rely on them for plants. Get to know your local nurseries, which will pride themselves on good-quality plants of known provenance at reasonable prices. They will also know local growing conditions and soils, and advise on the best plants for your garden. If you are lucky enough to have a locally owned garden shop on your high street, use it. Such shops may sell loose seed potatoes, peas, beans and onion sets, and will be a great source of information and advice.…