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Amateur Gardening 10-Aug-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.

United Kingdom
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51 Issues


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closing the colour gap

BY the middle of August, the exuberance of the summer garden can start to flag. Heat and the occasional battering storm take their toll and the effects of a dry spring and summer are plain to see. As with most things in the garden, this isn’t irreversible. Continuing to deadhead, feed and water existing plants and replacing those that have died will all help add new flesh to the body of the garden. An added bonus is that these new and revived plants should continue to flower throughout the rest of summer, merging seamlessly with any autumn-flowering plantings already made. A lot of garden sales are selling off this summer’s stock at reduced prices. The bedding plants may be looking a bit grim, but if you look carefully you can buy mature perennials…

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prepare for new plantings

LOOKING at our borders in late summer I see a mass of colour, life and contrast but also several plants that are past their best. The sweet rockets have become straggly and are threatening to self-seed everywhere and some nicotianas have gone over and aren’t worth saving. A massive purple scabious is full of spent flowerheads that need to be removed and the sweet peas have developed a few well-hidden pods that must go to create more flowers. The remaining bedding nicotianas and antirrhinums are also deadheaded and should keep producing new buds for as long as the weather stays warm enough. I want to add more plants to add colour into late summer and autumn but I need to make space, so it’s time to be ruthless. Out come the rockets and a…

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planting in late summer for continued colour

1 Feed the soil with chicken manure pellets or blood, fish and bone to add goodness for the new plantings. 2 Dig a hole as deep and slightly wider than each plant’s rootball. If soil is very dry, water it before planting. 3 Fork in some well-rotted manure or compost to add moisture and goodness to the soil and roots. 4 Having stood plants in water to soak the roots, ease it from its pot and tease out any congested roots. 5 Place the plant, infill around it with soil and compost, firm it down and water thoroughly. 6 Finally mulch around the root area with more manure or compost to hold moisture in the soil.…

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add extra interest

Flowers aren’t the only options for sustained colour and interest in the autumn garden. Sculptural seedheads on alliums, agapanthus, globe thistles and sea hollies look stunning, especially when sprinkled with frosts. Evergreen shrubs, such as variegated euonymus or a stunning Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ that changes colour with the seasons provide year-long interest. Any shrub that produced bright berries is a must, as are deciduous trees that see out the year with a blaze of autumnal brilliance before their leaves fall. And remember to leave some dead rose blooms in place for their colourful hips, which garden birds will also love.…

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cut back summer raspberries

IT has been an excellent year for raspberries, and going out into the garden first thing to harvest berries for the day’s breakfasts, or to freeze for winter crumbles, has become a morning tradition. Now the summer canes are almost all spent and are looking tired and ragged, though the autumn-fruiting varieties look promising for a few weeks’ time. The fruited stems need to be cut back right down to the ground to make room for new growth, and also for this year’s juvenile canes that will mature and fruit next summer. Simply work your way along the row, cutting back old stems with sharp secateurs, taking care that you don’t nick any healthy new growth. Remember to wear gloves to avoid injury from thorns. Once the old canes have gone, work your way…

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when to plant

Raspberries are extremely versatile plants and can grow in most situations, though they prefer a sunny sight with free-draining, slightly acidic soil. They also grow well in large containers, making them ideal for gardeners with small plots. You can buy container-grown plants all year round, though summer isn’t the best time to get them in the ground as the soil will be dry and they’ll need a lot of watering. The best time to plant is winter, when you can buy bare-root canes cheaply. These are smaller than pot-grown plants, but once in the ground they will grow rapidly as long as they are kept well watered and fed.…