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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 4-Jan-2020

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

in this issue

1 min.
saving money

GARDENING can be expensive, but there are countless ways you can save pennies this year and still create a gorgeous garden. Start by buying the right plants for your situation and soil and giving plants enough space to grow to their full potential without being cramped and crowded. Don’t spurn ‘bargain bin’ plants that will rejuvenate with some TLC. Install waterbutts to collect rainwater and reduce your water bill (rainwater is better for plants than anything that comes from a tap).…

1 min.
reduce or stop chemical use

Like antibiotics in humans, the unwise and prolific use of chemicals will harm your garden and destroy its natural balance. Reduce or eliminate them, removing small pest colonies by hand and using organic methods to keep them in check. As well as helping the environment, chemical-free gardening also encourages a diversity of insect life into the garden. Natural predators, from ground beetles to lacewing and ladybird larvae, birds and mammals will move in and help keep pest numbers down.…

1 min.
why looking after tools is so important

It goes without saying that you can’t garden with tools that aren’t fit for the job – so keep them clean and properly stored. Obviously it will save you money, because cared-for equipment lasts so much longer. The blades of secateurs, shears, saws and loppers are not only less keen when they are dirty and sticky with sap and wood shavings, and can also spread diseases if now cleaned after removing sickly growth. Clean and sharpen them after every use, keep your hoe sharp too so it can cut through weeds with ease. Dip spades buckets of oily sand to remove dirt and keep them sharp.…

4 min.
pledges for the year ahead

ANOTHER year is underway and, as is tradition, this is the time we wonder what the next 12 months may hold and vow to do our best to become kinder/healthier/richer (delete as appropriate). We can do the same with gardening too, standing by those vows to keep on top of essential jobs and tackle areas that need more care but somehow keep being sidelined by other, more rewarding jobs. One of my resolutions (as I think it was last year too…) is to tackle our rockery, which is in a state of disarray. Many of the key issues and concerns that took centre stage globally in 2019 – plastic overuse, climate change, financial worries, concerns raised in the State of Nature report – can all be translated to the way we care for…

1 min.
how to deal with snowfall and ice

WHATEVER Bing Crosby sang about snow at Christmas, the reality is that most of us have to wait until January or February to see the first sprinklings of white stuff. These days, with climate change making extreme weather patterns the norm rather than the exception, when snow comes it really comes – even where we live in the southwest. The last two winters have seen more extreme weather conditions across the UK, and while most tender plants will already be under cover or insulated against the bitter cold, they can be damaged by the weight of snow. Brush any settled snow from stems and thin branches before they tear and break. Strong-stemmed early perennials such as hellebores may look beaten down with a topping of snow, but they will spring back to shape…

1 min.
things to do near you

4 Jan Last day of Glow: RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor, Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH. ✆ 0203 176 5830, rhs.org. uk/gardens/rosemoor 4-31 Winter Sculpture Exhibition: RHS Garden Rosemoor 5 Jan Last day of Enchanted Botanical Christmas in the Glasshouse: RHS Wisley, Wisley Lane, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB. ✆ 0203 176 5830, rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley 5 Jan Last day of Glow: RHS Wisley 8 Rose Pruning: RHS Garden Rosemoor 10 Winter Walk and Talk: RHS Wisley 13 Willow Bird Feeders: RHS Wisley 14 What Now: RHS Garden Rosemoor 14 Wisteria Pruning Masterclass: RHS Wisley 15 Wisteria Pruning Masterclass: RHS Wisley 16 Apple Pruning: RHS Garden Rosemoor 25 Close-up Photography: RHS Wisley 25-2 Feb Heralding Spring: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS. ✆ 020 7352 5646, chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk. The event is a trail of snowdrops featuring 120 species of this iconic…