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Amateur Gardening

Amateur Gardening 8-Feb-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.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
hold your horses!

Although it’s tempting to get outside on fair days and get cracking, there are certain jobs that should be left until later in spring. Wet or frosted soil is easy to compact, which damages its structure. Avoid working on it until it has dried out and warmed up. If you absolutely have to work on a border, stand on a plank to distribute your weight evenly. Don’t cut back last year’s foliage on penstemons until April, as it protects the crown from frost. Don’t prune early flowering shrubs such as forsythia and philadelphus now otherwise you will remove this year’s blossom.…

4 min.
getting ready for the big push

SO, we’re six weeks into the year and signs of spring are all around. With the days drawing out and the gentle promise of warmer weather just around the corner, the call of the garden is hard to resist. Although harsh weather is a probability between now and Easter, there’s nothing to stop us getting out and preparing the garden for its big spring push. Our changing climate means that many early flowering plants are starting to show signs of life weeks before their usual time. We have even had a pink campion that bravely flowered all through winter in one of the more sheltered areas of the garden – can anyone beat that? Keep these precocious growers weed-free (many weeds are hardier than cultivated plants and thrive in considerably lower temperatures) and…

2 min.
deadly threat to native plants

TOURISTS are being warned against bringing diseased plants into the UK after travelling abroad. There are widespread fears that the devastating fungal disease Xylella, caused by the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa, could enter the country and affect more than 500 species of plant. Susceptible varieties include lavender, rosemary and flowering cherry. Symptoms include leaf scorch, wilt, dieback and the death of the plant. The disease, which has no known cure, is not currently in the UK but has been cutting a swathe through Europe and killing millions of trees. Now travellers are being advised on how to avoid bringing the disease home in a four-minute animation voiced by Dame Helen Mirren. The film explains the risks and tells gardeners what they can do to stop the spread of the disease. Dame Helen says she has seen…

1 min.
asparagus is a top crop

AS plant-based diets become increasingly popular, asparagus is a key player in Pomona Fruits’ spring catalogue. This season the company is showcasing three new varieties of the vegetable: ‘Guelph Eclipse’: Bred at the University of Guelph in Canada, this is an early-cropping, disease-resistant variety. ‘Vittorio’: Heavy-yielding producing thick, disease-resistant spears that can be harvested when they are green or white, when it has a nuttier, delicate flavour. ‘Burgundine’: A purple plant that is tender and sweet when eaten raw, making it an ideal addition to salads. It often produces more spears than green varieties. A spokesman for Pomona said: “British asparagus is traditionally harvested from the April 23 (St George’s Day) until the summer solstice on June 21, and is generally recognised as the best in the world because our climate supports…

1 min.
the garden centre chain that likes a chat

IF you are feeling a little lonesome, head to Squire’s Garden Centres where they have launched a series of Chatter & Natter tables in their cafes. Part of the Chatty Café Scheme, these tables are for anyone to use and the give lonely visitors the chance to chat. Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres said, “In this age of social media it’s so important to make an effort to talk to others face-to-face. “I believe a short conversation with another human can really brighten your day. Everyone’s welcome, and it’s a great way to meet local people.” Squires have 16 garden centres in Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire, all with Chatter & Natter tables – just look out for the signs. For details, call 01252 356860 or visit squiresgardencentres. co.uk.…

2 min.
‘space apples’ make landfall in uk gardens

EIGHT young trees grown from the pips of Isaac Newton’s ‘Flower of Kent’ apple tree and then taken to the International Space Station have fallen to earth and are now growing in several of Europe’s most prestigious gardens. The saplings were taken into space by astronaut Tim Peake as part of the Principia mission in 2015. They have now been planted at the Eden Project in Cornwall, Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Brogdale National Fruit Collection in Kent, the Royal Parks and National Physical Laboratory in Middlesex, South Derbyshire Environmental Education Project at Rosliston Forestry Centre and Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire. The eighth sapling has been donated to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna. The seeds spent six months floating in microgravity as…