Amateur Gardening 27-Mar-2021

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 Números

en este número

1 min.

“For many of us, the challenge we face every year is how to make the most of our garden space. We can’t plant everything we want to — if only! And that will mean difficult decisions. Every year, I have to take stock and consider which plants I want continue with, and what I want to grow anew. A few weeks ago, an old woody buddleja and a failing rhododendron were regretfully uprooted and disposed of, but it opened up a lot of space – and in their place will go nerines, agapanthus and hollyhocks. I’ve decided to plant cosmos again as they looked amazing, and flowered for ages. And clary gets a recall, too, as their purple blue flowers were a delight. What tough decisions have you made this…

2 min.
getting your roses ready

WHERE many plants drift in and out of fashion, there is one that seems to stay top of the pops: the rose. Whether they are shrubby, climbing, rambling or potted, their popularity never wanes. If you have roses in your garden, now is the time to start work to help them perform their best this summer. For despite their popularity, roses can be tricky plants to grow well, liking lots of nurturing while being prone to a range of pests and problems. However, with a strong start to the year and continued care throughout, they should stay healthy and put on a wonderful show all summer and well into the autumn. Plant health starts at ground level, with the soil. Rose roots run shallow, so take care when weeding to avoid damaging them…

2 min.
be brave and prune hard

Eggcellent for gardening!: Next weekend is Easter weekend, the unofficial start of the gardening year. I shall be focussing on jobs that are perfect for the four-day holiday. ROSES can take a hard prune; in fact they flourish and will send out lots of new shoots as a result. Last winter I gave mine the chop and cut our inherited floribunda right back to just over ankle height. I was slightly alarmed by my bravado, but it seems to have paid off as lots of new shoots have sprouted, hopefully leading to a heavy festooning of flowers come the summer. The plant is obviously healthy despite its age as the pruning wounds from the previous year have callused over well. Now roses are starting to grow again we need to keep an eye on…

2 min.
tackling pests and disease

THE garden is getting going now and so, sadly are the problems that go with it. Warmer weather means pests are coming out in force, and while diseases may still be thin on the ground, there are some to keep an eye out for. The greenhouse is a flashpoint because of the combination of a sheltered environment and lots of tender young leaves. Snails may have overwintered inside and aphids will seek out the first new growth to feed on. Both are easy to deal with; pick off and remove snails and squish small colonies of greenfly off plants before they become serious infestations. Watch out for moulds and rots too, especially if your greenhouse hasn’t been well ventilated. Botrytis grey mould is a common problem, so ensure your greenhouse doors and windows…

2 min.
dead daff maintenance

DAFFODIL season is coming to an end, soon to be joined by the tulips as they die back for another year. This means that for the next few weeks the areas where they are growing will look a bit tatty as leaves shrivel and die. Tempting though it is to tidy them up, leave them alone. Removing and knotting the leaves is false maintenance, as both will stop nourishment returning to the bulbs, potentially meaning next year’s display won’t be so good. Grit your teeth and let them turn yellow, watering and feeding with liquid tomato fertiliser fortnightly to help replenish the bulbs. If plants have emerged ‘blind’, without flowers, it may be worth lifting the bulbs to make sure they are still healthy and not infected with narcissus fly. Discard any that look…

2 min.
rudbeckia takes top prize

Listen to Peter’s free podcast every Thursday. Search for This Week In The Garden with Peter Seabrook’ on iTunes PLANT trials are often mentioned in these columns, and you may wonder about their significance and value to the home gardener. The judging results for the FleuroSelect Rudbeckia 2020 Trial have been ratified, and they confirm 11 new Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merits (AGMs), the hallmark for good garden performance, for this single species. There were over 80 different cultivars in this trial, opening one’s eyes to the range of flower colours, bloom shapes (from single to semi-double and fully double), heights from nine inches to three feet, and the length of time they were colourful. We all had something to learn, and for me it was the remarkable improvement to be…