Amateur Gardening 17-Apr-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.

United Kingdom
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51 Números

en este número

1 min.
editor letter

“Some like to learn from books; others from trial and error. Well, I seem to be in the latter group. No matter how much I read up on gardening, nothing really sinks in completely until I’ve actually done the job. And my most useful lessons have come from mistakes. Realising where I’ve gone wrong has given me a much better understanding of how to get it right. Of course, I’m not trying to encourage people to make mistakes – far from it! I am simply saying that we should not be afraid of our mistakes or of owning up to them, for they often contain valuable lessons that are never forgotten.”…

3 min.
how to feed through summer

THE garden should be growing well, helped by increased warmth and April showers. The care you give your plants now will set them up for the rest of the year. Feed them appropriately as their new shoots show through and they should hopefully continue to do well. As with children, a good diet when young will provide plants with the solid building blocks for future development, and help them withstand problems. Granular fertilisers break down gradually to give months of goodness, whereas liquid and sprayed foliar feeds are more instant and need regular reapplication. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and remember that over-feeding can be as harmful as the opposite. Perennials in the ground and in pots should be fed now with a granular fertiliser. Fork it in, water and mulch the plants…

3 min.
new products to look out for in 2021

New from Vitax Vitax have launched two organic, vegan liquid feeds. The all-purpose plant food is versatile and a good all-rounder, and can be used all around the garden. The tomato food is rich in potassium, magnesium and trace elements, to give you juicy, tasty toms. Both ere widely available at garden centres and online. The tomato food costs £5.99 a litre, the all-purpose plant food £7.99 a litre. New from GroGreen GroGreen make bio-active products that feed and protect plants and don’t harm the ecosystem. Their Feed and Shine Roses and Buxus are rich in nutrients ad give plants a protective shield from pests and disease The ‘Ready-to-Use’ containers are £9.99 and the 0.5L concentrate are £24.99 each. They are available from, call 01768 800555. New from Plantgrow One of the most exciting new companies…

2 min.
beginning with bergenias

I’VE never given much thought to our little clump of bergenias, mainly because they are bizarrely planted between some paving stones behind where we keep the bins. But they caught my attention this week when I decided it was time to cut back the overgrown winter jasmine that also grows behind the bins (see P9). Bergenias, also called elephant ears because of their large leaves, are tough, easy-going plants that produce bell-shaped flowers in white and shades of pink on sturdy stems. As I moved the bins to get at the jasmine I dislodged a piece of bergenia stem that had a few roots attached, which I have now potted up. New shoots were also growing at the base of another plant, so I carefully cut two pieces to use as cuttings. They was…

1 min.
penstemon pruning

PENSTEMONS are usually one of the most reliable of perennials, and with regular deadheading bring colour to the garden from summer until well into autumn. However, they are not reliably hardy, which is why old stems are left standing throughout winter, with a generous layer of mulch around the roots, to help protect the crown. If you check the base of plants now you should see healthy new growth emerging, and as the weather is reliably warmer, you can remove the old stems. If you live in the far north or your garden is very exposed, it may be best to wait a couple more weeks. Elsewhere, you can cut down to where you can see the new shoots. If the new growth is coming from existing stems, rather than the base of plants,…

1 min.
bird watch: the eurasian skylark (alauda arvensis)

WORDS always seem insufficient to describe the heart-lifting beauty of the song of the Eurasian skylark, but Ralph Vaughan Williams somehow managed it with his stunning single-movement piece The Lark Ascending. Larks are birds of the open countryside, so not really garden visitors. But at this time of year when we are out and about as the temperature rises, we are more likely to be aware of larks as they rise in the sky and sing their unmistakable song. It always amazes me how such a small, unremarkable-looking bird can produce so many glorious notes at such high volume! Larks are very hard to spot on the ground as they are small birds, somewhere between a sparrow and starling in size, clad in streaky brown feathers with a crest they raise when…