Amateur Gardening 29-May-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.
editor’s note

“I quite enjoy dead-heading. There is a real sense of satisfaction in gently pulling off the now decaying flower heads, knowing that their removal will lead to a new lease of life and renewed colour in our beds, baskets and containers. In our modest gardens this is not an onerous task, but spare a thought for AG’s Peter Seabrook and his team – they have an estimated 40,000 heads to remove every seven days amongst 277 rows of pansies. I can’t say I envy them the task, but it gives insight into all the hard work that goes into creating the Floral Fantasia displays at RHS Hyde Hall in Essex. Peter deserves credit for his dedication in creating truly colourful displays that the public enjoys. They buck the trend of…

3 min.
your bank holiday jobs bonanza!

1 It is warm enough to give your evergreens a trim, either using shears to shape small-leaved varieties such as box, or secateurs, for larger-leaved plants, which are cut back to a healthy pair of buds. Remove any signs of all-green reversion, see inset picture, from variegated types. 2 Create instant colour by planting up baskets or patio containers with cheerful summer bedding. Ideally use peat-free compost enriched with granular fertiliser. Water-retaining granules are another useful addition to help reduce the amount of watering needed. 3 Look after garden wildlife, providing them with fresh water and food every day especially during prolonged dry spells. I use Wildlife World bird and hedgehog food (, 01666 505333) as it is natural, contains no sugar and is packed with nutrients and protein. 4 Earlier in spring I used…

4 min.
new gardening products 2021

Melcourt have been producing top-quality peat-free products for the past 20 years. This year their organic and vegan Sylvagrow Farmyard soil improver was named ‘best product’ at the Garden Press Event. It feeds the soil, boosts water retention and suppresses weeds. (£5.99 for 60L sack.) Battery-powered kit is the latest green development. Husqvarna’s LC 137i battery lawnmower is made for small and medium lawns, is quiet and easy to move and store. Its battery fits other Husqvarna tools. £259 for mower, £339 for mower, battery and charger, £449 for mower, full kit plus Husqvarna 115iL trimmer. The cold April caught many gardeners off guard. Protect your plants with Town and Country’s single and double-burner greenhouse heaters. Compact and easy to use and store, they have 5L paraffin tanks. The single burns for 80…

3 min.
your pond in summer

IF you have a garden pond it is no doubt a hub of activity right now, with fish, frogs, newts and all sorts of aquatic insects going about their business. With April being so dry, ours became an essential oasis for the garden’s birds and wildlife. They used it for drinking and bathing and also as a source of nesting materials. Every day we would watch song thrushes, blackbirds, sparrows, starlings and goldfinches flying out of it, their beaks crammed with mud and grass. So while a pond might be a sweet distraction for us, it is a vital lifeline for all sorts of wildlife. Always make sure your pond has a ‘shallow end’ or a ramp so that wildlife that drops by for a drink and a wash is able to get out…

2 min.
cool shades for summer

FOR failsafe variety and beauty on a budget you can’t go wrong with a packet of aquilegia seeds. They literally are the gift that keeps on giving, because they self-seed so prolifically that one packet (or one or two plants) will keep your garden in aquilegias for years! Not only that, but the varieties are prone to cross-pollination so you are likely to get lots of slight variants from one or two plants, and all of them will be a stunning range of shades and shapes. Today’s Mr Fothergill’s free seeds are for Aquilegia ‘Lime Sorbet’, an exceptionally pretty and pale variety of this hardy perennial. ‘Lime Sorbet’ creates clumps of blooms and blue-green foliage that are 30in (60cm) high. The flowers don’t have the rear spurs associated with some varieties of aquilegia…

1 min.
butterfly watch: the orange tip (anthocharis cardamines)

A COUPLE of weeks back I was sitting having a lunchtime beer after a busy morning’s gardening (it was a Saturday, I hasten to add!) when something orange and white fluttered past and caught the corner of my eye. It was an orange tip butterfly skipping its way along the garden hedge, and a welcome sign that spring had actually arrived. These pretty creatures are one of the first butterflies to emerge that haven’t overwintered as adults. They are medium-sized and the males are easy to identify with their black bodies and white forewings tipped with bright orange. The females are completely white, so are easily mistaken for green-veined or small white butterflies. They are common throughout most of the UK apart from the northern reaches and Scotland, where communities of orange tips are…