Amateur Gardening 26-Jun-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 letter

“Regular readers will know that I have been conducting my own peat/peat-free comparison test with container potatoes (see page 10). The peat-free option is doing well, but I noticed that it does not retain moisture as well as the peat. This is largely known to be the case, but it’s not until you have both samples next to each other that the difference becomes so clear. It then struck me that on the peat-free packaging, there is no reference to this product needing to be treated differently to its peat-based counterpart. I think all peat-free packaging should give this information as a standard practice by all producers.” Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330 3906566…

4 min.
pruning catch-up

WE were looking at some photos taken this time last year and the contrast was stark. By my reckoning, the bitterly cold, dry April followed by a cold, wet May held things back by at least a month. While it is lovely to see the garden flourishing now, having caught up with itself, the late start to summer has pushed a few tasks back as well. Some trees and shrubs are pruned in late spring, after flowering, to keep them in shape or to encourage blossoming next year, but the delayed season means that they may only be ready for a trim now, instead of a month or six weeks ago. Now things are speeding up there’s no time like the present to sharpen and clean your pruning tools and get to work. Shrubs…

1 min.
looking after climbing and rambling roses now

OUR roses have loved the wet spring followed by warmer days of late May and early June. They have a lot less black spot than in previous year, which may be down to the cornmeal (polenta) I scattered around the roots in spring – it is said to contain a fungus that kills black spot spores. Early summer is a busy time for rose lovers as plants should be growing well. Tie in climbing and rambling varieties, securing side shoots in the direction you wish them to grow. Deadhead where necessary (leave ramblers until they have finished blooming), then feed, water and mulch. You may be rewarded with a second crop of flowers later in the year. Treat pests and remove any material affected by black spot. Bin or burn it rather than…

1 min.
a host of woodland wonders

ONE of my favourite summer flowers is Nicotiana sylvestris, or woodland tobacco plant. Standing tall and elegant at the back or centre of a border, their drooping clusters of slim white trumpets seem to glow at dusk, perfuming the surrounding air. I grew a number from seed, gradually moving on the young plants as they grew from the tiniest seedlings to large, robust adolescents ready to go out into the world. I planted them out in a group for full effect, though they are statuesque enough to hold their own as singletons. Because the seedlings start off so small I grew mine in clumps of decreasing size, thinning them down as they grew until finally there were just six or seven in one pot. When it came to planting I dunked the pot in water,…

1 min.
butterfly watch: the common blue (polyommatus icarus)

ONE of the most eye-catching and mesmerising families of butterflies in the UK is the blues clan. It is a vast family, varying in size, territory and number and those found in the UK include the common blue, holly blue, chalk hill blue, and Adonis blue. The common blue is a small, fast-flying butterfly found throughout most of the UK. It haunts a variety of habitats, from forests and grasslands to sand dunes. Common blues are small, with a wingspan of just over an inch (3.5cm). The males are stunningly sky-blue throughout, while the females are less eye-catching. Their wings are fringed with orange and white dots but the main colour varies. Those in the south are a dowdy brown, while those in Ireland and Scotland are predominantly blue. The colours can even range…

1 min.
holidays here we come!

1 Containers: Group your containers together somewhere sheltered to help prevent them completely drying out. Massed together with a bottle dripper in each one, they also create a slightly cooler, more humid microclimate which helps to keep them healthy. 2 Lawn: Nobody likes coming home to a jungle, so give your lawn a trim, remembering to leave a wild area for wildlife and insects. If you have a moss problem, treat it with Mo Bacter, an organic and pet-friendly product that I have found extremely effective. 3 Greenhouse: Set up a micro-irrigation system or use bottle drippers or capillary matting to keep plants hydrated. Dispense biological controls such as Encarsia formosa wasps against whitefly, and leave doors and windows ajar for good airflow. 4 Plant care: Water houseplants before you go, or stand…