Amateur Gardening 10-Jul-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

3 min.
high summer cutbacks

Rock on: In next week’s AG I look at rockery care and suggest ways of keeping your alpine plants healthy throughout the summer A FEW weeks ago I cut back our early spring-flowering shrubs to give them time to grow for next year’s blooms, trimmed a flowered clematis and tidied some evergreens before their full summer surge of growth. Now it is the turn of trees and shrubs that flowered in early summer, as well as certain varieties that need to be pruned in midsummer to keep them safe from the spores of fungal disease. While I had my secateurs out I also made sure I took some semi-ripe cuttings of our bountiful Coronilla in the front garden. It is a robust shrub that produces a wealth of sweetly-scented blooms from late winter right…

2 min.
pruning tips for success

WHEN you are cutting back summer-flowering shrubs, cherries and plums, you should aim to create an attractive shape with an open, uncluttered centre that allows good airflow to keep your plants healthy. Fungal spores and pests thrive in messy, densely clustered plant material with little access to light and air, so by removing those spindly, misshapen shoots that tend to grow inwards we are making our plants look better and also helping to keep them healthy. Start with the ‘three Ds’ and remove dead, diseased and damaged growth, followed by weak and unproductive shoots. When pruning, reduce branches back to a healthy pair of leaves or buds, or to an outwardpointing shoot that is growing in the shape and direction that you want. Shrubs with small leaves, such as box, can be tidied using…

3 min.
cleansing power of plants!

WE already know that plants can help extract impurities from the air, but now green-fingered scientists are asking AG readers to help them trial a clever new scheme which uses specially chosen varieties to ‘mine’ impurities and metals from contaminated soil. If it goes ahead, Lorna’s Seeds will use plants, instead of invasive chemicals, to extract toxins from the soil around former warehouses and factories that are earmarked for housing developments. Once the soil is cleaned, anyone living in the new homes will be able to grow crops with peace of mind. The project has been developed by Dr Lorna Anguilano, a senior research fellow at Brunel University London’s Experimental Technique Centre. “The idea originally comes from mining – the harvesting of nickel from plants was patented years ago – but it’s since been…

1 min.
duke’s rose

Rose to raise funds for DoE award HER Majesty the Queen has been presented with a newly bred ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ rose in memory of her husband Prince Philip. The rose was bred by leading horticulturists Harkness Roses, and will be available to buy from the autumn, with £2.50 of every sale going towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s Living Legacy Fund. This fund was established to give 1,000,000 more young people the chance to do their DofE award. It will help those in need of specialist help, whether due to poverty, imprisonment, special educational needs or disability. A perfect rose for cutting The ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ is a longstemmed, medium-sized shrub rose with a delicate fragrance. The double flowers bloom in large clusters and are deep pink with delicate white lines. The length of the…

2 min.
keeping sweet peas sweet

TO my way of thinking, a summertime garden without a stand of sweet peas is sadly lacking, because they add so much and cause very little trouble. Most people opt for the traditional scented, climbing varieties, which add height and definition as they scramble up tepees and pergolas. Whether you go for pops of brightness or quieter pastel shades, hardy sweet peas will keep on going until they run out of steam well into the autumn. However, sweet peas do have a reputation for being a bit ‘tricky’, but if you are consistent in your care, and take a hands-on approach rather than leaving them to their own devices, they should reward you with long display and a stash of seeds for next year’s sowing. This year I sowed and planted our sweet…

2 min.
container update

Top Tip If possible, and to reduce water waste, stand your hanging baskets in a bowl before watering so any liquid run-off can be reabsorbed. PATIO containers and hanging baskets planted at the start of summer should be giving you a glorious riot of colour and scent by now. If you haven’t yet planted yours, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of choice left in the garden centres and with these later-flowering plants should keep on flowering until well into the autumn, given the right care. Containers and baskets do need ongoing nurturing throughout the growing season, as well as ‘running repairs’ should plants fall by the wayside leaving gaps here and there. I have a container of spring bedding planted up last autumn with pansies, bellis and a variegated Euonymus that is still going strong. However,…