Amateur Gardening 4-Dec-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.

“I note that the National Trust has calledupon members to stop using peatcompost (News, page 6). This is notthe first organisation to do this, but I dowonder why announcements are alwaysaimed at gardeners using compost whenit could be equally aimed at people whodrink Scotch whisky or eat mushrooms—both of which rely on peat. Waitrose cameout earlier in the year to ban peat compostfrom its supermarkets, but there was nomention of the pot plants it sellsand there is no shortage ofmushroooms or whisky in itsstores. Double standards?” Contact us: Subscriptions: 0330 333 1113 Editorial: 0330 3903732 Email: Advertising: 0330 3906566…

2 min.
potted trees and shrubs

AS long as the ground isn’t frozen or saturated, you can plant trees and shrubs now. In fact, you will be spoilt for choice as most varieties are available to buy bare root, meaning they are smaller and considerably cheaper than those sold in containers. Bare-root plants are so small they look almost twig-like, but come spring they will romp away and put on astounding levels of growth. Having said that, there is no need to wait until spring to see the results of your planting. If you choose a container-grown variety that boasts patterned evergreen leaves and berries, or carries winter flowers, such as a Daphne or a deliciously scented sweet box (Sarcococca confusa), then you will have a pretty and perfumed spectacle to greet visitors straight off. From a gardener’s point of…

2 min.
care of existing shrubs

AS well as planting new potted shrubs for winter interest and scent, you also need to look after those you have already planted. We have a flourishing Skimmia japonica that is on the cusp of flowering. It needs moving into a larger pot, but that can wait until spring as I don’t want to disturb its flower buds. Skimmias don’t take kindly to heavy pruning, so I simply removed a few dead leaves then forked some sulphate of potash into its compost to promote blooming, watering it in afterwards With any luck the flowers will be at their best over the festive period when we hopefully have family visiting. Lemon and olive trees that have spent summer outside should be moved somewhere light and frost-free, but don’t put them in a hot, centrally…

3 min.
trust heads up anti-peat initiative

Got a story? email THE National Trust has joined conservation organisations around the world in calling for its members to stop using peat-based compost. The flagship heritage charity, along with RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, the Royal Horticultural Society and pressure groups from 19 other countries, are all calling for a ban on peat as part of an international effort to tackle the effects of climate change. They say that a failure to implement a ban will undermine any climate and nature commitments made by world leaders at COP 26, which took place in November 2021. These international organisations are also asking their cumulative 8 million members to stop buying products that rely on peat or are grown in peat, and seek sustainable alternatives. By stripping the demand for peat used for horticultural purposes, conservation organisations…

2 min.
dealing with bad weather

WHETHER you believe in climate change or not, we do seem to be experiencing greater extremes of weather and this can have a serious effect on our gardens. We live in the south of England, where winter gales and rain are our worst enemies, so I make sure tree supports, gutters and greenhouse panes are secure, and raise pots on feet so excess water can drain away. We also get the occasional hard frost, and the cold April this year threw the garden out of kilter for months. Northerly AG readers also have snow and harder freezes to contend with, so it is good to know what to expect and how to deal with it when it arrives. Preparation and prevention are better than cure, and a lot of what we do now, before…

2 min.
check bulbs and sow seeds

TAKE a moment to check over your stored corms and tubers because if any have started to soften and rot, they will contaminate the rest. They start to fail if they were stored without being properly dried out, or if the place where they are stored is damp. If you find one rotting bulb, give all the others a gentle squeeze and discard all that don’t look or feel firm. If they are left where they are, you run the risk of disease infecting all the other bulbs. If you have discovered problems among your bulbs, move the remaining sound ones somewhere with better ventilation and dry conditions. I have been storing gladioli corms in net bags hung in the shed and the tubers are under the greenhouse staging, dry and out of the…