BBC Gardeners' World February 2021

Gardeners' World Magazine is the authoritative voice in gardening, the clear market-leader since it launched in 1991. The award-winning editorial includes topical, practical advice in the readers' favourite 'what to do now' section, and regular contributions and features from the top names in BBC gardening. Packed with fresh ideas and clear advice - the innovative approach offers creative, practical and problem-solving solutions to all keen gardeners.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
more from gardeners' word magazine

Join us… Explore the gardens of Somerset on a bespoke GW reader holiday this September. Led by local resident and magazine regular Sally Nex, you’ll enjoy the county’s best gardens and food: see p50. Grow… Kickstart your veg year with our 132-page Grow Your Own special edition. With 60 crops featured, plus five packets of veg seed, pay just £9.99 incl. p&p – at gardenersworld. com/gw-special-editions Listen… Get your headphones and a cuppa – and relax with the free BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Podcast, including Alan and Monty. Find all episodes at Save… Our award-winning mobile app lets you read GW on the go. Save 50% at And you’ll find us in the Readly app for Apple or Google, or with a monthly subscription to Apple News+ Save even more... Subscribe in print today and receive…

2 min

With an open mind and positive thinking, good things so often come from bad – it’s nature’s way to renew and restore balance. This year we need to rediscover positive thinking and balance as never before – and life in our gardens points the way. A ball of feathers and high-pitched chatter on the feeders in my garden tells me the long-tailed tits are back to forage – and, like so many other birds, to build nests, mate, defend territory. Our lives may be on hold but theirs press on, energetically. Garden wildlife has been a beacon for so many of us during the pandemic – a subject that Monty and I explored in a recent magazine podcast. We know from our annual reader review of UK garden wildlife that more of…

4 min
we love february

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within”William Cullen Bryant STAR OF THE MONTH Cornus mas This is a very good tree for a middle-sized garden: ace fruit and interesting leaves in the autumn, but it is for its winter flowers that we really love this plant. Imagine, if you would, waking up on a cold February morning, flinging open your bedroom curtains to be confronted by this cornus. It looks as if its leafless branches have been miraculously invaded by a profusion of one-day-old chicks. A great luxuriance of fluffy, yellow flowers that cannot help but bring cheer to the world – and this month we deserve every bit of cheer we can get. Can be grown as a shrub or tree. Best in sun or…

2 min
expert’s choice hellebores

When this magazine launched thirty years ago, the best hellebores were rare and expensive. Propagated mainly by painstaking division, they were only available from one or two specialist nurseries and varieties seen in garden centres were unpredictable in colour and poor in quality. How things have changed. Inspired hybridisation, supported by new propagation techniques and refinements to traditional procedures, have led to the easy and widespread availability of beautifully coloured and prettily patterned varieties of the highest quality. True, they’re still not the cheapest of perennials, but a long-flowering season – many new varieties start to flower before Christmas – and attractive foliage add value that justifies the price. A striking development is the arrival of new hybrids between unrelated species. People said some hellebore species couldn’t be crossed with each other. But,…

4 min

I have been asked to be an ambassador for the International Year of Plant Health, an initiative organised by the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO). I was, of course, flattered and duly accepted but, although International Year of Plant Health sounds good, what does it actually mean? Does it refer to healthy plants or the health that plants can create? As this is under the auspices of the FAO, whose primary concern is sustainably feeding the world, does it refer to the maximum efficacy of food in providing nutrients and calories to people? And, if so, is this supportive of vast agribusinesses and how would this conflict with my own long-standing organic principles? Whether it is the pursuit of peace or an end to hunger, the United Nations has…

2 min
have your say

Slug pancake In response to your article on the slug pellet ban (Clippings, Nov issue), I accidentally found a great way to get rid of slugs. I feed ground-feeding birds on an old pancake griddle that I bring in at dusk in case it attracts rats. I went out late one evening and the pan was covered in slugs having a late snack. So I tipped them all into the garden bin. Sandra Killey, by email To prevent slugs and snails reaching your plants, use trays filled with water. Station bricks or large stones at intervals, to rest your plants on. Alternatively, put large stones in drip trays. Make sure the leaves aren’t touching anything to form a bridge. You have to keep the water topped up; and after a while it might…