BBC Gardeners' World December 2019

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.

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discover more from gardeners’ world magazine

Our award-winning app Keep up to date while you’re on the move with our digital edition, made for iPhone and iPad. Get extra content plus videos from Monty and the team, plus access to our subscriber-only, online Secret Garden. Pay from £4.99 an issue in the App Store. See: Join our Masterclass Give the gift of knowledge this Christmas with a place on our Spring gardening masterclasses, led by Associate Editor David Hurrion. Join us for Seed Sowing (24 Mar) and for Pruning (25 Mar). Priced at £75 for the day, see p55. New travel guides If you’re planning your 2020 trips, and find inspiration in our travel special (from p81), discover more with our NEW online guides to top destinations and gardens at gardeners It’s Show Time! Snap up an early bird offer, with…

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The joys of the garden may be harder won this month than in high summer, but it makes them all the more precious. The warm glow of berries and sweet fragrance from shrubs, prising knobbly veg from crusted soil and the flitting energy of birds are all reasons to tear yourself from the endless To Do list of festive preparations, out into the fresh air. Just being amongst greenery gives us breathing space – as every gardener knows. This is supported by a new report from the University of London and Wildlife Trusts that proves how young children gain in happiness and confidence from a daily hour outdoors in nature. So we’ve plenty of ideas in this issue to encourage you to spend time in the garden: from Adam’s festive family…

4 мин.
we love december for its vibrant winter colour

STAR OF THE MONTH Holly (Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata’) Nothing in the garden says Christmas like a big holly laden with bright berries. Through the dreariness of winter they sparkle like disco balls in a dingy nightclub. This one is even better than usual as it has that subtle variegation to make our wreaths a bit special. If we go by the old carol – and on this occasion, with such a fabulous specimen, I really think we should – then, “of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown”. The runner-up, on that occasion, was the ivy, if you recall. Quite slow to establish. Best in a bit of sun. Excellent for wildlife as it provides cover and food. Height x Spread 12m x 6m WINTER STAR At this…

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expert’s choice ivy

It almost seems like magic. As soon as an ivy shoot touches a wall, fence or tree trunk, it starts to climb. It’s not clear how it clings until you look closely and see the tiny roots lined up along the back of its stems. These aerial roots, as they’re called, have only one purpose: to cling. Many people think these roots parasitise the host tree, sucking nutrients from the trunk. But no, not only do they not harm the tree, but they have no capacity even to absorb rain as it runs past. The tip of each individual rootlet develops a tiny sucker, and clinging to its host is all that these rootlets do. Ivies have another unusual feature. When they reach the top of their support, they stop climbing, the…

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the full monty

I find it hard to believe that any one really likes a monkey puzzle tree. I can see that they are interesting, what with being a survivor from the Jurassic period, designed not so much to thwart ascendant monkeys but grazing dinosaurs, and I imagine that a forest of them in their home on the slopes of the Andes would be an awesome sight. When given time – around a thousand years does it – they become hugely tall, with a topknot of branches sitting on a bare pillar of a trunk. The trouble is that the oldest British Araucaria araucana is a mere babe. The years they need to acquire some kind of aesthetic distinction lie in a far distant future. Perhaps when western civilisation expires and the streets of…

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have your say

For peat’s sake I was very interested to read the article ‘Peat-free gardening still years away from reality’ (Clippings, November issue). I can’t get peat-free seed compost in my local garden centres, as they only sell a multi-purpose, general mix. Surely it’s not a difficult or technical job to make and sell peat-free composts mixed for more specific uses? I think if the varieties were mixed and made available, then this would make a big difference to the sale of peat-free compost. David Cockshoot, Hampshire We say: There are options such as Dalefoot, Melcourt, Fertile Fibre and New Horizon who are providing peat-free compost for different growing needs. I was dismayed to read that compost manufacturers will miss their voluntary targets to reduce peat (Clippings, November issue). There can be no excuse to continue to…