How to Beat the Summer Heat  

This time of year is great – the sun is out, it is acceptable to BBQ every night, cocktails outside with your friends, outdoor swimming, beer gardens with your boyfriend…. And the list goes on..! The summer heat is great but we also have to make sure that we are keeping cool. From inside our home to outside in our […]

How to grow Astilbe

Many of the older species had colourless flowers which may be the origin of the name, from the Greek a, no, stilbe, rightness (Saxifragaceae). A small genus of herbaceous perennials with feathery plumes composed of myriads of minute flowers in white, many in shades of pink and deep crimson. They are delightful waterside plants but they will grow in the […]

How to grow Aster

From the Greek aster, star, describing the flower shape (Compositae). Michaelmas daisy. Among the most useful herbaceous perennials, most of the asters flower in late summer right into the autumn and are extremely hardy and easy to grow. They increase so rapidly, in fact, that many of them have to be lifted and divided about every second year. There are […]

Gentiana – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Gentiana Gentiana (jen-te-a-na) Named after Gentius, King of Illyria who first used the plant medicinally (Gentianaceae). Gentian. A large genus of hardy perennials. Most of those in cultivation are dwarf plants suitable for the rock garden, but a few are more at home in the border. Some of them are lime-haters. Species cultivated G. acaulis (now considered […]

Dipsacus – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Dipsacus (dip-sa-kus) From the Greek dipsao, to thirst, a reference to the water-holding cavity formed by the leaves united round the stem (Dipsaceae). Teasel. Biennial or perennial herbs, stiff, erect, rough plants with spiny or prickly stems and fruits, some of which can be found wild in Great Britain. The heads have long been used to tease […]

Thalictrum – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to Grow Thalictrum   Thalictrum (thal-ik-trum) From the Greek thaliktron, a name used to describe a plant with divided leaves, possibly of the same family (Ranuncalaceae). Meadow rue. A genus of 150 species of hardy perennials, herbaceous plants, mainly from north temperate regions but also represented in tropical South America, tropical Africa and South Africa. Those cultivated have elegant, […]

How to plant Egg plant

Aubergine The egg plant is another name for this vegetable which comes from tropical climates. It is grown in greenhouses in this country, or it may be grown in a frame from May onwards and even outside in a very sheltered position in the southern counties. The fruits vary in size and shape from roundish to sausage shaped and are […]

Selecting the correct Climbing Plants

House walls, garden walls, fences, archways, pergolas, trellises, poles, either single or erected tripod fashion and other vertical or near-vertical features, provide the gardener with another dimension in which to grow plants. There are attractive plants available for this purpose, many of which benefit from the extra shelter provided by a wall or fence. Types of plant Suitable plants include […]

Soil Humus

Soil Humus Humus is the term used to describe the organic matter in the soil. Its presence in adequate quantities is a vital factor in building up and maintaining soil fertility. Humus may consist of decayed vegetable or animal refuse, still showing traces of leaves, stems, stubble, bones, and so on, or it may have been completely broken down into […]

Hornbeam Growing Guide – Carpinus

Mostly hardy, leaf-losing trees or large shrubs native to Europe, eastern Asia, the Himalayas and North and Central America; they belong to the Birch family, Betulaceae. They range in height from 15-80 ft., the trees usually having short trunks, and the wood is very hard and durable. The name Carpinus is a Latin word used by Pliny. Hornbeams grow fairly […]