What is Beetroot

Beetroot This sweet salad vegetable has a high food value. It needs deep soil and is best suited to a place where a previous non-root crop has been grown. Do not add fresh manure, as this is inclined to cause root forking. If instead of growing vegetables in the kitchen garden, they are grown in the old-fashioned cottager’s way interspersed with […]

How to grow Aquilegia

The flower form resembles an eagle’s claw, hence the probable origin of this name from aquila the Latin for eagle (Ranunculaceae). Columbine. Hardy herbaceous perennials for the herbaceous border and rock garden. The flowers and leaves are very dainty. Unfortunately, they are inclined to be short lived in heavy wet soils, but they are easily increased by seed. The flowers […]

What’s in a Plant Name?

A few weeks ago, I went to the garden center to buy some pansies to put in decorative pots by my front porch. In my experience, pansies hold up even after the mums bite the dust, and they provide color just about as long as anyone has a right to expect color from a garden plant. I arrived and found […]

How to grow Broccoli

Broccoli, Sprouting This is another variety, italica, of Brassica oleracea. Both purple and white sprouting produce a profusion of young shoots invaluable for prolonging the supplies of winter greens. Purple sprouting is the most hardy and will safely overwinter in most open situations. Young shoots may be produced for Christmas, but it is in March and April that the vegetable […]

How to grow Collard Greens plants with celery seeds

Sow celery thinly in pots or boxes in heat in March for early varieties, or in a cold house in mid-April for the main crop. Prick off into deep seed boxes as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, at 5cm (2in) intervals. After hardening off, plant out from mid May to the end of June, in prepared […]

Growing Guide for Verbascum – Mullein

Possibly from the Latin barba, a beard, many species have a hairy or downy look (Scrophulariaceae). Mullein. A genus of 300 species of hardy herbaceous plants, mostly biennials or short-lived perennials, from temperate parts of Europe and Asia. Species cultivated Cultivation Verbascums grow easily in sunny positions and ordinary or chalky soil. The species is propagated by seed sown in […]

Growers Guide for African Violets

African violet is perhaps the only full-blown paradox that can survive on a windowsill. On one hand, it is a celebrated show plant, with new cultivars eagerly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. It has its own organization, the African Violet Society of America, and its own magazine, African Violet. A quick Internet search reveals that there are almost as […]

Planting Clematis

Every gardener is familiar with the extraordinary effectiveness of vines in a proper setting, but most of us become discouraged after bad luck. The daintier vines have a habit of developing some unknown illness and dying back unexpectedly, while those which thrive usually do too good a job of it. Many a porch has collapsed under the weight of a […]

Growing Guide for Ornamental Brassica

The students have returned to school, your mailbox is crammed with a new crop of seed catalogs, the leaves are falling, and the days are getting shorter. Drive by your local garden center or roadside stand and the displays are filled with ornamental kales and cabbages. Autumn has arrived. Long after the first snowfall and frost have erased most traces […]

SHOE FLIES AND CHINESE LANTERNS – Gardening

The catalogs are a little slimmer this year, but they are still full of the hope and glory of spring and summer. Flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs burst forth from the pages, each better than last year, allegedly foolproof and free-flowering, requiring little or no maintenance and a great return on investment. It all goes to show that gardeners are […]