It is probably best to avoid the word rockery, for this is apt to encompass all that is unsatisfactory about most small garden efforts in this field. A pile of soil is made — no doubt left over from something else — then scattered at random with bits of stone or even (horror upon horrors) broken concrete. The result is not a rock garden
and it must be hoped Read more [...]
How to Grow Lettuces
An indispensible crop and the epitome of summer, though they can be grown nearly all year round. No garden should be without a few.
Nothing in particular but avoid land that is too firm or waterlogged. Plenty of organic matter leads to rapid growth and the tastiest lettuces
12-24 lettuces per 10ft (3m) of row; Read more [...]
Growing Brussels Sprouts
Sprouts have always been one of the most popular winter green vegetables. They can be grown to give you a supply of sprouts from September to March. Unless you want to strip the plants at a single pick and then freeze the harvest, pick-over varieties should be grown.
The soil should be well-supplied with organic matter and must, Read more [...]
How to Grow Strawberries
These are probably the most rewarding of all fruits — there is nothing like the taste of your own first fresh-picked strawberry
, or the second, or the third . . .
Strawberries need a very rich soil, full of humus, and benefit from slow- release sources of phosphorus, such as bonemeal. The site must be free of weeds and prepared well with additions Read more [...]
What should I do if I take over a garden with badly neglected roses?
They are likely to be unpruned, may well have been badly pruned in the past, probably will be disease-ridden with many dead stumps, and there may be suckers as well. If the suckers are growing a great deal more strongly that the roses, it is probably not worth trying to rescue the plants. If, on the other Read more [...]
What is the best site for my roses?
Almost anywhere as long as the soil is well drained and the plants will have full sun for most of the day. Avoid narrow, potentially draughty spaces – for instance, between closely adjoining houses.
What is the ideal soil for roses?
A good, well-drained, medium loam
. Not too acid and not too alkaline, is the aim – although roses Read more [...]
Could you suggest some large-flowered and duster-flowered roses in various colours that would be suitable for bedding?
The choice is immense, but the following are a few of my personal favourites: RED. LARGE-FLOWERED ‘Alec’s Red’, ‘Ernest H. Morse’, ‘Fragrant Cloud’, ‘John Waterer’, ‘Mister Lincoln’. ‘National Trust’, ‘Precious Platinum’, CLUSTER-FLOWERED Read more [...]
What equipment do I need for watering my vegetables?
If you have a small plot all you need is a watering can with one ordinary rose and a finer rose for watering small plants. For larger areas, the choice is wide. Hoses are useful, preferably with nozzles which can be adjusted to alter the force of the spray. Automatic sprinklers, joined to an indoor or garden tap by a hose, Read more [...]
A lot of vegetable seeds are marked F1. What does this mean, and are they worth growing?
F1 is a gardening
term used to define varieties of seeds obtained by a highly expensive and complicated breeding process in which two carefully selected parenting lines, which will have been inbred for several generations, are crossed. The seed is therefore much more expensive than ordinary Read more [...]
What sort of conditions do brassicas
(members of the cabbage family) need fertile, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil, dug thoroughly and preferably manured several months in advance: they are best planted into firm soil. (You can, for instance, plant them immediately after lifting peas
, without even forking the soil.) Acid soils should be limed to discourage Read more [...]
It seems easier to raise onions
by planting sets than by sowing seeds
. Are there any disadvantages?
Sets are specially produced miniature onion bulbs
. They can be planted early in spring (when the ground is still unsuitable for sowing), are easy to handle, and the food reserves in the set give the onions a head start over ones raised from seed. They are also less susceptible Read more [...]
I find weeding hard work as well as a bore. Is it really necessary?
Weeds need to be removed because they compete with vegetables for water, soil nutrients, space, and light. Some are apt to harbour pests and ordinary diseases. More seriously, weeds such as chickweed, groundsel, shepherd’s purse, and hairy bitter cress
act as hosts during the winter to several virus diseases. Read more [...]
THE FLOWER GARDEN
Everyone loves a flower garden. For it is here that a multitude of delightful and lovely plants can be brought together into a picturesque whole. The combining of colour, the consideration of form and the appreciation of texture will all contribute to harmonious and pleasing flower borders.
Border preparation is essential if flowering Read more [...]
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