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 [...]
As I have suggested in an earlier section, the shrubs admitted to our miniature gardens may be rather taller than the herbaceous perennials
without destroying the effect of scale. Even so, the choice is not a wide one, for many little shrubs, though sufficiently dwarf in stature, occupy too much lateral space. Where the small pan garden is concerned, it is better to avoid shrubs Read more [...]
UNLESS otherwise stated, the plants in the following list will flourish satisfactorily in ordinary alpine compost and in a sunny aspect
. The plants marked * require keeping in check by the removal of their outlying runners from time to time or they will eventually occupy too much space in the garden
. Those marked ** appreciate protection from rain during the winter months. Read more [...]
The first symptom of this disease is that the young growths take on a reddish tinge and start to curl; then as the disease develops they become covered with a whitish powder. Fortunately this early stage is easily corrected. An effective spray is ordinary washing-soda at the rate of 1 ounce to 1 gallon of water, or alternatively the whitish covering can be sponged away Read more [...]
This pest, also known as the thunder-fly, is a serious menace both under glass and in the open garden, especially during hot, dry summers. The flies swarm over all parts of the tree, distorting the young tender shoots; they suck the chlorophyll out of the leaves and, by burrowing into the heart of the buds, cause the malformation of the bloom.
DDT as a spray or dust Read more [...]
Although there are a number of rhododendrons scarcely exceeding half a foot in height, even the smallest of them will eventually attain twice as much in diameter or even more. Therefore, however small and neat they may look in their nursery pots, they are not for the smaller types of miniature garden where elbow-room is scarce. Where a larger enclosure can be devoted to them Read more [...]
The willow is the only deciduous
tree which has dwarf forms, but as these form little spreading bushes rather than trees, they may be appropriately included in the present section. Like their larger fellows, they bear catkins, which are usually more conspicuous on the female plants. They enjoy a moist and leafy, though well drained, soil, and do not mind full sun. Although Read more [...]
To the herbaceous veronicas mentioned in the previous section can now be added a few dwarf shrubs from New Zealand. All are perfectly easy in light soil and full sun, but it is worth remembering that the poorer the soil, the smaller and more compact they will remain. Only the smallest are included in the list below.
V. Astoni makes a dwarf tuft of small golden yellow leaves, Read more [...]
My friend seems to spend half of his gardening
life dealing with rose pests and diseases. I want to grow roses too, but is it possible to buy varieties that are likely to be trouble-free?
It is certainly true that some varieties are inherently healthier than others. However, it is not possible to be very precise about the healthiest roses, for their resistance to disease Read more [...]
What is the best way of getting chives established?
You can raise chives (Allium
) either from seed or by dividing old clumps. Sow seed in the spring, and when the seedlings are several inches high, plant them out in clumps of up to half a dozen seedlings together, spacing the clumps about 225 mm (9 in) apart. They soon spread into larger clumps. Mature clumps can be divided Read more [...]
Do you recommend the all-female varieties of cucumber
which are now available?
Yes, these are a very useful development. With the old-fashioned varieties of greenhouse
or frame cucumbers
you have to remove all the male flowers because, once the flowers are pollinated, they become mis-shapen, swollen at the ends, and bitter. This is not necessary with the all-female varieties, Read more [...]
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