News

Move houseplants outdoors

Move houseplants outdoors for a summer holiday so they come back inside refreshed and ready to give you their usual superb display next winter.

Most houseplants enjoy a spell outside in the warmer weather, including cymbidium orchids, ficus, peace lilies, bromeliads, and Christmas cacti. Keep more delicate, water-sensitive plants like African violets and moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) indoors, though.

Move houseplants outdoors

Th...

Read more...
It’s British Flowers Week

It’s British Flowers Week – your chance to celebrate the best of British grown, beautifully fresh cut flowers and foliage.

Pop into the garden centre here in London and treat yourself to a gorgeous bouquet of in-season British-grown flowers to mark the occasion: right now you’re spoilt for choice, with roses, alstroemeria, lilacs, freesias, lavender,  pinks and sweet williams all in season and flowering their socks off. Put togethe...

Read more...
Train your cordon tomatoes

Train your cordon tomatoes to encourage lots of fruit on a big, vigorous plant. Tomatoes either grow on a bush, in which case it doesn’t need training or a vine. Those grown as a single-stemmed vine are known as ‘cordon’ tomatoes and are trained to increase production and stop side shoots growing into an untidy plant.

Train Tomatoes

When you pick up your ready-grown tomato plants from the garden centre here in London make sure...

Read more...
Plant of the Week: Viola

Shy little violas are familiar as winter bedding plants, flowering stoically (and prettily) through the coldest months. But did you know there are summer violas too, every bit as dainty as their winter cousins?

Perennial violas are little beauties with deliciously scented flowers. They make fantastic ground cover, spreading merrily to make a flowery carpet at the feet of roses and other shrubs all summer. And there’s such a wonderful array of colours to cho...

Read more...
Once early summer shrubs finish flowering, it’s time to give them a prune

Once early summer shrubs finish flowering, it’s time to give them a prune to keep them youthful and vigorous ready for a superb show next year.

Among shrubs you can prune now are philadelphus (mock orange), spiraea, lilac, buddleja, flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), Kolkwitzia, Exochorda and Deutzia.

Give shrubs a prune

Start by investing in some good tools: you’ll need a sharp pair of secateurs, some loppers and for mature shrubs, a p...

Read more...
Right now is the perfect time to pick herbs

Right now is the perfect time to pick herbs as they’re growing on strongly with plenty of fresh young growth packed with the essential oils that make them so fragrant and enticingly tasty.

The perfect time to pick herbs

The more often you cut perennial herbs like rosemary, oregano and mint, the more they produce – so regular picking is essential to keep your supply coming. Annuals, too, stay leafy for longer when you pick them over every few days...

Read more...
Harvest broad beans

Harvest broad beans as soon as the pods have swelled for one of the real home-grown treats of early summer in the veg garden. If you sowed your broad beans in autumn (look out for super-hardy varieties like Aquadulce Claudia on our seed racks which can overwinter as sturdy seedlings) they should be producing plenty of pods by now; if you sowed summer varieties like Masterpiece Green Longpod in spring, you may have to wait another week or so.

...

Read more...
It's almost time for RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

It’s almost time for the gates to open for the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, a new addition to the calendar this year and sure to be a hit with visitors. The show sets out to be ‘bold and innovative’, highlighting ground-breaking garden design: some features explore futuristic gardening in a climate-change world, while others draw inspiration from the great trendsetters of history including Sir Joseph Paxton and Lancelot ‘Capability’ B...

Read more...
What to do in the garden in June

Flaming June is a delight in the garden, what with roses blooming, borders bursting with colour and the first new crops to harvest. Here are the jobs to be getting on with this month:

General tasks:

  • Target weeds, regularly hoeing bare soil on dry days and forking out perennials like ground elder as soon as you see them.
  • Check moisture levels, digging down with a trowel to find out how damp the soil really is underneath – then water w...
Read more...
Keep ripening strawberries clean with a thick layer of straw

Keep ripening strawberries clean with a thick layer of straw tucked under the leaves just as plants begin flowering. The straw provides a soft layer for developing fruits to sit on, keeping them off the damp ground and preventing them from rotting or getting splashed by mud. It also acts like an insulation layer, holding warmth in the upper layer of soil overnight, which speeds up fruit ripening. Even better, it traps moisture in the soil so you don’t have to wate...

Read more...