Plant advice articles

July-15

Growing and caring for perennial plants

No flower border is complete without at least some herbaceous perennials. These are the non-woody plants that die right back in autumn and emerge again in spring. Some herbaceous perennials are evergreen - but not many.

Read more
Bee-on-prunella-altenberg-rosa

Best perennials for bees

Bees and Bumblebees are essential to the life of a plant, but sadly in recent years their numbers are on the decline. A world without the busy bee would not only leave our gardens bereft of sound and movement, but lead to the demise of many plants.

Read more
July-flowers

Perennials for cutting

Perennials have been grown as cut flowers for many years. Long before the Dutch flower markets became the main source for cut flowers, British nurseries, especially around London, grew perennials purely for cutting. Crates of flowers would be sent daily by train to Covent Garden. All were cut according to the season from the same perennials grown in gardens.

Read more
Aster-september-ruby2

Late Flowering Perennials

As summer drifts into autumn the garden starts to put itself to sleep preparing for the seemingly endless winter months. In the meantime this process is slow enough to allow us to appreciate the autumn garden. By late October my borders have become a wonderful tapestry of colours

Read more
Ophiopogon1

Foliage First

Think of plants with lovely leaves and most gardeners imagine trees, shrubs and fabulous autumn colour. Perennials are rarely considered yet many have beautiful leaves and this very important attribute should certainly be given some thought when choosing what to grow especially for winter colour.

Read more
Dicentra-spectabilis7

Early Flowering Perennials

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. There is so much to look forward to, including all those lovely early blooming perennials. In the wild spring flowering plants grow beneath deciduous trees and shrubs where the ground is relatively warm and sheltered, and where in the coming months an upper canopy of leaves extends to shade the ground below.

Read more
Peony-fd-july-14

Moving and Dividing Peonies

Peonies are perfect for busy people. Once planted they require almost no attention. Long-lived and extremely beautiful when in flower even the foliage is handsome. However there might be a time when they might need moving or dividing.

Read more
Digitalis-mertonensis

Foiling Rabbits

Rabbits might be cute and cuddly, but for gardeners who live close to a rabbit population the sight of just one of these small creatures anywhere near our precious patch can send us into fits of rage. These, as we all know, are rapid reproducers, which means there are lots of mouths to feed. Rabbits are fearless munchers, nibbling leaves, flower stems and digging around the base of plants to get at young tender roots.

Read more
Iris-honinington1

Dwarf Irises

Tall Bearded irises are gorgeous, but equally as beautiful and a less well known are Standard Dwarf Bearded irises, a title abbreviated to ‘SDB’. These short irises grow to between 21 cm and 40 cm high and usually flower in May, although in southern counties, and warm springs, they can start to bloom in April. The flowers are smaller than those of Tall Bearded varieties; sitting just above a low, clump of sword-like, grey-green leaves.

Read more