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The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden

The Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden was designed by Sarah Raven for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.  This Garden is one of five Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, which have been designed and created to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Radio 2.

Sarah Raven pictured in the Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden, which was designed by Sarah for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

Colourful, Scented Container Plants to Plant and Sow Now!

Containers filled with your favourite coloured flowering plants can bring so much joy to you, and to the bees and butterflies in your garden.

Beautifully scented plants are always top of my list.   The dwarf, compact, lavender cultivars, known as Lavandula angustifolia, are such lovely options for containers in a sunny spot, where their calming, soothing fragrance can be welcomed and enjoyed by all.  

Beautiful, Easy to Grow Cut Flowers to Sow in April

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy to grow flowers, don’t require any cosseting.  You can sow these flowers from seed this month, directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse or any special kit or equipment.

There are so many fabulous varieties of Nigella available.  

Peat Free Compost and Winter Flowers

Peat Free Compost

Last summer, I ran a Peat Free Compost Trial to compare the different peat free composts available, and find out how well each of the composts performed growing dwarf French beans under the same conditions.  In my trial, Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables and Salads, and Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost were the clear winners producing healthy plants with a great harvest.

Container Plants for Bees, Butterflies and Gardeners

A close up of Erigeron karvinskianus.

Whether you’ve got a garden, patio, balcony, or a windowsill, remembering to choose flowering plants that produce pollen and nectar that bees and other pollinating insects can access when you’re selecting new plants is a wonderful and worthwhile thing to do.

Gardening Advice for Mid-August to Mid-September

The end of summer is often a magical time bathed in golden light and sunshine.  Here’s hoping the month ahead is a lovely time, there’s certainly a lot to do to keep you busy!

Vine weevils are a real pain, especially if you’ve got lots of container grown plants, the adult weevils damage plant leaves, leaving a notch-shaped, irregular edge to the leaves, resulting in a bit of a ragged looking, untidy plant.  

Garden Advice for Mid-May to Mid-June

I just love this time of year when everywhere is developing a beautiful shade of green! Every year it’s like a revelation, as hedgerows, trees, lawns, everywhere, turn the most beautiful shade of fresh, new, positive, wonderful, green.  There are many jobs you can do now to keep your garden or allotment looking beautiful, here are some ideas to get you started:

The Chelsea chop, so called as it’s carried out around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, is simply a term to describe cutting back herbaceous, perennial plants, reducing the plants’ height by to up to a half, before flowering.  

Garden Advice for Mid-April to Mid-May

With April sunshine and showers, let’s hope we see lots of rainbows this month!

Sowing seeds is a wonderfully cost-effective way of gardening and a quick and easy way to provide a valuable source of nectar, pollen and food for insects.  If you would like to grow more plants beneficial to bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects then now is a good time to sow the following seeds under cover: Cosmos bipinnatus and Verbena bonariensis.

Gardening Advice for Mid-March to Mid-April

I love the excitement of the garden at this time of year with colourful, cheery spring flowers emerging and the promise of so much more to come.  This is such an invigorating and inspiring time with so much to see and do in the garden!

Prune Figs. The latex that figs readily emit when you prune is an irritant, so it’s advisable to wear gloves whilst pruning or tending to your plants, and then wash your hands thoroughly once you’ve finished.  

Gardening Advice for Mid-October to Mid-November

This time of year is so evocative and reflective with morning mist and an array of autumn colour adding to the beauty of the garden. With shorter days, time is of the essence, there is much to do and enjoy in your garden this month.

It’s the ideal time to plant any beautiful hardy plants you’ve had your eye on in your local nursery or garden centre.