The Garden Show at Stansted Park

Round & About

plants

Discover plants, garden and home accessories, art, design, sculpture, fashion, gifts and tempting foods and wine and more

The Garden Show is back to celebrate the 30th and the last at Stansted Park from June 7th to 9th.

Thirty years ago the first garden show at Stansted Park in Hampshire was created as a forum for the smaller family fun businesses and to showcase the work of talented artisans particularly those who couldn’t afford the larger, more commercial shows.

It’s a great opportunity to explore what’s on the doorstep; source new talent, designers and artisans. Browse affordable and handpicked companies showcasing the latest specialist plants, garden and home accessories, art, design, sculpture, fashion, gifts and then treat your taste buds to tempting foods and wines.

Pick up top tips from horticultural experts to solve those frustrating problems – as ever the specialist plantspeople will bring their knowledge and brilliant advice plus we have daily expert advice from The Gardening Doctor, Paul Slater, who will also be giving a Talk on Friday on ‘Plant Selection’. Also on Friday the show is joined by Dr Ian Bedford, entomologist, with The Pest Clinic to help solve any bug issues in as friendly a way as possible. On Saturday there is a Q&A Session on ‘Empowering Communities into Horticulture’ with Tayshan Hayden-Smith. Ben Cross from Crosslands Flower Nursery will also be back on the Sunday to extol, in his usual energetic way, on the ‘British Cut Flower Industry’… ‘British Flowers Rock’!

The Show’s chosen charity is CancerWise – www.cancerwise.org.uk – aspiring to be an enabling, compassionate community for people with cancer and those who care for them. Based in Chichester, offering support and information to anyone who is concerned about cancer. Through counselling, complementary therapies or emotional care, providing support to the mind, body, spirit and emotional health of people through and beyond cancer. They will be holding ‘A Giant Tombola’, prizes donated by the Garden Show Exhibitors, along with some fete fun games.

In memory of one of the original founders of the show, Lizzie Dymock, Tawny Nursery will be selling beautiful poppies in aid on CancerWise.

It’s not all about gardening with ongoing demonstrations including willow weaving, forging along with traditional chairs, broom, trug and fence making plus The Studio Shop artisans demonstrating and sharing their expertise on jewellery design, painting, photography, embroidery, felt making, woodwork along with so much more. Plus the opportunity to join in one of the Blacksmith Workshops and create a leaf to hang on The Tree of Life in aid of CancerWise.

There is plenty to engage your children & indeed the whole family: watch children play in the beautiful parklands, ride on the toddler fun fair with Carousel Amusements, watch Huxley Birds of Prey soar through the skies, learn circus skills with Crazee Hazee and enjoy the daily Punch & Judy shows as well as ‘have-a-go-archery’ with The Queens Archers.

Next year the show moves to Broadlands from June 6th to 8th.

Ticket prices on the gate: Adult £14. Senior £12. Child £5 (Age 5-16yrs. Under 5yrs free). Family £35 (inc 2A & 4C). Prebook and save 15%.

More details and booking at The Garden Shows

Putting the Garden to Bed

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Green-fingered Cathie Welch shares her tips on getting your garden ready for the colder months

I have always thought this was a strange saying as so much goes on during the winter months. Some plants die down but others are coming up as it’s their season. The animals, insects and birds all still need shelter and food.

Pruning

Many plants actually need their annual prune in the winter when they are dormant like roses, apples and pears and many other deciduous shrubs and trees. Think about piling up the prunings or making a ‘dead hedge’ instead of throwing them out or burning them.

Cutting back perennials

Many perennials have gone over and look dead at this time of the year and it is tempting to cut them all back for tidiness. Think carefully about each plant as the seed heads that look dead to you can look beautiful in the frost and can contain valuable food for birds. The base of perennials can actually be protected in the winter, particular those that are slightly tender like Penstemon and many Salvias. Perennials at the side of ponds are refuge for amphibians. If you really need to cut them back consider leaving piles so creatures can hide there. Many perennials are best left until the sap is rising in the Spring like Fuschias, Hydrangeas and Perovskia.

Tender Perennials

Some plants need winter protection as they don’t tolerate the freezing temperatures of recent years. Hardy Fuschias die back but tender ones will die. Dahlias and Cannas really can be put to bed in the garden by covering with a thick layer of straw mulch topped with compost.

Autumn Leaves

I find the thick acrid smoke of a bonfire particularly upsetting if leaves are the fuel. This is especially tedious when leaf blowers are used. Rake the leaves up into a pile for hedgehogs and other creatures to enjoy. Mulch over the top of them on flower beds as they will eventually rot down. Mow them up on a lawn for exceptional compost. Create a leaf mould pile but do not burn!

Meadows and hardy annuals

A lot of our native wild flowers need to have the seed stratified which means they need the cold winter in order to germinate in the Spring. Consider leaving the seeds in the ground rather than collecting them or re-distribute throughout the garden.

Biennials

Foxgloves, teasels and forget-me-nots need to go through vernalisation which is when the plant is in its first year. It needs the cold to stimulate flowering the following Spring.

Plants are amazing and a little knowledge can transform the way you think about ‘putting your garden to bed for the winter’

CGS Courses
Please ask for details as I am now meeting potential students for Spring Courses as well as bespoke workshops and volunteering. I can also come and teach you in your own garden and am happy to chat over a coffee at Ashdene. Consultancy gift vouchers available too. Visit my website or email:  [email protected]

The art of watering

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plants

I have decided that watering is a very specialised subject and I feel I could run a 10-week course on the subject!

The challenges for getting water to the roots of plants this year and last is off the scale. I remember saying how important it was to harvest the rainwater as it is so precious and would love to know how many of you did that?

Soil improvement

Anyone who knows me knows that I champion soil improvement and liken it to the gut biome! My go to compost to improve fertility and water retention is wool and bracken compost. I have covered my garden in it this year and those of many clients. We are reaping the benefits.

Harvesting the rain

We complain about it in the winter but in the last two summers have prayed it will fall out of the sky! I have been like a mad woman filling up water bottles by the thousand and installing water butts everywhere as well as leaving out trugs and trays to put in thirsty plants. I am now watering my plants with harvested rainwater as another hosepipe ban looms!

Watering the garden

New planting will need watering. If you have improved the soil or mulched this will be possible. If it’s just dusty dry soil it will just run off. Mulch now to absorb the water you put on. Spray to wet the mulch and then allow as much water into the soil as you can. If you are not sure just scrape the surface or dig down with a trowel to see if it’s wet. Use spiked bottles or tubes to get the water to the roots, do not just spray the plants.

Watering the lawn

Do not waste water doing this! A sign of a good gardener is a ‘dead’ lawn in the summer. It will revitalise as soon as the rain comes, it’s not dead it’s summer dormant.

Pots

Someone once said to me ‘It doesn’t rain in pots’ so make sure you still water. If it’s hot and sunny you will need to water more than when it is cool and cloudy. Do the plants need it? Are they wilting because they are dry, waterlogged or damaged by pests? Is the pot heavy or light? Is it normal multi purpose compost or wool compost? Is it a desert plant or a tropical rainforest plant?

If in doubt stick your finger into the soil!

CGS Courses

Please ask for details as I am now meeting potential students for Autumn and Spring Courses as well as bespoke workshops. I can also come and teach you in your own garden and am happy to chat over a coffee at Ashdene. Consultancy gift vouchers available too.

Website: Cathie’s Gardening School.
Email: [email protected]

A rose by any other name

Karen Neville

plants

Rose Awareness Week celebrates the beauty and variety of the world’s most popular flower. This is the ideal time to enjoy their glory with beautiful blooms and sensuous scents in gardens near you

Shakespeare said “of all the flowers, me thinks a rose is best” and who can argue with the great English playwright. Roses are rooted in many aspects of life, from literature to history, but did you know:

• The oldest living rose is 1,000 years old, and lives on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany.
• All varieties of rose are edible. Rose petals are often added to jellies and used as a flavouring in Chinese and Indian cuisine. Teas or cocktails are often infused with rose hips, a berry shaped fruit grown from roses packed with Vitamin C.
• There are around 150 species of roses across the world, with thousands of hybrids too! Cherries, apples, peaches, plums, pears, apricots and almonds are all relatives of the rose family.
• The most expensive rose is the Juliet Rose. It took 15 years and cost £2.3 million. Its colour resembles an apricot and it was first displayed in 2006 at Chelsea Flower Show.

One of summer’s great pleasures is to stroll through a rose garden, breathe in the sweet fragrance and gaze at the pastel colours of the blooms. Whether in a formal rose garden or throughout the grounds, these ones are well worth a visit.

Hampshire

More than 100 rose varieties bloom each summer at Hinton Ampner, Alresford, and the borders are designed so the most fragrant roses are planted close to the path you walk along. Take the rose trail that guides you to the different varieties planted by a former owner, and Hinton’s garden team.

Step into the garden at Mottisfont and be met with unsurpassed fragrance and colour from over 500 varieties of world-famous roses blooming in the walled garden.

Surrey

The rose garden at Nymans is teaming with delicate blooms and densely-petalled clusters. Make the most of the long summer evenings and experience the roses in a whole new light every Friday in June and July with summer lates at Nymans.

Take in the glorious views across the rolling Surrey Hills from Polesden Lacey near Dorking, framed by Edwardian rambling roses, shrub roses adorning the borders and climbing roses decorating the pergolas.

Started in 2007, the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden at RHS Wisley aims to inspire visitors with roses planted alongside companion plants.

The two summer beds at the Six Quarters at Gilbert White’s House, Selborne, are home to various species of old roses, all of which look their best this month, nestled among lavender, geraniums, columbines and foxgloves.

Planted with over 1,000 Old English rose bushes and framed by long, low, precisely clipped box hedges, the Rose Garden at Loseley Park, Guildford, is one of the finest examples in the country. Many visit just for the colour and scent of the roses, evoking summer at its best.

Oxfordshire

The three-day flower show this month, 23rd to 25th, at Blenheim Palace is the ideal time to enjoy the roses at their best in the sumptuous surroundings of the stately splendour in Woodstock. Take a stroll down Floral Street, tour the Grand Floral Pavilion, join the newly-created Insect Trail and generally wallow in all that showcases the best of British gardening.

The Mary Rose Garden at Waterperry Gardens near Wheatley is home to hybrid teas, floribunda, climbers and ground cover roses – a rose lover’s paradise. Visitors in June will find among the many varieties grown there are some which only flower once a year, amid many repeat flowerers.

As part of the National Garden Scheme, The Old Rectory, Farnborough, near Wantage OX12 8NX will be open on June 28th and August 9th. Visitors can admire the collection of old roses and abundantly planted borders while enjoying beautiful views and rare plants and wild flowers.

Wiltshire

There are around 2,000 roses throughout the garden at Abbey House Manor Gardens, Malmesbury, with climbers wandering their way through foxgloves and other flowers. Once part of a Benedictine Monastery, the gardens only open on selected dates during the summer months.

Berkshire

The rose arbor provides seating in an avenue of white and mauve alliums and white camtasisa at Rockwood Garden, Newbury where you can enjoy a tour with tea lead by the owners.

The 12 acre garden at Englefield House, Theale, descends from the hill above the historic house through woodland featuring mature native trees. Stone balustrades enclose the lower terrace with lawns, roses and mixed borders.

Greys Court near Henley is full of wonderful sights and scents as the roses come into bloom throughout June. The rose garden traces the history of the rose from the early damask varieties to the modern hybrid perennials.

Through June, August and September, the Rose Garden at Basildon Park is planted with old roses, replicating Lady Iliffe’s original design. Look out for two of the gardeners’ favourite roses: Rosa mundi and Rosa ‘Compte de Chambord’, which is also known as ‘Madame Boll’ or ‘Madame Knorr’.

Take in the scent of the contemporary rose garden at Savill Garden, Windsor, with its viewing platform overlooking the roses and the garden beyond and wander beside borders planted with old fashioned scented French musk roses.

Celebrate all things floral at the Royal Windsor Flower Show on Saturday, 10th June. Led by the show’s Honorary President, Alan Titchmarsh who will welcome a host of special guests and performances, with plant growers, garden designers, artisan producers and top-notch chefs on hand to demonstrate and share their knowledge.

Buckinghamshire

Cliveden’s rose garden features over 900 repeat flowering roses in shades of red, orange and yellow. Reinstated in 2014 based on a 1950s design by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, you can enjoy them in bloom from late May until September.

Visitors to Waddesdon this month will be able to enjoy the sweet scent of the rose garden as the colourful blooms fill the stately setting. The beds in the Aviary and Parterre are awash with colour influenced by Victorian-inspired planting.

In addition to the stately splendour of Cliveden and Waddesdon, several gardens are opening as part of the National Garden Scheme this month. Overstroud Cottage Garden in The Dell, Frith Hill, Great Missenden, HP16 9QE, is opening its gates on Sunday, 4th June for visitors to admire the rambling roses and their ‘lookalike’ peonies among others. With a plant stall too you may even be able to pick up some specimens for your garden!

Maidenhead Open Gardens will feature about 20 gardens on June 24th and 25th with gardens large and small on display showcasing their blooms. Meet the keen gardeners and pick up some tips as you discover more about the hidden gems in the area. Earlier in the month, on 11th, visit the garden at St Timothee, Darlings Lane, Pinkneys Green, SL6 6PA and take in the sights and scents of the two-acre garden at this 1930s house where, in addition to the rose terrace, a box parterrre, ornamental grasses and wildlife pond add to the delight.

Heatwave help for your gardens

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With temperatures set to soar again this week, a paucity of rain and impending hose pipe bans, how do you keep your garden going? R&A gardening expert Cathie Welch has some advice

As I write this we are being warned that temperatures are going to climb to over 40 degrees! Many people are asking how we deal with this in our gardens. Once it hits there is very little we can do about extremes of hot and cold that descend on us unexpectedly.

The lawn

Lawns naturally have a dormant season in the summer and there is no need to waste precious water trying to keep it green. Once the rains arrive in the autumn it will green up again but will need some tlc so get scarifying, aerating and topdressing. I found my grasses went brown very quickly but the lawn ‘weeds’ thrived.

The flower beds

You may have lost a few of your plants in the recent hot spells even though you tried your hardest to water them. Accept there was nothing you could do and move on. Make plans to improve the soil structure by adding organic matter and don’t forget to mulch as you weed. Consider installing drip irrigation for the future.

Pots

Plants in pots do not tolerate drying out but this can be alleviated by using a good quality compost such as wool which holds onto the water for longer. Once they have dried out it’s very difficult to get them wet again so consider plunging and soaking the root ball or top dressing with wool compost before watering thoroughly.

Lawns naturally have a dormant season in the summer and there is no need to waste precious water trying to keep it green

New plants

Do not even consider planting in the summer months unless you have an irrigation system or you are sure the water is reaching all the way down to the roots. If you must plant, place an upside down water bottle or piece of pipe next the plant to fill up each day. I’ve seen bags next to newly planted trees which act as a reservoir. Trees are notorious for dying in the drought and many suffer from ‘establishment failure’. Whether planting in the spring or autumn it is that first summer that is critical. When you have watered the plant check how wet it is by scraping the surface of the soil. You would be amazed how little the water penetrates despite spending hours of your time watering!

Old plants

Unfortunately I remember only too well the summer of 1976 after which many established trees suffered from dieback as the water table dropped below the depth of their roots in the Summer.

 

Moving forward

• Improve your soil by adding organic matter.
• Prevent evaporation by mulching.
• Irrigate if you can and at the very least harvest as much rainwater as you can by placing water butts and containers under every pipe and gutter.
• Learn from the plants that thrived in the heat and the ones that died.
• Think very carefully when planting new plants. If you are choosing Mediterranean plants, plant in the spring and not the autumn as they could rot over winter.
• Get to know your soil type and research the plants that would do well in your garden.

Find out more

More advice on this and other garden topics at www.cathiesgardeningschool.co.uk

Wild Watlington

Liz Nicholls

plants

Nicola Shafer tells us how her love of the natural world led her to the publication of her new book

We are lucky to have beautiful natural local habitats. From our precious chalk grasslands to our rare chalk streams, from the beech woods filled with bluebells and wild garlic, to our ancient hedgerows rich with native species, to old oak trees and meadows, to the gardens and green spaces in the town.

My love of wildlife started as a child, encouraged by my parents and grandparents and a small flowerpress. However it is only since I got involved with the Green Plan, a collaboration between Watlington Climate Action Group and other local groups interested in conservation that I realised how much I didn’t know about ecology. I joined Watlington Environment Group and started to learn the names of flowers, the types of insects, the song of our birds and the importance of our chalk stream. Last year, I acquired a macro lens with which to take better photographs of our local wildflowers, and a whole new world of beauty opened up in front of my eyes. Previously on walks I might notice the flowers in passing but now, stopping to take a closer look the variety, colour, and structure of these wildflowers astounds me. Looking closer you often see that a single flower can be home to various small insects, and a food source or a resting place for a bee or a butterfly.

Thank you to Watlington Library for displaying Eleanor’s artwork from the book in July, and to The Granary Café for hosting an exhibition last month.

Wild Watlington, The Creatures of Watlington Parish is a tour of just some of what can be found on our doorstep. Written as a story book, it is full of information that will be appreciated by young and old alike, as we find out about the habitats that make up our landscape, and the creatures that share it. The book was illustrated by young artist Eleanor Short, who is a Year 8 student at Icknield Community College. Thank you to Watlington Library for displaying Eleanor’s artwork from the book in July, and to The Granary Café for hosting an exhibition last month.

In the last year, with the aid of apps, my grandmother’s guide to wild flowers, and patient friends with more knowledge than me, I’ve been able to learn a fair proportion of the flowers I find on the local hills and verges. In times gone past, we were intimately acquainted with the plants around us – what was edible, what was not, what could be used for a medical treatment, what could be used for warding off evil spirits, and what smelt good when added to bedding. Now most of us don’t even know the names! As a society we have lost so much of this knowledge, but it is worth the effort to reclaim it. Looking closer and recognising the flowers and plants around us bring a greater understanding and connection to our natural world and with it a greater desire to protect and restore it.

Around Watlington my favourite places for wildlife spotting are:

1. The Chilterns way through Greenfield and College Woods is beautiful and I often see deer there

2. Incredible wild flowers can be seen on the chalk grass of the Aston Rowant Nature Reserves

3. The Chalk Pits at the bottom of Watlington Hill is a quiet retreat to listen to birdsong

4. The Paddock behind Watlington Library is beautifully planted with pollinator friendly plants, a great place to spot different types of bees and butterflies

5. Watlington’s historical chalk streams and spring fed ponds such as the Willow Pond and Horse Pond host amphibians, invertebrates, ducks, and occasionally a water vole.

Get your copy

The book is on sale at So Sustainable on Watlington High Street, priced at £5, and limited edition prints are available at wildwatlington.uk

Respect your elders! Five recipes

Liz Nicholls

plants

August is the zenith of elderflower season, with this floral yet tropical flavoured plant gracing many a hedgerow in this gorgeous part of the world.

The plant is known for its white flowers which sprawl out of the stem and will begin to flourish from May lasting through to August, when it then begins to develop purple elderberries.

The fresh, floral, and slightly tropical taste makes the flower a great base for many recipes. The taste is often compared to a more floral version of pear or lychee.

Most commonly, elderflower is found in cordial drinks, but the versatile ingredient has far more to offer…

How to spot elderflower

Elderflower’s most recognisable element is its sprawling white flowers which look like a burst of small creamy petals. The tree itself will be small in size, often just a shrub. It is plentiful throughout the UK and often grows in woods, hedges or even in parks or on big streets. However, before you even spot the flower, you may be able to smell it! Elderflower has a distinctive aroma which many liken to ‘the smell of summer’ – it should smell floral and creamy. If the flowers have a brown colour or smell musty, it’s best to leave that plant. Lastly, be sure you’re not confusing elderflower with other similar looking plants like Pyracantha or Cow Parsley. If possible, take a photo of elderflower with you so you can compare. Remember that elderflowers grow from woody, leafy branches, have 5 rounded petals and yellow anthers.

How to prepare your elderflower

If you can, try to pick your elderflower in fair weather. The blooms will be packed with pollen and it’s this which gives the plant its signature taste. Poor weather can mean that the pollen has been washed or blown away, resulting in a less flavourful return. It’s also worth avoiding any elderflowers from beside road or railway lines as these can be tainted with fumes, instead try to wander farther afield for your crop. This is important as when you come to prepare your flowers, you shouldn’t wash them, as this will remove the aforementioned pollen.

Instead, pick off any bugs then trim the blossoms into a container ensuring you gather any pollen that falls away. Discard the stems. It’s best to use elderflower right away, but if you do need to store it, place your flowers in a paper bag and keep in a cool, dry place.

Recipe ideas

Champagne

Elderflower Champagne is the perfect, elegant use for these flowers. To make a batch of your own you’ll need sugar, lemons, and some white wine vinegar.

A simple recipe can be found from River Cottage requiring only basic equipment and some appropriate bottles of choice, just make sure these have a cork or stopper to create that fizz!

This recipe requires a little patience as you’ll need to wait at least a week before your batch is ready. If you plan on storing your champagne, you may need to pop the lid occasionally to release excess pressure from building up.

Once ready, the drink makes a perfect garden party tipple, ideal for sharing with friends!

Fritters

This recipe is much simpler than it sounds. All you need is flour, baking powder, icing sugar and sparkling water. Simply mix the first three ingredients together then add your sparkling water. Aim for a thick texture that is still a little runny. Once ready, dip in your elderflower heads then add to a pan of hot, but not smoking, oil. The fritters should turn golden brown and be ready to remove in under a minute. Once ready, remove and leave to dry on kitchen paper, then dust in icing sugar or serve with a drizzle of honey. For a more adventurous taste, swap out the sparkling water for beer or ginger beer for a different twist.

Sorbet

Sorbet is a simple and versatile way to use your elderflowers. Bring two parts water and one parts sugar to a boil, add in your ingredients, simmer, cool for at least an hour, leave to infuse, strain, then pour into containers to freeze.

The best thing about creating sorbet is that you can experiment with flavours. Some great options to add to your elderflower include lemon, gin, strawberry, or rhubarb. A perfect cooling dessert for summer that’s easy to make, store and enjoy. Top with fresh fruit, biscuits, or add to sparkling wine for a simple, yet elegant, cocktail.

Tea

One effortless way to use your elderflower is to make tea. All you need for this is your elderflower cuttings, a cup and something to strain the liquid. Once you’ve trimmed your elderflowers, hang them upside down in a light, airy place to allow the flowers to dry out. Once done, keep your elderflower in a tin and store for when you want to make a cup. To make the tea, all you need to do is add elderflowers to boiling water and allow it to infuse. After a few minutes, strain the liquid into a cup of your choice. Alternatively, if you have a tea strainer, simply put your elderflowers cuttings inside and cover with hot water.

Cake

Last but not least, elderflower has always been a firm favourite with bakers, giving cakes a sweet but subtle twist. Royal fans may remember that Harry and Meghan opted for a lemon and elderflower cake at their wedding, adorned with fresh flowers. There’s a wealth of options if you’re looking to use elderflower in baking from adding into the mix, creating an elderflower syrup, or mixing it into a buttercream filling or topping. When it comes to the perfect flavour pairings, lemon is often the most popular choice, but pistachio, raspberries, or blueberries also make great combinations. For the perfect summer showstopper, try drizzling your cake with icing and topping with edible flowers.

“Elderflower can be a wonderfully diverse ingredient, while its flavour is distinctive, it’s sweet and floral nature means it pairs well with a wealth of other flavours,” says Kate Cartwright of Burleigh Pottery.

“Luckily in the UK, elder trees are abundant, meaning it’s highly likely you’ll be able to forage some elderflower for yourself. Just look out for the bursts of white flowers which should be blooming anytime now. When done responsibly, foraging is a great way to take advantage of the wonderful wild plants and ingredients we have in our country. Using local ingredients allows us to be more sustainable and cooking with wildflowers such as elderflower embraces and celebrates the ingredients we have all around us.”

A final word

It’s important to be responsible when foraging and there are some basic principles you should follow:

• Don’t take more than you need.

• Be careful not to trample or damage plants.

• Leave lots behind.

• Be sure you have identified the plant before consuming.

• Seek permission on private land.

• Elderflower mildly toxic when raw. Cooking destroys the toxic chemicals.

Book a plant clinic appointment

Round & About

plants

Plant or garden dilemma? Grab a free Gardeners’ Question Time Plant Clinic slot with garden guru & Miracle-Gro this week.

999: WHAT’S YOUR PLANT EMERGENCY? From black spot to drooping leaves, now you can self-refer your plant for a live diagnosis at the Miracle-Gro Plant Clinic

Being a plant parent isn’t always easy! Despite our best efforts, our plants aren’t always in their best shape, and there’s always lots to learn about how to care for them – but now Miracle-Gro (www.lovethegarden.com) is offering free virtual Plant Clinic appointments with gardening guru Kate Turner to help bring your plants back to life.

Kate has years of gardening knowledge at her (green) fingertips, with experience on ITV’s Love Your Garden, BBC’s Garden Rescue, as a horticultural tutor at The Therapy Garden and as head gardener at Charterhouse School in Godalming.

Each day of the Plant Clinic will have its own plant-specialism to suit whatever questions you may have.

Plant Parenthood, Monday 29th March:

Whether it’s your first-time gardening and you’re not sure where to start, or you’re going to grow your fruit and veg crop from seed this year, Kate can answer all your questions and give you lots of tips.

Nutritious Growing, Tuesday 30th March:

The second day of the plant clinic is dedicated to all of your grow-your-own needs. Kate will be able to give advice on the best ways to grow your own fruit and veg and diagnose problems that you might have encountered. If your tomatoes caught blight last year or your courgettes didn’t flower, make sure they thrive this year by booking in with Kate.

Showstoppers, Wednesday 31st March:

Some plants are just for show, so get yours looking their absolute best this season. The Plant Clinic is open for anything from how to grow stunning roses and ornamental flowers, to bold, beautiful houseplants that need a little bit of help. Kate can guide you to enjoy your own flower show.

GP (General Plant) Surgery, Thursday 1st April:

If your needs don’t fit within one of the above, or you’re just looking for general gardening advice, then book a GP appointment with Kate for a check-up.

Plant Clinic bookings are now open for one person and their plant-patient to discuss their growing grievances with plant doctor and gardening expert, Kate Turner. With 20-minute Plant Clinic appointments on offer over the four-day period, which can be booked here.

To find out more, visit www.lovethegarden.com/plantclinic


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Liven your home with green walls

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Gardarica offers ‘living walls’ tailor made to the needs of your home, garden or business from design to construction

The last year had us all spending much more time indoors, whether due to lockdown or self-isolating. It is more important than ever to create a living space that is refreshing both aesthetically and to create a better atmosphere to live and work.

Living Walls has been the new thing for interior design and landscape design, and an amazing solution for a quick and easy renovation, breathing life to your home.

Benefits of green walls

Improved mental & physical health

The presence of living walls reduce bacteria, mould and dust, ensuring that your environment is healthier. People in spaces with green walls experience less headaches and tiredness than people in traditional homes. A greener environment will make your home more relaxing and allow for better productivity.

Better air quality & flow

Living walls purify the air converting harmful particles into oxygen. Studies have shown that better air quality leads to a more positive mood. This is a fantastic way to make your property a more positive environment.

Temperature Control

Living walls naturally regulate the temperature in your space, creating a pleasant atmosphere.

They simply look great!

Apart from all the practical benefits, a simple fact remains, a green wall looks fantastic and it will lift your mood!

Did you know?

There are several plants that boost your immune system and limit viruses in the atmosphere

There are plants, like Aloe Vera and many more, that produce oxygen even in night time

You can choose to have a green wall designed and constructed for you, or if you are on a low budget you could even start one yourself

Gardarica uses patented products from recycled oceanic plastics to create a unique design that matches your needs and budget.

Contact Gardarica to find out more at [email protected] or call 020 398 319 60.

 

For our tips on how to show your home some love, click here

Wisley garden

Karen Neville

plants

Make the most of the longer evenings thanks to some highlights this month at RHS Garden Wisley in Woking

Various events “after hours” at RHS Wisley should have you enjoying summer to its fullest. Quad Cinema will screen three films from 11th – 13th July including Mamma Mia, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Greatest Showman.

On Wednesday, 17th July, join Surrey Bat Group for an evening walk, and on 24th July pet owners can bring their dogs for walkies. On 26th visitors can enjoy and evening stroll and some live music in the garden until 9pm. There will also be an open-air theatre performance of The Wind in the Willows on Sunday, 28th, at 5.30pm.

Fuchsias are the focus of the Glasshouse display at RHS Garden Wisley from 6th July to 18th August, with a colourful display from Wisley’s fuchsia collection. The Glasshouse Gallery hosts the Carnivorous Plant Society for its show between 20th and 21st July with talks, advice, sales and a special presentation each day at 11an and 3pm entitled The Natural History of Carnivorous Plants.

Jazz in the Garden will take place each Saturday afternoon, 1-4pm at RHS Garden Wisley, when Chi Jazz entertain Wisley visitors from the Butterfly Pavillion. RHS Garden Wisley invites you to help celebrate 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with some fun family adventures in the Garden. They will also explore lifecycles and help children understand where their food comes from and how it grows.

Info

RHS Wisley, GU23 6QB; call 01483224234, email [email protected] or visit their website