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Amateur Gardening - 12 May 2018

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?Patriotic Petunia ?Sur?nia?
PATRIOTIC ?SURFINIA?
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This week in
Amateur
Call
or:
12 MAY 2018
SUBSCRIBE
TODAY!
0330 333 1113
amateurgardeningsubs.co.uk
Jobs for this week
4
?Let holiday experiences inspire
your garden,? says Ruth
4
7
8
12
14
HOLIDAY INSPIRATION FOR YOUR GARDEN
Ruth looks at the exotics you can grow at home
PERKING UP YOUR DAFFODILS
How to improve the performance of your spring bulbs
CARING FOR PELARGONIUMS
Ruth shows you how to care for these tender favourites
USING INVASIVE COMFREY
This plant can help to feed your garden, says Ruth
FREE SEEDS: DIMORPHOTHECA
Fill pots and borders with these long-?owering beauties
Alamy
PJS
Great garden ideas
10
?New primroses have broken
award records,? says Peter
28
?Make up for a bad spring with quickgrowing ?owers? says Graham
22
26
28
32
54
PICK OF THE VERY BEST: ZINNIAS
Graham Rice showcases six RHS AGM-winning varieties
PLANTS ON THE MOVE
Moving house? Can you take your plants? If so, which ones?
JUMPSTART SUMMER!
Awful spring? Make up for it with quick-growing plants
FALL FOR FERNS
Great for tricky conditions and adding interest in shady areas
GET THE LOOK
A town garden with a difference in Wiltshire
Gardening wisdom
10
17
19
20
37
39
44
48
51
59
PETER SEABROOK
New primrose that has won a record four RHS awards
BOB FLOWERDEW
To nip or not to nip? Bob?s views on tomato side shoots
VAL BOURNE?S GARDEN WILDLIFE
How hardy geraniums can ?ll the gaps during May
LUCY CHAMBERLAIN?S FRUIT AND VEG
Hardening off, onion care, veg in pots and containers
ANNE?S MASTERCLASS
Anne shows you how to ?ll the ?hungry gap?
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Feeding lupins, growing peonies, ?aliens? in my lawn!
GARDENER?S MISCELLANY
Graham?s theme for puzzles and trivia is the tulip
HOW TO GROW CHRYSANTHEMUMS
Anne Swithinbank offers her hints and tips
YOUR LETTERS
A touch of the tropics, propagating check, cymbidium orchid
TOBY BUCKLAND
Black-skinned toms are tougher and tastier, says Toby
Product test
48
?Get the best out of your
chrysanthemums,? says Anne
GIVE A GIFT SUBSCRIPTION!
Call
0330 333 1113
or: amateurgardeningsubs.co.uk
Cover photo: Papaver somniferum ?Victoria Cross? (pic: Alamy)
42
TRIED AND TESTED
We test six types of hanging basket to ?nd the best
?After the snows of March and the misery of
April, my heart leapt to see the garden come
alive with daffs, tulips and hyacinths whose
progress was retarded by the weather. All
was perfect as nature?s beauty abounded
and then I noticed the bindweed... Two hours
and two full trugs later, muscles aching, I sat
back with a cup of tea to admire the view. The
bindweed and I will meet again, no doubt.?
Garry Coward-Williams, Editor
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
3
Step
by step
Plant material from the EU can
be brought home if it is
healthy and for your own use.
There are restrictions on
plants from outside the EU
and you may need a
health certificate.
Alamy
Bananas
bring an
exotic touch
to British
gardens
Potting up
cannas
1
Having overwintered in sandy
compost undercover, the cannas
are now shooting back to life.
Like all Mediterranean plants, lavender
loves a sunny site with well-drained soil.
Trim twice a year to keep it in shape
Souvenirs for growing
Let holiday plantings inspire your gardens, says Ruth
F
OR me ? and I suspect many
foreign plants will grow well here.
other gardeners ? one of the
Thanks to the internet, they are
joys of foreign travel is
more widely available from
seeing what plants
suppliers with a wealth of
flourish abroad.
knowledge to help you
From the angular
grow with confidence.
Strelitzia reginae (bird of
Some plants survive
paradise plants) of South
outside all year, either on
Africa that are used in
their own or protected
Mediterranean gardens, to
by mulch and wrapping.
Exotic agapanthus
tough little alpines from
Others, such as cannas and
will survive winter
under mulch
mountainous Europe, there is
lemons, need overwintering in
always something to add a touch of
a greenhouse, cool conservatory or
?otherness? to your break.
light porch. Foreign plants need care
Best of all, these memories can often
and space, but what a small price to pay
be recreated back home, as many
for creating your own patch of paradise!
Time Inc unless otherwise credited
Getting ready to go back outside
? A greenhouse, well-lit porch
or conservatory is perfect for
overwintering exotics that go
back outside in summer.
? After lifting my cannas last autumn
I stowed them in a tray of sandy
compost in the greenhouse and
potted them up once they started
to shoot again this spring.
? This took place slightly later than
usual, which I put down to the long
cold winter and late arrival of spring.
? Olive and lemon trees can go back
on to a sunny, sheltered patio once
4 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
2
Place some multi-purpose
compost in a pot that can
comfortably contain the rootball.
3
Place the root in the centre of
the pot and fill around it with
more compost, leaving the shoots
just peeping above the surface.
Prepare your citrus trees for
their return to the garden
the risk of frosts has passed.
? Acclimatise them slowly to the
outside conditions and keep them
fed and watered.
4
Water well and grow on in the
greenhouse. Plant out in pots
or borders when grown and the
threat of frosts has passed.
All about pests: Buy next week?s AG (in the shops
15 May) to find out the best organic and chemical
pesticides, plus what?s top of the pest pops.
Easy-to-grow exotic plants
Exotic indoors
These foreign imports will add so much to the garden
Houseplants should thrive in
a warm, well-lit environment
Alamy
Cacti grow well on a
warm, sunny windowsill
1
2
Alpines: Fill rockeries and pots with
gentians, thrift, sempervivum and
aubretia. Keep them well drained and
free from weeds and soggy debris.
Both pictures Alamy
Mediterranean: With light soils and
a sunny, sheltered position, plants
such as rosemary, cypress, olive trees
and bird of paradise plants will thrive.
3
4
Exotics: Bananas, agapanthus,
canna lilies ? these bold and
statuesque plants lift a summer
garden. Just make sure you protect
them well in winter.
Structure and foliage:
Cordylines, persicaria, bamboos
and hostas are perfect for adding
verdant shape and structure to both
open and shady areas.
In this country the most reliable
way of growing exotic plants is
somewhere suitable indoors.
Orchids, cacti, succulents and the
many foliage plants of every shape
and size that are widely available
should thrive in a warm household.
They do have certain
requirements though, and you need
to meet these to get the best from
your plants.
Repelling herbal invaders
Japanese knotweed and Himalayan
balsam (inset) are unwelcome escapologists
Damp gravel boosts humidity
Alamy
EXOTIC species are nothing new. Like
the parakeets flying around London
(either released during the filming of
The African Queen or by a bored Jimi
Hendrix), many foreign plants have also
taken up residence in this country.
However, the plants are less
welcome, and many are covered and
regulated by the Wildlife and
Countryside Act 1981.
The most problematic invasive
foreign species include Japanese
knotweed, Himalayan balsam,
Rhododendron ponticum, giant
hogweed and New Zealand
pygmyweed. You face a fine or up to two
years in prison if you transfer any of
these plants to the wild or cause them
to grow in the wild.
Japanese knotweed is the worst
offender. It grows rapidly, regenerating
each spring from deeply rooted
rhizomes. It is almost impossible to
eradicate and must not be placed in
garden waste. Giant hogweed is another
dangerous plant with toxic sap that
causes intense skin burns.
Most of these invasive plants can
eventually be destroyed by digging out
or repeated application of a glyphosatebased weedkiller. For details of how to
get rid of invasive plants and the legal
issues involved, visit ? gov.uk or
? nonnativespecies.org.
Central heating dries out the
atmosphere, so stand plants on a
bed of gravel and keep it damp. This
raises humidity around the plants
and helps deter pests.
Similarly, mist leaves regularly to
keep the surrounding air damp.
Leaves gather dust and debris in
the still environment of home, so
wipe them clean to help
photosynthesis.
Also watch for pests such as
mealybugs, scale insect and aphids,
and treat immediately.
Unless flowering, plants only need
regular feeding and watering in the
summer months.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
5
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Large capacity - 50 litre grass collection box that
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The lawn hasn?t
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long time?
Multipurpose - Cut grass with the 400mm
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effort maintaining an engine - and no messing around with potentially
dangerous cords. Simply pop in the powerful series X2 40V lithium ion
battery, and at the press of a button you can get mowing - no starter cord
to pull and no cords to battle with. The quick charging battery will power
the cordless Aerotek Lawnmower for 35 minutes and mow lawns of up to
300-400m�*.
With a supersized, 50 litre collection grass box you can get more of the
lawn cut, in less time, with an extra-large, 40cm cutting area that gets closer
to the edges. You can even use the mower with the mulching attachment
to really nourish your lawn, with super ?ne nutrient rich cuttings. With
a single height adjustment lever rather than four, you can adjust the
cutting height, making it perfect for cutting grass that?s short or long.
To top it all off, the brushless motor cuts down on maintenance
completely, meaning once you've ?nished making your lawn look
great, you really have ?nished. Easily fold it down for compact
storage in your shed or garage when ?nished.
Why not add a spare battery that allows you to mow for
even longer and tackle larger lawns with ease?
A spare blade is also available.
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Speci?cation: Dimensions: L122 x W51 x H113cm Weight: 14.9kg Voltage: 40V DC
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Please note the Series X2 battery is only compatible with the Series X2 40v Lawnmower and Series X2 40v Garden Power Range.
Cutting width: 400mm
Height adjustments: 25 ? 75mm (6 central)
*Time and square metre operation ?gures are dependent on the health of the battery, ambient temperature, grass length, grass moisture levels, the health and sharpness of the blade and the speed of walking when mowing.
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This clump did
not ?ower well
this year
The key to healthy
?owering bulbs
High-potassium tomato feed
helps create next year?s blooms
Deadhead daffodils after
flowering. Leaving the
large seedheads in place
means the plants divert
energy to ripening seeds
for reproduction, rather
than using the energy
for growth.
Lift the clump and check that
the bulbs and roots are healthy
Perking up your daffs
Lift and split under-performing spring bulbs, says Ruth
T
HE garden is stuffed with spring
bulbs and most of them flower
reliably and well each year.
But some are less enthusiastic
? maybe they are old and too tightly
packed, but they need some help.
It is frustrating when usually robust
plants come up ?blind?, without blooms,
but lifting and dividing daffodils and
narcissi after flowering is an easy task
that should give you good results.
Step
by step
There are several reasons why
flowers failed to develop. The bulbs may
be old or too cramped or planted at too
shallow or deep a depth. Sometimes
they can be afflicted by pests or disease,
or some may rot in the soil.
For the best results daffs should be
planted at three times the depth of the
bulb in a sunny, sheltered position with
soil that is free-draining.
If you lift and divide, set them back in
To guarantee the best possible
display of blooms next year, carry
out these simple tasks.
After blooming and before the
leaves die back, feed daffodils with
a high-potassium liquid tomato feed
every fortnight. This is especially
important for container plants.
If conditions are dry after
flowering, water regularly.
Never tie knots in the leaves. Let
them yellow and die back at their
own pace (around six weeks) to
return energy to the bulbs.
the ground at the right depth. Water
them well and leave the foliage to die
back naturally. Never knot yellowing
leaves as this prevents the plant?s
energy from returning to the bulb and
feeding it for next year?s blooms.
The easy way to lift and divide daffodils
Smaller clumps of bulbs
allow the plants to grow
well with healthy ?owers
Water well and feed with a liquid
tomato food until the leaves die
back naturally.
1
Dig around the clump of plants and
lift them on the spade, taking care
not to damage the bulbs.
2
3
4
Check them over and remove and
discard ? don?t compost ? any that
are small, soft or rotten.
Work your thumbs into the mass
of bulbs and carefully separate
them into two or more groups.
Replant at the same depth as
before (stems are white where
they were
underground) and firm in.
17 FEBRUARY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING 7
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
7
Gardening Week
with AG?s gardening expert Ruth Hayes
Step
by step
Don?t cover your
pelargonium cuttings as
their soft fleshy growth can
become infected with
moulds or mildew. Make
sure they are well
ventilated.
Pelargonium
cuttings
1
Choose and remove a length
of this year?s healthy growth
without a flower bud.
Remove
long shoots
and buds
Check plants to make sure they
are healthy and pest free
More pelargoniums!
Ruth shows you how to care for these tender favourites
P
ELARGONIUMS never go out of
fashion, even though they are
not tremendously well suited
to our chilly damp climate.
These tender plants die if left outside
over winter, which is why we bring them
undercover during the coldest months,
after taking copious numbers of cuttings
as an insurance policy.
They need no feed and the bare
minimum of watering in winter while they
are dormant, but now the weather is on
the up you can start preparing them for
summer and a return outside.
Once you re-start watering they will
put on lots of growth that may need
calming down. Remove over-long shoots
and use them as early cuttings. Pinch out
flower buds as they will use up energy
the plant would otherwise plough into
robust and bushy growth.
It is still too early to plant them outside
as frosts are still possible, so keep them
in an unheated greenhouse with a layer
of fleece to hand on chilly nights. Later in
the month you can start hardening off
your plants until they are ready to go in
pots and borders outside next month.
Keeping your greenhouse healthy
? Warmer weather brings out the
pests, and the shelter and ample
supply of tender shoots on offer in
your greenhouse makes it a
tempting proposition.
? Sticky flypapers are a great way
of catching winged pests. They are
non-selective, but give you a good
idea what?s about so you can directly
target different species.
? Snails will hide away in dense
foliage, so look carefully and pick
them off.
? If you are growing tomatoes and
other veggies undercover, order some
Encarsia formosa online or from a
8 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
The microscopic wasp Encarsia
formosa predates greenhouse white?y
garden centre. These
tiny microscopic
wasps predate
whitefly and are
a greenhouse
essential.
2
Dip the cut end into hormone
rooting powder or gel to help
root growth. Tap off any excess.
3
Insert the cuttings around the
edge of a 4in (10cm) pot filled
with a mix of cuttings compost and
sharp sand, grit or perlite.
4
Water, and place the pot
somewhere light and warm
until roots develop and the
cuttings grow.
Pick off snails
by hand
GERANIUM BREEDER?S MIX
Supplied as mature bare roots guaranteed to fower this year
rare | unusual | exciting
BUY 6
FOR
�
�
OR 12 FOR
JUST �50 EACH
A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO BUY EXCLUSIVE GERANIUM TO FLOWER THIS YEAR
World renowned Geranium breeder Marco Van Noort has agreed for us to offer you a unique collection of fully hardy
Geraniums which will weave a tapestry of colour. Marjory Fish created a garden at East Lambrook Manor and used to say
?when in doubt plant a Geranium?. We agree, as they are incredibly floriferous, one of the easiest plants to grow, attractive to
bees yet unpalatable to rabbits and slugs. Create undulating pillows of colour for groundcover or plant individually. Unfussy
on soil conditions in sun or part shade. Height and spread of individual plants will range from 15-90cm (6-36"). Your order
will be confirmed and your fully mature bare roots will be delivered with our no quibble guarantee within 14 days.
TO ORDER QUOTE AG1918 ? ONLINE hayloft.co.uk/ag ? PHONE 0844 335 1088
AG1918
SEND THE COUPON TO: Hayloft Plants, FREEPOST RTGR-JAGJ-JETG, Pensham, Pershore WR10 3HB
NAME & ADDRESS
PLEASE SEND
ITEM CODE
6 � GERANIUM
BRGER06-AG1918
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�
12 � GERANIUM
BRGER12-AG1918
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HAYLOFT PLANTS, MANOR FARM NURSERY, PENSHAM, PERSHORE, WORCESTERSHIRE WR10 3HB
with Peter Seabrook, AG?s classic gardening expert
Peter is on hand
to assess the new
primula
Listen to
Peter?s free
podcast every
Thursday. Search for
?This Week In The
Garden with Peter
Seabrook? on
iTunes
Peter?s top tips
Check catalogue entries and plant
labels for RHS plant awards and look
for the ?Cup Trophy? logo for the RHS
AGM. It is the mark of quality.
Primula Belarina ?Buttercup? has
won the RHS?s highest award
The highest RHS honours
New primroses win a record four awards, says Peter
10 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
?Good plants get
wider publicity?
Vigorous growing and freeflowering primroses, (a one-year-old
plant of Primula Belarina ?Nectarine?
will produce over 100 blooms) need
good-sized pots and regular feeding
through the growing season.
All primulas are susceptible to
attack by vine weevils. If you see
notching to leaves, which is caused
by an adult weevil eating into
foliage, inspect plants after dark
with a torch to catch them.
Alamy/Time Inc/Peter Seabrook/Kerley
T
HERE are several quite different
Royal Horticultural Society
Awards given to good plants
that deserve wider public
knowledge and publicity. The most
widely used is the RHS Award of Garden
Merit (RHS AGM), given after growing
they offer to an extensive gathering of
comparative trials at Wisley and other
RHS committee members. There is just
public gardens for at least a season and
one winner and last year it was the new
with perennials over several years.
bush and early fruiting Mulberry
Panels of judges with considerable
?Charlotte Russe? (Suttons).
experience assess such trials a number
Less well known and much longer
of times before bestowing RHS AGMs
standing are the RHS First Class
and removing them if the cultivar
Certificate (the highest award),
has been superseded. It will
the RHS Award of Merit (not
be seen from all of this that
to be confused with the
it takes time to undertake
RHS AGM) and RHS
such appraisals.
Cultural Certificates, the
The Chelsea Flower
latter awarded to the
Show Plant of the Year
grower of an exceptional
Award is given to just
specimen rather than the
one cultivar each year.
specimen itself. Last
Exhibitors in the Great
Mulberry ?Charlotte
Russe? was Chelsea?s
month the Herbaceous
Pavilion are allowed to
2017 plant of the year Committee awarded an
submit up to five new plants,
unprecedented four First Class
which have been introduced
Certificates to fully double hardy
since the previous June, with no more
primroses in the Belarina Series, bred by
than three from the same genus.
the Kerley family in Cambridgeshire.
A small number of RHS people
They are proving good perennial garden
select what they believe are the 20
plants in cold gardens in the Cotswolds
most innovative new arrivals and the
and withstood very low winter
breeders of these are allowed to
temperatures in Poland last winter.
describe in two minutes the qualities
Double yellow Primula Belarina
?Buttercup? and white ?Snow?
(pictured) have a lovely fragrance.
Grow Buckets of Cut Flowers!
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It?s incredible to think that for a fraction of the cost of a single ?orist
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WORTH �
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10cm/3-4in from root to tip) ready for growing on in 9cm pots before
planting out. Loved by ?orists, these varieties are very easy to work
with and last for ages without the petals dropping. They are superb
garden varieties too, blooming profusely in the border without the
need for a greenhouse to grow them.
? Excellent garden performers, enjoy weeks of
late summer colour from September onwards.
? Cut and come again blooms, the more
you pick the more ?owers you get.
? Chosen by ?orists for their long vase life,
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Step
by step
Comfrey leaves and stems
are covered in fine hairs
that can act as a skin
irritant, so always use
gloves when handling
the plant.
Comfrey
fertiliser
A smelly but nutritious brew
1
Keep the leaves for
fertiliser and dispose
of the roots
Comfrey
will soon
take over
a border
Fill a bucket with fresh young
comfrey leaves and discard the
roots. Don?t compost them as they
will flourish in the compost heap
and their seeds may invade the
whole garden.
Using invasive comfrey
Ruth looks at how this plant can help feed your garden
C
OMFREY is a plant of many parts developed in the 1950s by Lawrence
and should not be discounted
Hills who went on to found the
lightly. A robust lover of wild
organisation Garden Organic.
areas and damp soil, it is an
Comfrey is an excellent fertiliser
excellent addition to the bee-lover?s
as it contains high levels of nitrogen,
garden and has many beneficial
phosphorous and potassium, as well as
horticultural uses.
other valuable trace elements.
However, buyer (or grower)
It has many uses, the most
common being:
beware ? this plant can be
? Mulch: Cut leaves and
extremely invasive and one
allow them to wilt for a few
parent will throw out a
days before piling them
massive root system from
around hungry plants
which many more little
such as tomatoes.
offshoots will spring. The
? Dig in: Dig wilted
roots are extremely hard
Offshoots grow from
leaves into the ground
to kill so, where possible,
the plant?s robustly
where you want to plant
grow comfrey in its own
spreading roots
crops ? they will break down
area to prevent it taking over
and create a powerful feed.
an entire patch of your garden!
Some comfrey seeds had obviously
? Tea feed: The most common way of
made their way into our homemade
using comfrey. It is an extremely
compost (or blown in from wild plants
pungent brew, so it is best stored in a far
growing over the road) and were busy
corner of the garden with a lid on top.
colonising a front garden border.
? Potting compost: Shred leaves and
I did what I could to remove the plants add to the potting compost for vigorous
and separated the leaves from the roots. container plants. This may be too strong
The foliage will make valuable liquid
for young seedlings, so keep it for more
fertiliser, and I binned the roots as I don?t developed plants.
want it taking over the compost heap.
? Compost accelerator: Left-over
If you want to grow comfrey and not
comfrey leaves and tea feed will stimulate
worry about a garden invasion, plant a
your compost heap and add essential
variety known as Bocking 14.
nutrients. If using leaves, dig them in well
This is a sterile Russian strain,
rather than leaving them as a layer.
12 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
2
Weight the leaves down and fill
the bucket with water. Cover
and place somewhere out of the
way to ferment for a few weeks,
then dilute 1 part in 10 parts of water
and use as a liquid fertiliser.
Comfrey and
herbalists
? Comfrey has been used for
centuries, mainly to treat inflamed
digestive tracts and coughs.
? Its common name is ?knitbone?,
thought to originate from the fact
that it contains high levels of
allantoin, which speeds up cell
growth and promotes faster healing.
? Comfrey root has been used to
treat a wide variety of ailments,
ranging from bronchial problems
(taken internally), broken bones,
sprains, arthritis, gastric and
varicose ulcers, severe burns,
acne and other skin conditions.
? Do not use as a health
supplement without first seeking
professional medical advice.
SAVE Bumper Raspberry
�
Collection
from
ROWN IN
G
Don?t miss out on growing
these gorgeous summer fruits!
BR
I TA I N
WAS �.97 NOW �.97 SAVE �
? 18x Bare root canes, ready to plant
? Up to 9 years of fruit
? Easy to grow, 3 different varieties (see below)
? Great ?avour & packed with antioxidants
? Grows well in full sun
? Height: up to 1.5m
?First rate plants well grown
and varieties separately
bundled and labelled?
?Lovely
Autumn
Colour!?
?Highly
productive?
Raspberry Cascade Delight (primocane)
Highly productive and long shelf life, the cascade
is ideal for growing in heavy soils and has good
resistance to root rot. Fruits June-July.
6x Bare Root Canes
Raspberry All Gold (primocane)
The All Gold has a delicious sweet fruit with a more
intense ?avour than the red varieties. Perfect for
container growing. Fruits August-October.
6x Bare Root Canes
?The Gardeners?
Choice for years!?
Raspberry Autumn Bliss (primocane)
Recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society.
Distinctive large red berries and long cropping
season. Fruits July-October.
6x Bare Root Canes
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�.97
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�.97
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6x Autumn Bliss Canes
1060-5833 �.99
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FREe CATALOGUE
OVER 140
PACKED PAGES
Perfect for a dry and sunny patch
Fill pots and borders with these long-flowering beauties, says Ruth
T
HE African roots of this week?s
free seeds are there for all to
see when you come to sow
them. Although these pastelcoloured Dimorphotheca ? also
known as Osteospermum ? will grow
happily in thin soil, they do need a
sunny spot to put on their best show.
So sow them where they won?t be
shaded by taller plants, trees or shrubs
? towards the front of a sunny border
would be ideal.
The plants are hardy annuals and can
be sown directly in prepared soil. Start
by clearing weeds, roots, stones and
other debris, then rake the soil one way
and then the other until it becomes fine
and crumbly.
Then sow thinly in curves and
swathes rather than rows, as this can
look rather regimented and formal and
won?t suit the shape of plant. Then rake
a thin layer of soil over the top, water
and label so you don?t disturb the
germinating seeds accidentally.
You can also protect the seeds and
soil from cats and other pests using a
chemical deterrent or a lattice of twigs
spread over the top.
The seeds should take between
What?s
on
Rake the soil to
a crumbly tilth
The seeds are large
and easy to sow
Sow seeds in a sunny spot where
you want them to grow
two weeks and a month to germinate
and can be thinned out to 8in (20cm)
apart when the seedlings are large
enough to handle. The plants should
grow to around 12-18in (30-45cm) tall
Things to do near you
Enjoy Pirbright Garden Festival
and Plant Sale on 12 May
12: St Michael?s Plant Sale and Garden
Festival, 11am-5pm, St Michael?s
Church, Pirbright, Surrey GU24 0JJ.
pirbrightchurch.org.uk
12: Plant Hunters? Fair: National
Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas,
Staffs DE13 7AR. thenma.org.uk
12: National Alpine Show: RHS Wisley,
Wisley Lane, Woking, Surrey GU23
6QB. ? 0203 176 5830, rhs.org.uk
12: The Art of Plant Manipulation and
Training: Godinton House, Godinton
Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP. ?
14 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
01233 643854; godintonhouse.co.uk
12-13: Heritage Plant Fair: RHS Garden
Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor,
Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH. 0203
176 5830; rhs.org.uk/gardens
12-13: Bonsai Weekend (North Devon
Bonsai Association) RHS Garden
Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Rosemoor,
Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH. 0203
176 5830; rhs.org.uk/gardens
13: Minterne Spring Fair: Minterne
House, Minterne Magna, Dorchester,
Dorset DT2 7AU. ? 01300 341370,
minterne.co.uk
13: Little Ouseburn Open Gardens,
Ouseburn, York, North Yorks. ? 01423
339622, email: loopengardens@
yahoo.com
13: Plant Hunters? Fair: Adlington Hall,
Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 4LF
16: The Edwardian Garden walk and
talk: Borde Hill Garden, Borde Hill Lane,
Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1XP.
01444 450326; bordehill.co.uk
and roughly 1ft (30cm) wide.
They are suitable for borders and
containers and, if deadheaded regularly,
should flower right through summer and
into mid-autumn.
16: Bat Walks: RHS Wisley, Wisley
Lane, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB. ?
0203 176 5830, rhs.org.uk/gardens
16: Gardening Walk Talking Turf: RHS
Garden Harlow Carr, Crag Lane,
Harrogate, North Yorks HG3 1QB.
0203 176 5830; rhs.org.uk
18: Arboretum Guided Walk: Leckford
Estate, Longstock Park, Stockbridge,
Hants SO20 6EH. ? 01264 810894;
leckfordestate.co.uk
18: Botanical Art Worldwide slideshow:
RHS Lindley Library, 80 Vincent
Square, Westminster, London SW1P
2PE. ? 020 7821 3050; rhs.org.uk
? Please send details and images
of your events to ruth.hayes@
timeinc.com or What?s On, Amateur
Gardening, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst
Road, Farnborough Industrial Park,
Farnborough, Hants GU14 7BF.
? Listings need to be with us at
least six weeks in advance.
? All details are subject to change without our knowledge,
so please always check that the event is still going ahead before
leaving home.
24/7
ton
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ut
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.s
A taste of the med on your summer patio!
www
Hibiscus Extreme
326 22
44
s . co. u
k/
Oak Red
Buy any 2
choose a
3rd FREE!
LIMITED AVAILABILITY - ORDER NOW
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More 'Taste of the Med' plants online!
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White Eye
HIBISCUS EXTREME ORDER COUPON
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25 07 08 �.99
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25 07 58
�.99
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25 07 94
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Cloudy Pink
Improved variety bred for
the English climate! Giant
blooms up to 30cm across!
Extremely fast-growing during the summer months,
this new hibiscus hybrid is bred for the English
climate. Supplied in 3 different colours, you can now
enjoy the same exotic blooms that gardeners in
warmer regions have enjoyed for years! Giant ?owers,
around 1 foot across, emerge from crinkled buds
during the height of summer. With a little winter
protection, you can keep these plants year on year
too! Flowers July-September. Height 1-1.5m (3'3"-5');
spread 1-1.5m (3'3"-5')
Supplied in a 2 litre pot.
Delivery late June
onwards. Offer ends end of June while stock last.
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In soft jersey, this lovely Leisure
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collar it?s the versatile jacket you've
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at this great offer price, why not buy
a couple and discover stylish, new
looks today.
85% Polyester, 15% Cotton
Length: 64cm (25")
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COLOURS:
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with Bob Flowerdew, AG?s organic gardening expert
Leave two or three strong
lower side shoots to create
the sturdiest plants
Bob?s top tips
for the week
1
On warm, damp nights take
a torch and go out on a slug,
snail, woodlice and cutworm hunt.
2
Feed tomatoes regularly to
invigorate depleted compost
Grow perfect toms
Start sowing in situ: courgettes
sweetcorn, squashes, marrows,
cucumbers, pumpkins, French and
runner beans ? preferably all under
protective mini-cloches.
The correct nipping-out technique is key, says Bob
Alamy/Time Inc/Wikimedia
N
OW is the perfect time to start
planting tomatoes. We recently
did some trials using grow
bags and it didn?t seem to
make a huge difference how many
plants we grew per bag, as one cropped
much the same as two or three. What
did make a substantial difference was
feeding after a few weeks when the
compost had become depleted and
sapped of goodness.
Next, much is made about the
continual ?nipping out? of side shoots to
produce cordon or single-stemmed
plants. However, this makes tall plants,
which may not be practical. The multistem method leaves two or three strong
low shoots, removing other side shoots
as usual, producing lower, wider plants
handy for small greenhouses. It also
means you?ll need fewer plants per row,
with the total yield only dropping slightly.
Some varieties, which are known as
?indeterminate?, carry this to the extreme,
sprouting multiple stems on very bushy
plants. They?re hard to train and are
often left to sprawl, which leads to
muddy rotting fruits, so surround these
varieties with inverted wire baskets or
similar for them to rest on.
Removing side shoots is also an
opportunity to propagate, as every shoot
will quickly root to form a new plant (if
you want even more plants, you can cut
one into sections of stem ? each piece
with a joint will also root to form a new
3
Stop cutting asparagus sooner
rather than later: if you leave
more shoots to become fern, it?ll
give you bigger crops next year.
?Removing side
shoots is a chance
to propagate?
plant). Rooted pieces fruit faster than
new seedlings and form squatter plants
without that long piece of bare unfruitful
lower stem that seedlings develop. I?ve
also found that you can plant tomatoes
with their root-ball keeled over, with
much of that length of lower stem buried
in the soil where it will take root as well.
4
Make a hotbed with grass
clippings, adding layers of
compost or soil. This creates the
perfect conditions for pumpkins
or even melons to flourish.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
17
Go from Green to Seen
in 3-4 weeks naturally
Beautiful clear ponds
& water features
from just �99
BEFORE
? The natural way to clear
your pond from algae bloom,
green scum and blanketweed.
? Environmentally friendly,
no nasty chemicals
? Eliminates nitrates with no mess
? Safe for ?sh, wildlife, pets & children
? Results can be seen in 3-4 weeks
? Can treat up to 40,000 litre ponds
(20-30 square metres)
AFTER
Crsytal clear
waters after
3-4 weeks
?Added to my pond and all the
algae has gone. It was completely
green before I added it and now
clear. Amazing stuff!?
Choose the pack to match your pond size &
enjoy Crystal Clear Water in under a month
TREATS 40,000L
TREATS 20,000L
POST TO: Unwins, Alconbury Hill, Huntingdon PE28 4HY
PLUS
Description
TREATS 10,000L
Code
Price
Pond Clear Small (5g pack)
1090-4257
�99
Twin Pack Pond Clear Small (2x 5g)
1090-2216 �.98
1090-4259 �.99
Pond Clear Medium (10g pack)
Qty Sub Total
Twin Pack Pond Clear Medium (2x 10g) 1090-2217 �.98
Pond Clear Large (20g pack)
1090-4261 �.98
Twin Pack Pond Clear Large (2x 20g) 1090-2218 �.98
Extract of Barley Straw (1L)
1090-4264 �.99
Pond Clear Large
(20-30 square metres)
Pond Clear Medium
(15-20 square metres)
Pond Clear Small
(8-12 square metres)
1 litre
treats
25,000L
EXTRACT OF
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Gardening Week
with Val Bourne, AG?s organic wildlife expert
?Samobor? has
dusky-pink
?owers
Geranium ?Orion? is sterile and
therefore cannot set seeds
Mind the May gap
Val explains how hardy geraniums can fill the gap
during May when flowers are few and far between
T
All Alamy
HE garden never feels as good
as it does on a warm May
morning when the birds are
singing, the sun is pleasingly
warm and the garden is full of promise.
One famous gardener, E.A. Bowles of
Myddelton House in Enfield, Greater
London, felt just the same way. He wrote
that: ?If a fairy godmother or talking fish
offered me three wishes, one would
have to be to have the clock stopped on
a fine morning towards the end of May.?
Bowles?s wish was almost granted, as
he died on 7 May 1954, aged 89 years.�
Although there?s plenty of fabulous
foliage, flowers can be few and far
between because the early rush of
spring bulbs and woodlanders is largely
?Some hardy
geraniums
set seeds
and generally
I avoid them?
over and the summer-flowering
perennials haven?t started yet. One of
the principles of natural gardening is to
have a supply of flowers for as many
months as possible, and some hardy
geraniums are very useful at filling the
May gap. Their simply shaped saucers
are accessible to every bee and their
flowers come in blues, pinks or whites.
Blue is a favoured colour because bees
see a wider range of colours than we do.
They use ultraviolet light, blue and
green, which means they can?t see reds.
Nature is very clever, because some
flowers are iridescent and shimmer in
the sunlight, flagging up their presence.
Others are heavily veined or spotted.
These lines and striations are useful to
the gardener, because it?s possible to
match the colours. ?Kashmir White?, for
instance, has purple-veined, white
flowers in May and these could form a
partnership with the purple-flowering
Verbascum phoeniceum ?Violetta?,
pleasing both you and the bees.
One of the best May-flowering hardy
geraniums is ?Orion?, and this first came
to notice in an RHS trial of hardy
geraniums held in 2005. Sent in by the
Dutch nurseryman Coen Jansen, it
outshone all the other blues and
Perfect partner: purple-?owering
Verbascum phoeniceum ?Violetta?
performed between May and October
achieving a deserved Award of Garden
Merit (AGM). ?Orion? is sterile and
therefore cannot set seeds, and this is
why it flowers for so long. It still attracts
pollinators and is particularly useful as
a warm-up act close to roses.
Some hardy geraniums set seeds and
generally I avoid them, because they
make for work. However, I do grow
Geranium phaeum because it flowers in
April and May in shade. The small, dainty
flowers come in a variety of colours.
?Samobor?, collected in Croatia, has
purple-zoned green foliage and duskyred flowers. This year I?ve discovered a
pale-pink form called ?Misty Samobor?,
from Beth Chatto. If I?m lucky, finches will
descend and eat the seeds in late May.
Geranium
?Kashmir White?
TOP TIP
Always look
at flowers
carefully, because the veins, spots
or stamens will give you a clue
about possible partners. The
devil is in the detail!
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
19
with Lucy Chamberlain, AG?s fruit and veg expert
Acclimatise your plants gradually
to a tougher life outdoors
All pictures Time Inc
Young plants can be
acclimatised in a cold frame or
under cloches ? use shade
netting, too, in sunny weather.
Securing horticultural fleece
over plants is another way to
speed things up.
Harden off young plants
Step
by step
How to
harden
off plants
1
Ideally, choose an overcast,
still day to begin hardening off
young plants or, failing that, identify
a shady, sheltered spot. For the
next 4-5 days move your seedlings
outside during the day and bring
them back under cover at night to
begin toughening them up.
Get your plants used to outside conditions, says Lucy
Y
OU can rely on gardening to
introduce yet another confusing
term ? what does hardening off
mean? Hardening up would
make more sense, but essentially, it?s the
phrase used to describe getting young
plants that have been raised indoors
used to life outdoors.
So, if you?ve been packing your
greenhouse, conservatory, porch or
windowsill full of seedlings and cuttings,
this project is for you! When any plant is
grown under the cover of glass, it?s not
subjected to the full strength of sun,
wind or rain. The protection makes
leaves soft and vulnerable, so if these
youngsters are then placed directly
outside their foliage would scorch off.
Follow my step-by-step guide to ensure
that doesn?t happen (see right).
Try growing unusual tubers
GARDENERS seem complacent
gain a good autumn harvest).
about the humble potato, restless
Potatoes are tender yet we don?t
to find another tuberous crop that
even blink an eye about it, simply
delivers on taste, yield and ease of
covering early crops with fleece if frost
growth. To that end, seed catalogues
is forecast. Sweet potatoes, yacon,
continually tempt us with
oca and dahlias are also tender,
unusual tuberous crops.
Oca tubers ready to so if you grow ordinary
In years past it?s been
potatoes you can grow
be potted up now
the Jerusalem artichoke,
these! If you?re an
then the Chinese
enthusiast you may
have already potted up
artichoke. For around
some tender tubers,
a decade sweet
but if you?re a newbie
potatoes were the
latest must-grow, and in
there?s still plenty of
recent months yacon,
time. Some are sold as
oca and dahlia are vying
cuttings, some as tubers
for our attention. Both
(you?ll get full growing
Jerusalem and Chinese
instructions with your order).
artichokes, despite being unrelated,
Potted up and grown on, you can plant
are fully hardy, so are often planted
them outside next month in a sunny
in March or April (if you plant them
spot. Then just lift them in late autumn
this month, however, you?ll still
and devour the results!
20 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
2
The next stage is to leave your
plants outside permanently for
a few more days. If they?ve been in
a shady area, gradually move them
somewhere sunnier. By this time
the leaves? waxy cuticle will have
thickened up ? it?s the equivalent
of us getting a base tan!
3
Finally, your youngsters are
ready for planting out into
their permanent positions. Water
them well beforehand, and the
ground. Then give them a light
water in after planting and they?ll
romp away merrily. By now their
leaves will be fully accustomed
to life outdoors.
Next Week: Thin out raspberry canes, keep potted
fruits well watered, look out for early summer pests,
square-foot gardening, success with herbs
Keep beds of onions, shallots and garlic
regularly hoed because they?re not very
good at competing with weeds
remove covers
from peaches
In August last year, I was devouring
home-grown peaches on a daily
basis. Between my husband and
myself, we must have eaten well
over 50 ? what a hardship! It?s this
delicious thought that motivates me
to look after my peach tree this year,
and now is a key time for yours, too.
Hopefully, you took my advice
to cover your tree with polythene
to deter peach leaf-curl fungus
(the cover prevents the fungal
spores from germinating by
keeping the tree dry).
now it?s time to remove the cover
so the tree can gain the full benefit
of the sun and begin swelling those
all-important fruits. nectarines, too,
should have any covers removed.
Hospitality for the onion family
Some crops (potatoes, for example) are
well known for their weed-suppressing
ability ? onions are not one of those
crops! With slender, upright foliage,
onions, garlic, leeks and shallots are
rather poor contenders when it comes to
holding their own in the fight for space,
so it?s crucial to keep them well weeded
if you want healthy yields.
If you?re anything like me, you?ll have
learnt to plant them wide enough apart
for a hoe to weave easily between the
bulbs. I love my short-handled onion
hoe, but for those of you who have no
desire to kneel among your veg, longhandled hoes do just as deft a job.
Be careful not to damage the bulbs
or stems as you weed, because doing
so can cause rots to set in. By far the
best conditions for hoeing are sunny
days with a slight breeze, making this
rather a pleasant job.
It?s safe to remove your peach and
nectarine covers. The fruitlets will
will benefit from some sunny weather
Success with vegetables in pots and containers
Naturally compact plants like chilli
peppers are ideal for pots and containers
GroWInG vegetables in containers has
become very popular in recent years.
Whether you?re an avid upcycler like
AG?s own Bob Flowerdew using old car
tyres, or a newbie urban gardener with
balcony walls clad in vertical planters,
the options for cultivating crops in pots
are endless. With all methods, though,
you need to stick within certain
boundaries to be successful, so I wanted
to highlight a few of my successes and
point out the pitfalls to avoid.
First things first ? the pots! If you want
an easy life, make these as large as you
can because they?re less prone to drying
out. Thick containers (concrete, wood)
protect the roots from excess heat more
than thin ones (plastic pots), and shallow
pots will dry out far more quickly than
deeper ones. Grouping pots together
not only looks nice, but it shades the
roots and therefore reduces plant stress.
Adding water-retaining granules to the
compost and water reservoirs to the
base of smaller pots will help prevent
drying out (automatic irrigation systems
are the ultimate luxury).
Talking of compost, veg aren?t as
fussy as fruit because most will only
be in the container for a few months.
Therefore, a multi-purpose blend will be
fine. As for varieties, naturally compact
crops like salad leaves, chilli peppers,
dwarf French beans, spinach, beetroot,
radishes, spring onions, baby turnips
and basil are perfect for containers.
There are plenty that are now
specifically bred to be smaller and
more suited to life in a pot. Cucumber
?Hopeline?, broad bean ?The Sutton?,
runner bean ?Pickwick?, cabbage ?excel?,
carrot ?Parmex? and even cauliflower
?Candid Charm? ? the future for container
veg growers is most certainly bright!
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
21
Pick of the very best
Graham Rice chooses his six top RHS Award of Garden Merit winners
With bold ?owers on slender stems, colourful zinnias look great in
the garden and the vase, and modern varieties such as Zinderella
are perfectly suited to UK plots
Cut zinnias when the
flowers are just opening.
Stand them in deep water
for a few hours, then
recut stems and remove
the lower leaves
before arranging.
This week it?s
�
Zinnias
M
ANY gardeners think that
zinnias are unreliable plants.
But while that may once
have been the case, it
certainly isn?t any more.
It?s true that back when most of the
zinnias available were those developed
in California, with little consideration of
how they would perform anywhere
else, they often disappointed British
gardeners. But many of the best zinnias
now on offer were created in Europe
(some actually in Suffolk), while even
those developed in California have now
been tested in Britain, so things have
moved on significantly.
And at the RHS Garden at Wisley,
22 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
Surrey, last summer, one of the most
spectacular displays seen for many
years was of 146 zinnia varieties. In spite
of a very difficult season, an amazing 23
of these were given the coveted Award
of Garden Merit ? a fact that tells us we
can now grow zinnias with confidence,
even when the weather is unhelpful.
Not only are zinnias more adaptable
now, but there are also new types. Along
with traditional options ? tall, largeflowered and vivid in colour ? there are
neater, prolific, smaller-flowered types,
with single or double blooms, often in
attractive bicolours. There are also
bushy, bred-in-Britain varieties, many
of them in lovely sunset shades.
All can be raised as half-hardy
annuals, sown in frost-free conditions
in April, preferably in cells. For although
Stockists
Chiltern Seeds chilternseeds.co.uk 01491 824675
Plants of Distinction plantsofdistinction.co.uk 01449 721720
Thompson & Morgan thompson-morgan.com 0844 573 1818
Main image: Gardenphotos.com. All others Alamy, unless credited
Whether you want a traditional type or something a little different,
Graham?s shortlist of zinnias has reliable options for all
GAP
Plants of Distinction
the Award of Garden merit is a mark of quality
awarded since 1922 to garden plants (including trees, vegetables and
decorative plants) by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
?Benary?s Giant Golden Yellow?
?Aztec Burgundy Bicolour?
?Double Zahara Fire?
A classic tall zinnia with golden-yellow
double flowers over a long season on
self-supporting plants. With no ?off types?,
AGMs also went to the bright pink,
salmon rose and scarlet options in
the same series. H: 39in (1m).
Small, fully double flowers cover low
spreading plants for months, each
bloom a blend of deep purple and
cream. ?Aztec Orange? and ?Aztec Red
Bicolour? also won AGMs, but can be
difficult to get hold of. H: 1ft (30cm).
Low, spreading plants smothered in neat,
flat, double flowers in scarlet-orange to
yellow-orange. AGM winners ?Double
Zahara Salmon Rose?, ?Zahara Cherry
Improved? and ?Zahara Coral Rose? are
harder to find. H: 16-20in (40-50cm).
?envy?
?Purple Prince?
?Zinderella Peach?
The classic, ever-popular, pale limegreen double-flowered zinnia. Makes
a great partner in borders and a lovely
cut flower. A few single-flowered plants
may be produced, but these will be in
the same soft shade. H: 2ft (60cm).
Well-branched, imposing, selfsupporting plants feature large,
consistently fully double, pink-tinted
vivid purple flowers over a long period.
Good in borders, for cutting and in large
containers. H: 3ft (90cm).
Beautifully formed, dark-eyed,
anemone-centred flowers in gorgeous
shades of soft apricot and peachy
tones, some with rosy highlights. Lovely
in a vase, this is my favourite zinnia of
them all! H: 26in (65cm).
zinnias are a lot more resilient than
they once were, root damage is still
something they prefer to avoid. Plant
them out around the end of May or early
June. And if you missed the boat last
month, sow them in cells now.
In the warmer parts of the country
zinnias can also be sown outside about
now. If you live elsewhere you?ll need to
wait until June, or keep them on the
windowsill until they germinate and then
move them outside to develop.
Zinnias suffer from few problems,
and those that can be troublesome are
mainly the result of too much moisture.
Soggy soil causes root rot and stem rot
at soil level; wet summers and wetting
foliage and flowers can also lead to
rotting. So take care with the watering,
and plant in a breezy situation to ensure
that overhead moisture dries quickly.
Some of those 23 award-winning
varieties have, unfortunately, already
disappeared from seed catalogues. But,
trust me, you will not be disappointed
with my top six: all of them are easy to
get hold of and well worth planting.
What makes a good zinnia?
n Vibrant colour
n Prolific flowering
n Long flowering season
n Consistent in colour
n Plenty of seeds in the packet
n Tolerance of bad weather
n Tolerance of soil-borne infections
n Self-supporting
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
23
How to sow zinnia seeds
n Sow outside from mid-May in warmer
areas; from early June elsewhere ? after
the last frost in your area, basically.
n Sow in drills. If you want to grow a
group of plants, mark out the area of the
group and sow in drills across that area.
n Soak the drills with warm water
immediately before sowing.
n After germination, thin to half the final
spacing (see seed packet for guidance),
then thin once again later.
n Alternatively, sow in small pots or cells
and germinate in a cosy place outside.
n Or keep seed pots on the windowsill
until the seedlings start to peep through,
then move them outside.
Looking after
zinnias
Move pots of indoor-sown seedlings
outside after germination
Sow in drills or cells
Deadhead plants
regularly, or cut
stems for vases
n Choose a sunny site in well-drained
but fertile soil. If your soil is poor, fork
in some weed-free compost or soil
improver before planting.
n To avoid damaging the roots, plant
out pot-grown zinnias carefully. Water
in with liquid feed.
n Unless the weather is particularly
hot it?s a good idea to allow plants to
become established for a few weeks
without more water.
n Pinching is not usually necessary
and can allow entry of fungal diseases.
n Use canes as support for taller types.
n Deadhead regularly, or cut for the
house. Use sharp secateurs to avoid
leaving a ragged wound.
GAP
Water the soil at the base
of your plants
GAP
Growing in
containers
Shorter zinnias make good container
plants, especially the Zahara series
and (for larger containers) the Aztec
Series. Raise the plants in pots, then
set them at the edge of your chosen
container, positioning taller, more
upright plants in the centre.
It?s important that low-growing
zinnias are not overwhelmed by
larger plants, as smothering is one
way to encourage disease. And
make sure that containers are
raised on pot feet to boost drainage
further. Remember that soggy
compost equals dead zinnias.
24 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
In my garden
Zinnias look great in containers
I greW a number of the taller
zinnias for cutting last year. I found
that, once established, watering
and feeding definitely enhanced
their growth and productivity.
However, it pays to use a can or a
nozzle on a hosepipe, and to water
only the soil at the base of the
plants, not the foliage and flowers.
Do this when the weather is
warm and (ideally) sunny, to ensure
that the soil around the stems dries
out quickly, reducing the chances
of disease infection. The one time
I used a sprinkler I noticed botrytis
in the flowers soon after.
Which feed? Almost everything
I grow is fed with tomato food, and
sometimes with Maxicrop or SeaSol
seaweed feed to help root growth.
I don?t use any specific feeds on
my annuals, as I find that my tomato
food works perfectly well.
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Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn, London WC1V 7JH.
with Tamsin Westhorpe
Dahlias are one of the easier
plants to prepare for a move
Plants on the move
Are you planning to move house this year? If so, Tamsin
Westhorpe has advice on taking your garden with you
I
T?S often said that moving to a
new house is one of the most
stressful things you can do.
The experience is made even more
emotional if you are leaving behind a
much-loved garden. Plants and features
hold memories, but with a little planning
it is possible to take some of your plot
with you.
Before I explain how to move your
plants to another postcode, I should
just clarify that it is completely wrong
to remove plants or key features in
large numbers without informing the
prospective buyer. A good garden is
often used as a selling point, and if it?s
been dismantled when the new owners
move in they could have reason to take
legal action. So, be honest from the
26 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
outset with your estate agent, solicitor,
and buyer, and all will be rosy.
Gardener and writer Susie White has
hands-on experience in moving a large
number of plants from her previous
garden in Northumberland. She had
rented the site for many years and
created a wonderful garden that was
open to the public. It was agreed that
she could take as many of the plants
as she liked from the plot.
Susie explains: ?My plants hold
lots of memories, reminding me of
people and places, but how do you
move plants from a two-acre walled
garden, saving everything that has
meaning to you? I made star-rated
lists, according to importance, and
had the help of friends to dig up and
?ll every available container and sack.
?Each plant had three labels in case
one got lost; this was vital for me when
it came to replanting. Another friend
lent a horsebox for the big move, and
we were fuelled by tea and ?apjacks.
Of all the perennials, grasses, bulbs and
shrubs, nothing that mattered got left
behind. I even managed to transplant a
large corkscrew hazel successfully by
replanting on the same day.?
Planning in advance
Properties can take days or years
to sell, so it pays to be organised in
advance when moving plants. The
perfect time to lift plants is in spring or
autumn. If you?re going on the market
at Christmas, lift your favourite shrubs
in autumn and move them to large pots.
For those who have sold faster than
expected and plan to start lifting plants
now, you will be putting plants at risk
All photographs Alamy
Six plants that will grow almost
anywhere and move easily
Geranium ?mavis Simpson? This hardy
geranium has pink flowers from May
until the first frosts. Grows in sun or shade
and copes with most soils. Seedlings are
readily produced so lift smaller plants.
Reaches 8in (20cm) in height
Alchemilla mollis This hardy perennial
produces seedlings readily and
transplants well to a position of sun or
shade. Frothy green/yellow flowers over
attractive foliage ? both ideal for flower
arrangers. Reaches 8in (20cm) in height
Lamium orvala A very versatile, hardy
perennial that thrives in sun or partial
shade. A great filler plant in borders and
one that will attract pollinating bees. Pink
flowers in late April, May and June.
Height 18in (45cm)
Anemone hupehensis ?Hadspen
Abundance? Single pink flowers appear
in August and September. This hardy
perennial enjoys sun or partial shade and
seeds well, so there should be plenty of
young plants to lift. Height 3ft (90cm)
Dahlias Tubers are lifted after the first
frost in autumn and stored in a frost-free
place until replanting in May. This makes
them easy plants to prepare for a move.
Instead of planting in the bed in May, put
them into pots instead
Bergenia ?Bressingham ruby? A
trouble-free perennial that will grow in
sun or shade. It is prone to vine weevil
attack, so make sure the roots are free of
white grubs before you pot on and move
to your new plot. Height 14in (35cm).
if the move is followed by a very hot
summer. As a rule, plants don?t like to
be lifted when in flower or full leaf.
To preserve your garden for the
new owner, why not take cuttings
instead of lifting plants? You could also
collect seed of much-loved plants in
late summer. This is certainly the most
sensible option if you want to avoid
heavy lifting and expensive removal
fees. However, if you are determined to
move mature plants in large numbers
but haven?t yet secured your next
home, you might need to borrow space
in a friend?s veg patch. This is the
perfect solution if you are expected to
be unsettled for over a year or are not
able to commit to watering pots.
Before you start to wield a spade,
think carefully about your new garden.
Will it have the same soil type and pH
as your old plot? You would be wise
to visit the property and ask if you can
do a soil pH test in several areas in the
garden. Also, make note of the aspect. If
your previous garden was north-facing
and your new garden is south-facing,
your shade-loving plants are likely to
be unhappy in their new sunny home.
Five top tips for moving your
garden plants to a new plot
Label all the plants that you plan
to move and share this information
with the estate agent.
Start to collect large plastic pots
and lift plants in spring or autumn
in advance of the move.
Take cuttings now of key plants
and plan to collect seed in late
summer. Start to lift seedlings of
perennials now and pot them on.
Check that conditions in your new
garden are suitable for your plants
before going to the effort of moving
them. Make plans to improve your
new garden soil before replanting.
Don?t transplant perennial weeds
to your new garden. Make sure that
every piece of ground-elder root, for
example, has been removed from
the plants you are taking with you.
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
27
Quick to germinate and tolerant of late frosts, sow the
likes of ammi, cornflowers and wild field poppies this
month for fabulous summer flowers in a flash
What to plant now to
jumpstart summer
Choose fast-growing, floriferous hardy and half-hardy annuals and our rainy
spring need not put a dampener on your summer display, says Graham Rice
I
'm sure you don't need me to
remind you that spring has been
a bit of a washout this year. It was
wet in march and most of us
couldn?t get any seeds sown outside;
then it was wet in April, too. So, unless
you have a greenhouse, there?s some
catching up to do ? and even in the
greenhouse it?s been so dark that
many seeds have not grown well.
Luckily, there?s still time to recover,
and we can make a start now by
choosing the right plants and the right
varieties, and getting those seeds in
the ground. Because we might still be
hit by a late frost in some areas, the
first group to think about are hardy
annuals. However, some half-hardy
annuals will also flower well in summer
28 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
from a may sowing, so let?s not forget
about them, either.
To jumpstart the summer flowering
season we need plants that germinate
quickly, grow quickly and come into
flower early, and can tolerate a mild
late frost if we get one. We also need
options that will fill gaps left after the
wallflowers, spring daisies and spring
violas have been removed, and that
will slot in among the perennials that
are already going strong.
Whether you choose hardy or
half-hardy annuals, there are three
approaches to sowing. Seeds can be
sown outside where they are to flower,
just as you would?ve liked to have done
in march. Your second option is to sow
them in small pots or cells and put them
in a cosy place outside to germinate ?
perhaps inside a clear polythene bag or
covered with a plastic lid for protection.
And third, you can sow in small pots or
cells that can be kept on a windowsill
indoors until they germinate, then
moved to a sheltered place outside
before they start to stretch.
I?m a big believer in starting seeds in
small pots or large cells ? for best results
use fresh seed compost rather than
garden soil. Planting in this way means
you can give seedlings some protection
and will speed up their development.
There?s a wide range of hardy
annuals ? as well as some half-hardy
annuals ? that can be sown now. Get
the seeds in soon and by midsummer
you won?t even remember the rain.
Hardy annuals for outdoor sowing
Gardenphotos.com
3 for foliage
& flowers
Amaranthus
Varieties like ?Velvet Curtains? (above),
?Red Army? and ?Oeschberg? have deepred foliage that looks good while the
plants are still small, plus long-lasting,
upright plumes of matching flowers.
Needs support. H: 3-5ft (90cm-1.5m).
Ammi
Like a super-classy cow parsley; fine
feathery foliage in fresh green makes
a lovely contrast to bolder leaves and
is followed by upright stems topped
with white lacecap flowerheads. Good
for cutting. H: 3ft (90cm).
California poppies
The best of the modern varieties of
Eschscholzia californica are compact
and fast-flowering, with prettily fluted
petals and lovely lacy silver leaves. Try
?Apricot Chiffon? (above), ?Pink Bush? or
the Swirl Series. H: 8in-1ft (20-30cm).
Cornflower
Easy and delightful, in traditional vivid
blue (?Blue Ball?, above), rich wine-red
(?Black Ball?) or pure white (?Snow Man?).
Or try the shorter and faster-flowering
Classic Series, in a range of soft and
bold shades. H: 1-1絝t (30-45cm).
GAP
Gardenphotos.com
3 for cutting
Calendula
From vivid orange to softer shades, if
you keep picking they?ll keep flowering.
Look out for creamy ?Snow Princess?,
rich orange ?Indian Prince? and crested
newcomer ?Kinglet? (above), in three
colours. H: 18-28in (45-70cm).
Larkspur
Choose tall and upright varieties ? they
will flower a little later than dwarf types,
but are far superior in their productivity.
Look for blue-purple and white ?Fancy
Purple Picotee? (above) and ?Giant
Imperial Mixed?. H: 3-4ft (90-120cm).
Sunflowers
Medium-height varieties like ?Garden
Statement? and ?Pacino? (above), plus
shorter varieties such as ?Choco Sun?
and ?Teddy Bear?, will flower faster than
taller ones. All benefit from germination
in pots. H: 1�-3ft (45-90cm).
Poppies
Opt for the classic wild field poppy, the
scarlet and black ?Ladybird? and ?Cherry
Glow? or the scarlet and white ?Victoria
Cross? (above). You get lots of seed
per pack and growth is quick from an
outdoor sowing. H: 2-3ft (60-90cm).
Main photo: GAP. All others Alamy, unless credited
3 for
d
bol colour
Convolvulus
The vivid blue, yellow and white
of annual Convolvulus tricolor (no
creeping roots!) can trail beautifully out
of hanging baskets or fill the edge of
sunny borders. ?Blue Ensign? (above) is
particularly striking. H: 1ft (30cm).
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
29
Try something different
Gilia
Quick to flower, gilia has blooms
that are deep purple and yellow
in the throat, violet towards
the edges of the white petals
and feature turquoise pollen.
Not forgetting the musky, dark
chocolate scent. H: 20in (50cm).
Asperula
Choose A. orientalis (blue woodruff) for clusters of slim, sweetly scented,
lavender-blue flowers that open above slender foliage from June to September.
Scatter seed at the front of sunny borders. H: 1ft (30cm).
4 half-hardy annuals to sow outside
Cosmos
Shorter cosmos
such as ?Apollo?,
?Gazebo? (right) and
?Sonata? ? in single
colours as well as
mixes ? flower far
more quickly than
taller types and will
still yield enough
flowers to cut
without ruining the
garden display.
H: 1�-2ft (45-60cm).
mimulus
The quickest halfhardy to flower (often
the most colourful
and cheerful, too),
moisture-loving
mimulus rarely last
into autumn, but
they are dazzling for
a few summer weeks.
Look out for ?Magic?
(right), ?Mystic? and
?Maximus?. H: 6in-1ft
(15-30cm).
Nasturtiums
Nasturtiums hate
frost, but will grow
well as soon as
the last frost has
passed. Variegated
types (try ?Alaska?)
and blue-leaved
varieties like
?Empress of India?
(right) have the
added bonus of
attractive foliage.
H: 1ft (30cm).
Zinnia
Often developing more
reliably from direct
sowing than sowing in
pots or trays, there?s a
vast variety of zinnias,
including the dwarf
Zahara Series and the
taller, more flamboyant
Benary Series (right).
H: 1-3ft (30-90cm).
For more on zinnias,
see this week?s ?Six of
the Best? on page 22.
30 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Nemophila
As well as the familiar sky-blue N. menziesii, try white-edged black ?Pennie Black?
and N. maculata, with a violet spot at the edge of each white petal (above).
Nemophila likes moisture more than most annuals. H: 6in (15cm).
Sowing hardy and half-hardy annuals
Growing in pots
? Sunny sites are best
for almost all late outdoor
sowings, although a few
varieties will thrive in partial
shade, too.
? To boost growth, fork
in some weed-free soil
improver before sowing, and
rake in a general fertiliser.
?Sow in rows, and water
the drills with warm water
immediately before sowing to
give the seeds a flying start.
? Alternatively, sow in cells or
small pots on the windowsill,
then move them into a sunny
and sheltered place outside
once they germinate.
? Feed your seedlings with
a liquid feed once or twice
as they develop.
Sowing in tubs, planters and other
containers works well, bur these
will look dull until the plants flower.
So if you are shelling out for
flowers from the garden centre,
use those in your containers and
raise seedlings in small pots.
You can then transfer them to
the containers as they approach
flowering time.
Alternatively, sow direct in
containers, but only move them
into prominence once the annuals
start to look appealing enough to
warrant being on show.
Where to buy
GAP
Chiltern Seeds chilternseeds.co.uk 01491 824675
plantsofdistinction.co.uk
01449 721720
Plants of Distinction
thompson & morgan thompson-morgan.com 0844 573 1818
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
31
With ferns it?s all about form, and
woodlanders like Dryopteris ?lix-mas
(inset) are among the easiest to grow
Love foliage?
Fall for ferns
With infinite variety and the ability to grow in tricky conditions, it?s little wonder
that ferns have been captivating foliage fans for centuries, says Val Bourne
T
HE older I get, the more I come
to realise that foliage, form
and structure are every bit as
important as ?owers. That?s
why my hardy ferns are among my
favourite plants ? it?s fascinating to
watch their fronds unfurl in spring
and early summer.
Fossil evidence suggests that fernlike plants have been around for 450
million years, thus explaining their lack
of ?owers: they evolved before the
bee. Rather than using pollen, many
reproduce by spores on the underside
of the leaf. These spores germinate in
moist, mild conditions, which is why
most of our native hardy ferns are
concentrated in high-rainfall areas on
the western half of Britain ? and also
why several have appeared all by
themselves on my wall near the spring.
As usual, we can thank science for
their many differences. It?s all down to
their chromosomes, with some species
boasting up of 1,200 chromosomes in
32 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
each cell, giving rise to many possible
combinations. However, there are
some common characteristics that they
share, and you will ?nd that certain
descriptive words crop up again and
again in their Latin names. These
include cristata (crested), crispum (frilly
edged), crenatum (scallop shaped),
frizelliae (very crinkled), ?mbriatum
(with a small fringe), congestum (busy
and rather like the M25 on a Friday
evening), grandiceps (large-headed)
and saggitato (arrow-shaped). Other
ferns bear the name of the collector
who ?rst discovered them, or the
place where they were found.
In the garden setting, the easiest
ones to cultivate are the woodlanders.
With wintergreen foliage, they are far
more tolerant and adaptable than other
types. Hardy ferns that die down in
winter, such as the regal fern (Osmunda
regalis) and the shuttlecock or ostrich
fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), need
moist conditions, and these are often
found growing close to ponds and
watercourses in the wild.
I am not alone in my fascination with
ferns. Lacy and intricate, they were a
Victorian obsession, and it?s said that
ladies with baskets had collected most
of the ferns in the London area by the
1880s. Luckily for modern fern fans, the
immature stage is an inconspicuous
liverwort that looks like a green blob,
so these ferns were able to return, and
to continue giving pleasure to
21st century gardeners like me.
Where to buy
Fibrex fibrex.co.uk 01789 720788
Long Acre Plants plantsforshade.co.uk
01963 32802
GAP
Gardenphotos.com
6 frondy favourites
Polystichum setiferum
?Pulcherrimum Bevis? (AGM)
Dryopteris wallichiana (AGM)
This deciduous Himalayan native has
lacy maidenhair fronds. When happy,
it creeps about, producing new blackstemmed fronds that emerge pink
before turning light green. H: 1ft (30cm).
The bright-green, tapering fronds have
an almost 3D effect. Low-growing;
good with miniature bulbs and small
woodlanders. Found in 1668, and
reintroduced in the ?80s. H: 1絝t (45cm).
GAP
GAP
With fronds like giant dark-green
feathers, this handsome fern needs
space to shine. It was named after the
hedge layer who found it in a Devon
hedgerow in 1876. H: 2絝t (75cm).
Adiantum venustum (AGM)
Polypodium cambricum
?Richard Kayse? (AGM)
If foliage is your thing then you need
the Himalayan form of this handsome
fern, which has irresistible black-ribbed,
bright-green fronds in spring. Like all
Asian ferns, it needs summer moisture.
H: 2絝t (75cm).
Asplenium scolopendrium
?Crispum Bolton?s Nobile?
Hard to ?nd but worth tracking down,
this is the most statuesque of the hart?stongue ferns. All forms of ?Crispum? are
handsome, however. H: 32in (80cm).
Athyrium ?lix-femina ?Frizelliae? (AGM)
The Irish tatting fern was found in
County Wicklow in 1857. It has long
fronds that look like strings of beads
and, like all athyriums, will grow best
in moist soil. H: 1ft (30cm).
All photos Alamy, unless otherwise credited
Know your wintergreen ferns
Dryopteris The male
fern (D. ?lix-mas, above)
produces a shuttlecock of
foliage that can rise above
39in (1m). D. affinis, the
golden shield fern, copes
with brighter conditions but
most tolerate dry shade.
Cut back in December,
before fronds collapse.
Polypodium cambricum
This has tough, leathery
foliage and a creeping,
rhizomatous habit. Easy to
divide because it doesn?t
produce spores. Polypodies
prefer an airy position to a
humid one, and foliage lasts
well in winter. New crosiers
will unfurl in early summer.
Polystichum setiferum The
name means many bristled,
because the stems (or
pinnae) often have gingery
hairs. This evergreen group
of ferns will unfurl their
shuttlecocks of S-shaped
crosiers in April, when the
fronds almost look as though
they have been crocheted.
Asplenium scolopendrium
The solid, strappy fronds
of the hart?s-tongue fern
are easily damaged by
strong summer sunshine,
so tuck this one into a
shady position, preferably
on limy soil. Evergreen,
there are wavy-edged and
crinkle-edged forms.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
33
5 planting partners
Polygonatum x hybridum (AGm) Elegant, with
arching stems of ivory white bells in May.
Solomon?s seal emerges late, so mark its position
Hyacinthoides non-scripta English bluebells are great with
Dryopteris. When planted under deciduous trees and shrubs,
both will peak together
GAP
Erythronium californicum ?White Beauty? (AGm)
Easy to grow in moist soil, this American
snow-melt bulb flowers when forms of
Polystichum are unfurling their new crosiers
Melica uniflora f. albida This grass (a form of native wood millet)
has dainty white beads that glisten and move in the wind. It does
self-seed, but I couldn?t do without it
Fern planting and care
? Ferns generally like shade and moist soil, so always
water newly planted ones during their first year.
? Ferns take time to mature into good specimens.
However, I prefer to plant small potfuls, because not only
are they cheaper to buy than large, mature ferns, they
are also easier to establish.
? Tidy up damaged fronds in spring and remove debris
from the shuttlecock-middled ones, to prevent rotting.
? Watch out for vine weevil, especially when growing ferns
in pots. Treat potted ferns with nematodes in late April.
34 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Teucrium scorodonia ?Crispum? A crinkly leaved wood sage
with grey-green woolly leaves. Use to add interesting textural
contrast to all types of ferns
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Anne Swithinbank?s masterclass on: filling the hungry gap
Step Veg that
by step will ?ll the
Plants of purple sprouting
broccoli deliver several
rounds of tasty spears from
January or February through
to the end of April
hungry gap
All images Time Inc
1
Sow purple sprouting broccoli
from April until June, or shop
for young plants to put out in
June or July.
What can I grow to ?ll the hungry gap?
Q
Although I have a garden with a
small greenhouse and a decentsized allotment, we have been in a
?hungry gap? since last autumn. How
can I avoid this and bring crops on
for winter and spring?
Alan Benedict, Gosport, Hampshire
A
VEGETABLE growers can fall victim
to enthusiastic spring sowings of
broad beans, peas, French beans,
onions, salads, carrots and beetroot,
summer cabbage, courgettes and
sweetcorn, but run out of steam so that
supplies dry up come September. Yet
with good planning, there is every
prospect of better self-sufficiency and
plugging the hungry gap.
Celeriac is best sown in March for an
autumn-to-spring supply of roots to
flavour soups and casseroles, as well as
eating grated and raw. Hunt around now
for fresh young plants to set at decent
18in (45cm) spacings. March and April
are the usual months for starting
parsnips and leeks, which are two more
flavoursome and useful hardy winter
veg. Look out for leek transplants to go
in from May to July, but parsnips are best
sown direct so be ready next year.
May is a great time for sowing hardy
winter brassicas, including savoy
cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale,
purple sprouting broccoli and spring
cauliflowers. Give them generous
spacings in firm soil limed if it is neutral
or acidic. Cover with mesh to exclude
cabbage-white butterflies and stake
the taller varieties. As soon as possible,
sow pumpkins and other winter squash
to store over winter.
Come June, sow swedes, more
carrots and beetroot for winter supplies.
Also, red chicory (radicchio) for autumn
salads. I like to sow my chard and
perpetual spinach into modules or direct
to soil in early July, for leaves to gather
from autumn to spring.
By August, you need packets of hardy
winter salads like winter lettuce, land
cress, rocket, mustard, mizuna, miner?s
lettuce (claytonia) and lamb?s lettuce. This
is also the month for sowing turnips and
spring cabbage. September-sown salad
onions will be great for spring stir fries.
Looking ahead, sow hardy peas and
broad beans in October or November for
the earliest crops, and in January and
February start parsley, lettuce, spinach,
summer cabbage and calabrese.
2
Start hardy salads like this
mixture in early August to grow
under cloches or glass, and pick by
the leaf through to spring.
3
Sow broad beans in
November or under glass
in February and you should be
harvesting from June.
Perennial veg
PERENNIALS are long-lived plants that
require less input and yield well.
Perennial kale ?Taunton Deane? (see
right) delivers all year, forced sea kale
crops in March, asparagus from April,
Jerusalem artichokes during winter
and rhubarb from March to summer.
4
Sow beetroot direct or in
modules in June for roots to
lift in autumn and winter.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
37
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Dr Jane Bingham and John Negus
Spurge sap is an irritant
Seeds and cuttings usually require
special low-nutrient compost
Is peat suitable for propagation?
Q
I want to use a peat-based compost
for propagating, but it is hard to
find. However, I can source bags of peat
only. Should I mix this with peat-free
products, and in what ratio?
Emanuel Finegold, via email
A
I use specifically formulated seed
and cutting compost for most of my
propagation. There are various brands
on the market.
There are also some peat-free seed
and cutting composts, and although ?all
right?, they are still not as good as the
peat-based ones.�
There are also loam-based ones such
as John Innes, which are ideal for seeds
of woody plants that need to be sown in
autumn for germinating the following
spring, and hardwood cuttings that sit
dormant through the winter.
Like most gardeners, I expect you
have a favourite garden centre or garden
shop and, as such, are restricted to the
brands they stock. However, you are sure
to find at least one peat-based seed and
cutting compost and this is going to be
the best one for taking cuttings.
It is possible to use multi-purpose
compost for propagating, but the results
aren?t always satisfactory ? some seeds
and seedlings fail if nutrient levels are
too high. These composts are designed
for growing plants on, with sufficient
nutrients to support growth for 6-8
weeks and so, despite the packaging
stating that the compost is suitable for
all purposes, it really isn?t.�
How can I grow beautiful peonies?
All pictures Time Inc
Q
A
Please could you give me some advice on how to grow yellow peonies?
L. Lawrence, Maidstone, Kent
Peonies make the early summer
(? 01256 896533). Other peony
so special and there are
specialists are:
dozens of varieties to
Binny Plants, Binny Estate,
choose from.
Ecclesmachan Road,
Lovely yellowish
Uphall, West Lothian
herbaceous varieties
EH52 6NL (? 01506
are the pale yellow,
858931);
almost creamy
Kelways, Picts Hill,
?Claire de Lune?, pale
Langport, Somerset
?Starlight? and light
TA10 9EZ (? 01458
Peonies like sun
250521).
yellow ?Molly the Witch?.
or light shade
You could order them
Provided you set your
from Hardy?s, Priory Lane
peonies in full sun or light
Nursery, Freefolk Priors,
shade, in free-draining fertile soil,
they will prosper.
Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7NJ
Intriguing plant
Q
What is this plant in my neighbour?s
garden? It is dark green at the
bottom and lighter at the top?
Alison Jackson, Luton, Beds
A
It is caper spurge (Euphorbia
lathyris), a native of Europe and
north-west Africa. It freely seeds itself
and plants often appear unexpectedly.
As a biennial, it forms a rosette of
leaves in its first year then flowers, seeds
and dies in the second. It has great
charm but its sap is an irritant, so wear
gloves when tending it.
Sweet vernal grass
is not invasive
An alien in the lawn
Q
Please can you tell me why this
unsightly grass is growing in my
lawn. Can I eradicate it?
Joan Heard, via email
A
Unwanted grasses in a lawn are
difficult to eradicate. There are no
selective weedkillers to use against
them without killing the other lawn
grasses. Feeding the lawn can help the
desired grass plants out-compete the
unwanted ones.
Fortunately, sweet vernal grass is not
invasive and rarely causes a problem. It
is relatively slow-growing and slow to
establish from seed. The plants are not
long-lived.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
39
Write to us: Ask The AG Experts, Amateur Gardening magazine,
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park,
Farnborough, Hants, GU14 7BF.
Email us: amateurgardening@timeinc.com
Quick questions
& answers
Lupins are not greedy plants
Q
My gooseberry
bush has
powdery mildew.
What can I do?
Philip Mills, via email
A
Dilemma over what to feed my lupins
Q
What should I use to feed my lupins
? Growmore or tomato food?
Mrs G Brice, Brentwood, Essex
A
Lupins are not hungry plants and do
best on light soils. Over-rich soil
produces soft growth, which means
plants need staking, are more vulnerable
to slug and snail attack, and may
produce more leaf than flower.
Growmore is a balanced blend of the
three major plant foods essential for
strong, healthy growth. Tomato feeds
such as Tomorite are recommended for
fruiting crops as they contain a high
proportion of potassium, which is good
for flowering and fruiting.
If your lupins are in the ground they
might not need feeding at all. If they start
to look a bit peaky (with yellow leaves) I
would top-dress with Growmore for allround health. The problem with tomato
feeds is that they promote flowering but
do little to support the leaves.
What problem is blighting my box?
Q
My 10-year-old box has developed
bare patches and brittle stems,
though there is plenty of green fresh
growth. What can I do?
Dennis Faulkner, Torquay, Devon
A
Box blight can be hard to control
40 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Sadly, your box is badly infected
with box blight, a fungus that, if
unchecked, will destroy the whole bush.
For the moment, cut back infected
shoots to live, healthy tissue and bin or
burn prunings. Then spray with Bayer
Fungus Fighter or Scotts Fungus Clear
Ultra, which hopefully will check the
spread of the disease.
Additionally, feed the bush with Long
Acres? Health Mix. A 200g bucket costs
�.99. Consisting of a fungicide that
burns box-blight spores, and nutrients
to boost growth, it will help your box
recover. Phone the company on & 01276
476 778 or log on to 8 longacres.co.uk.
If the above action doesn?t control the
disease, I urge you to remove the bush,
roots and all, and the root-area soil.
Powdery mildew can
develop on the leaves
flowers and fruit of many plants.
It is prevalent in hot dry weather.
It is encouraged by dry soil
and humid conditions around the
leaves. Provide plenty of water to
the roots but avoid wetting the top
growth. Overcrowding and overfeeding can also encourage it.
Q
What is this
climbing plant?
Marcia Thompson,
via email
A
It is mile-a-minute
or Russian vine
(Fallopia baldschuanica). A
native of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and
west Pakistan, it is our fastest
growing twining climber.
Enjoyed for its whitish-pink
summer flowers, it is best trained
over a wall or fence or robust tree
with which it can?t compete. If it
outgrows its situation, cut it back in
early spring before buds burst.
Q
Can you tell me if
this is a weed or a
flower? It has spread
but the flowers
look nice.
Kathleen Young,
via email
A
It is woodruff (Galium
odoratum), a British native that
likes lightly shaded woodland areas
where the soil is damp. In spring, it
becomes a carpet of enchanting
starry white flowers.
If you wish to keep it, consign it
to damp patch where the soil does
not dry out in summer. If you
position it with other small plants, it
quickly embraces them and may
cause them to weaken and die.
12 May 2018 / TM_AG49
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
41
Tried & tested
We try before you buy
Hanging baskets
There?s more to basket design than you think, as AG?s Tim Rumball discovers
LANTING and maintaining a
hanging basket is a serious
business. The rewards in terms
of blooms are spectacular, but
baskets can be tricky to plant up, they
need daily attention and they don?t all
offer the same in terms of flower power.
Baskets that are planted both on top
P
and around the sides carry more plants
and will give a bigger display, but
they?re more expensive to fill and
planting the sides can be difficult.
Baskets with only the top to plant are
simple and cheaper to fill, but fewer
plants generally means a weaker
display and it may not cover the basket
? so the basket itself needs to look
good. Regular watering is critical to
success, and baskets with a built-in
water reservoir have an advantage.
We?ve tried six different hangingbasket designs to assess their
strengths and weaknesses, so you can
pick one that suits your requirements.
Smart Hanging Basket
�79 �95 delivery
Corinthian Hanging
Basket �49
Banana Braid Hanging
Cone �20
0800 707 6677
robertdyas.co.uk
Score
0203 657 5230
stewart-garden.co.uk
0345 077 8888
homebase.co.uk
Score
Score
12
/15
10
/15
10
Features
Features
Features
Traditional bowl-shaped wire hanging
basket with coco liner fitted. Three
hanging chains. Compost capacity
4.5 litres. Dimensions: diameter 12in
(30cm), basket height 51?2in (14cm),
height with chains 21in (54cm).
Lightweight, UV-resistant plastic.
Built-in self-watering system with
tube. Available in green or terracotta.
Compost capacity 6.5 litres.
Dimensions: diameter 13in (31.5cm),
basket height 61?2in (16.5cm), height
with chain 21in (52cm).
Cone made from natural plant material
woven around a metal frame. Integral
plastic liner to retain moisture. Three
hanging chains. Compost capacity 9.5
litres Dimensions: diameter 14in (36cm),
cone height 14in (36cm), height with
chains 31in (79cm).
Performance
Performance
Small basket, easy to fill with compost
and plant up. No liner required. Stands
securely for planting. Only top can be
planted. Watering tube is tricky to reach
when hung up. Reservoir overflow
holes prevent compost getting
saturated. Should last a long time.
Stand base in a pot or hang within
reach for filling. Can be used in a
conservatory ? plastic liner needs
puncturing to allow drainage if hanging
outdoors. Easy to add compost. Good
top planting area. Compost must be
watered from above. Plastic liner
reduces water loss. Natural materials
will deteriorate over the years.
Performance
Stand basket on pot or hang within
reach to plant up. Adding compost
easy. Liner must be cut to plant up
sides, and plants threaded through
carefully ? but you choose where you
want them so you can pack plants in for
maximum impact. Watering from above
only. No water reservoir so regular
checking of compost moisture needed.
Value
Classic style, well-priced model which
should last. Needs relining each year.
42 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Value
Good price and smart watering system,
but limited planting space and dull
looks may not be covered by flowers.
/15
Value
A low-cost ornamental hanging planter.
BEsT Buy...
Easy Fill
Hanging Basket
�.99 for two plus �95 delivery
0844 573 1818
Thompson-morgan.com
NGIN
HA 2018 G
Amateur
Aqua Lock Hanging
Basket �95 6.95 delivery
Large Terracotta Hanging
Basket �.99 �99 delivery
01384 401996
ashwoodnurseries.com
01344 578111
Crocus.co.uk
Score
Score
12
/15
BEsT Buy
BA
sKETs
Amateur
Best buy
15
/15
10
/15
Features
Features
Features
Black plastic basket in ribbed design
with wick-fed self-watering system and
detachable water reservoir. Compost
capacity 11 litres. Four hanging chains
for stability. Dimensions: diameter 16in
(41cm), basket height 13in (33cm),
height with chains 27in (69cm).
Contemporary style inverted cone
planter in natural terracotta. One small
drain hole. Compost capacity 2 litres.
Dimensions: diameter 8in (20cm), cone
height 10in (25cm), height with chains
27in (69cm).
Performance
Liner (not supplied) needed. Sideplanting access awkward. Big top
planting area. Water reservoir can be
unscrewed to check level or fill without
lowering basket. Doesn?t drip like
conventional baskets so can be used
in conservatories.
Value
Reasonably priced large basket with
clever watering system. It should last
for years.
Performance
Good-looking design. Fragile terracotta
needs careful handling. Stand in a pot
or hang to plant up. Very limited
planting space in top so probably best
suits one bold plant ? trailing types
could waste its good looks. Small
capacity, no water reservoir and porous
terracotta means compost needs
regular checking for moisture.
Value
A pricey but attractive planter that
would suit a modern home.
Black plastic basket with built-in
water reservoir. Twelve snap-in
panels for easy planting of sides.
Compost capacity 10 litres. Four
hanging chains for stability.
Dimensions: diameter 14in (36cm),
basket height 81?2in (22cm), height
with chains 241?2in (62cm).
Performance
Easy to fill with compost, no liner
required. Stands securely for
planting. Good plant capacity with
big top area plus 12 side pockets
in two tiers. Snap out/in panels
make planting sides simple and
allow bigger plants to be used.
Watering is direct onto compost at
the top. It then drains down to
reservoir in base.
Value
Reasonably priced, the easy-fill
system is excellent and baskets
should last for years.
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
43
Gardening?s king of trivia and brain-teasers, Graham Clarke
THIS Gardening
WEEK history
IN
8-14 May
A sea of colour
For many gardeners, May is the month of the tulip. Most general spring bulbs are
either yellow, like daffodils, or have purple and pink shades but are on the small side.
However, when tulips begin blooming, everyone knows it. Their colours, often
planted in blocks, make the garden come alive. So let?s look at some of the facts
and quirks associated with the ultimate spring flower.
? 8 May 1926
English
broadcaster
and
naturalist,
Sir David
Attenborough,
was born in
Isleworth,
Middlesex. He has done more than
anyone to bring the natural world
into our homes.
? 9 May 1826
Joseph Paxton
started work
for the Duke of
Devonshire at
Chatsworth,
where he built
the famous Great Conservatory.
? 10 May 1566
Leonhard Fuchs,
German physician
and botanist, who
lent his name to
the fuchsia, died.
? 10 May 1964
Controversial Irish
garden designer
and television
personality,
Diarmuid Gavin,
was born.
? 11 May 1949
King George
VI and Queen
Elizabeth
made an
official visit
to the RHS
Gardens at
Wisley in
Surrey.
Tulipomania arrives in Britain
The first tulips were imported to Britain
from Turkey in 1577. Their flowers were
plain and dull, in shades of white,
yellow, purple or red. But they were
seen as curiosities and, even then,
only the wealthy could afford them.
However, in 1634 ?Tulipomania?
broke out in the Netherlands. The
tulip?s popularity soared, sending the
prices of some bulbs so high they cost
the same as a house. Bulbs were being
5
sold faster than they could grow. At the
peak of the craze, in March 1637, some
single tulip bulbs sold for more than
10 times the annual income of a skilled
craftsman ? the modern-day equivalent
of over �0,000.
But a crash was inevitable, and shortly
after this prices went through the floor.
Speculators abandoned the tulip, and it
was left to gardeners to carry on growing
and developing the blooms.
decorative plants with
?tulip? in the common name
Siam tulip
? Curcuma
alismatifolia
(the lotus
ginger)
Blue tulip ? Pulsatilla
vulgaris (the pasque?ower)
? 14 May 1700
Mary Delaney,
English writer
and paper
flower artist,
was born in
Coulston,
Wiltshire.
44 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
Drooping
tulip
? Fritillaria
meleagris
(the
snakeshead
fritillary)
African tulip ?
Haemanthus coccineus
(the blood lily)
Tulip willow ? Salix x rubra
(the green-leaved willow)
Different divisions
Botanists have
classified
tulips into 15
divisions:
? DIVISION
1: Single
earlies such
as ?Apricot
Beauty?
Division 10?s fringed
? DIVISION 2:
variety: ?Fantasy?
Double earlies
? ?Peach Blossom?
? DIVISION 3: Mid-season hybrids
? ?Barcelona?
? DIVISION 4: Darwin hybrids ?
?Burning Heart? and ?Olympic Flame?
? DIVISION 5: Single lates ? ?Pink
Diamond? and ?Queen of the Night?
? DIVISION 6: Lily-flowered ? ?Queen
of Sheba? and ?White Triumphator?
? DIVISION 7: Fringed ?
?Burgundy Lace? and ?Fancy Frills?
? DIVISION 8: Viridiflora, with green
markings ? ?Artist? and ?Esperanto?
? DIVISION 9: Rembrandt (see below)
? DIVISION 10: Parrot, fringed and
twisted petals ? ?Fantasy? and
?Flaming Parrot?
? DIVISION 11: Double lates ?
?Bonanza? and ?Mount Tacoma?
? DIVISION 12: Kaufmanniana,
small and early ? ?Heart?s Delight?
? DIVISION 13: Fosteriana,
slightly larger than Kaufmanniana
? ?Candela? and ?Juan?
? DIVISION 14: Greigii, maroon-mottled
leaves ? ?Plaisir? and ?Toronto?
? DIVISION 15: Species, tulips that
occur naturally with no breeding or
intervention involved ? ?Lilac Wonder?
and ?Fusilier?
Time Inc/Alamy/Wikimedia
Rembrandt tulips
Division 9 tulips
are listed as the
?Rembrandts?.
These are the
blooms painted
by the Dutch Old
Masters, not
necessarily
Rembrandt, and
are distinguished
by their streaked petals, which are
caused by a virus.
Strict plant health regulations mean
these varieties are no longer available,
but are kept by private collectors. The
streaked tulips you see today are not
caused by a virus, and are safe to plant.
Prize draw
Westland SafeLawn is for gardeners
who love their lawn, but are put off using
chemicals due to safety concerns over
children and pets. Creating a healthier
and stronger lawn while preventing weeds
and moss, it?s an organic fertiliser with
added lawn seed, and is made using only
natural ingredients.
We have two 80sq m coverage packs to
give away, each worth �99. See below for
details of how to enter the prize draw.
How to enter
Send your name and address on the back of a postcard to Westland
SafeLawn fertiliser (12 May), Amateur Gardening, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst
Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7BF. Or you can email your details to
ag_giveaway@timeinc.com, heading the email Westland SafeLawn fertiliser
(12 May). The closing date is 17 May 2018.
WIN
�
Word search
This word search
comprises words
associated with tulips.
They are listed below; in
the grid they may be read
across, backwards, up,
down or diagonally. Letters
may be shared between
words. Erroneous or
duplicate words may
appear in the grid, but
there is only one correct
solution. After the listed
words are found there are
11 letters remaining;
arrange these to make this
week?s KEYWORD.
BREAKING
DARWIN
DOUBLE
DUTCH
EARLY
EELWORM
FIRE
FOSTERIANA
FRINGED
HARD
HYBRID
LATE
PARROT
REMBRANDT
SPRING
TRIUMPH
R
D
O
U
B
L
E
S
I
F
T
E
A
R
L
Y
P
M
O
T
M
G
M
H
A
R
D
S
O
R
R
N
U
B
I
I
T
R
H
I
O
I
L
N
R
E
R
D
C
U
W
R
G
B
R
A
A
A
T
M
No:
415
L
F
Y
I
P
R
N
N
U
P
E
H
A
I
W
P
O
D
D
H
E
N
F
I
R
E
L
A
T
E
A
G
N
I
K
A
E
R
B
A
HOW TO ENTER: Enter this week?s keyword on the entry form,
and send it to AG Word Search No 415, Amateur Gardening,
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14
7BF, to arrive by Tuesday 22 May, 2018. The first correct entry
chosen at random will win our � cash prize.
This week?s keyword is ....................................................................................
Name ..................................................................................................................
Address ..............................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................
Postcode ............................................................................................................
Email ...................................................................................................................
Tel no ..................................................................................................................
Time Inc (UK) Ltd, publisher of Amateur Gardening will collect your personal information solely to
process your competition entry.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
45
A Gardener?s
Miscellany
Pretty tulip names
if you want to name a baby girl
after this spring bloom ? and
why wouldn?t you ? then
choose from the following
varieties of tulip:
angelique (Group 11),
antoinette (5), Bernadette (15),
cindy (15), claudia (6), cynthia
(15), esther (5), Gabriella (3),
Georgette (5), Jacqueline (6), Mabel (9), Maureen (5),
Muriel (10), sheila (15) and shirley (3).
of course, there is also Fats domino (3) (pictured
above), but that might not be very flattering for a baby girl!
Guide to floral grammar
have you ever wondered about plurals when it comes to
latin plant names? the common name of tulip is easily
pluralised to tulips, and the same goes for the genus
name of tulipa (tulipas). But what about other bulbs? For
example, what is the plural of gladiolus: gladioluses or
gladioli? strictly speaking, the names of all plant genera
? tulipa, freesia, chionodoxa ? are both singular and
plural. For example, you should say ?one narcissus? and
?two narcissus? or ?one gladiolus? and ?two gladiolus?.
however ?two crocus? sounds odd; ?croci? is wrong
and sounds awful, and so ?crocuses?, which sounds right
to the english ear, has become the norm.
this doesn?t work for gladiolus though ? ?gladioluses?
is clumsy. Most gardeners, in this instance, say ?gladioli?,
which breaks all the rules, but sounds right.
Wow! I didn?t know that
? tulips came from turkey originally and it was from
the turkish word tulband or tuliband, meaning ?turban?,
that tulip was derived. it is the turban-like shape of the
flower that gives the plant its name.
? in the fabled ?language of flowers?, a red tulip ? rather
like the red rose ? is the floral message ?i love you.?
? today, the dutch export more than 1,000 million
tulip bulbs per year.
Crossword
...just for fun!
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
9
12
11
13
14
15
16
18
17
19
20
across
1 this variety of rhododendron
is also a northern grouse of
mountainous and arctic
regions (9)
7 tulip organ for shining light
in a garden, perhaps (4)
8 roman emperor after whom
a fig and a grape variety are
both named (4)
9 spherical body or globe; as
in Canna ?Golden ___? (3)
11 to pinch out, or to do it in
the bud (3)
12 in england, the hawthorn
(Crataegus monogyna) is also
called the ___ flower ? this
month only! (3)
13 another name for
marjoram (7)
14 point to shoot, as in a
mega impatiens (3)
15 health resort near a mineral
or hot spring, such as in the
saxifrage ?Boston ___? (3)
16 this lawful decree is threefifths of a modified leaf! (3)
18 the seed-bearing structure
of conifers, composed of hard
bracts (4)
19 Citrus hystrix is the _____
lime; Ocimum tenuiflorum is
the _____ basil (4)
20 Broccoli (Brassica oleracea
italica) having a greenish
terminal head and similar lateral
heads that develop after the
terminal one is cut (9)
Down
2 well-documented period in
the dutch Golden age fuelled
by the obsessive desire for the
same spring-flowering bulb (11)
3 this variety of miniature
double pelargonium is actually
a tract of open uncultivated
upland, typically covered
with heather! (4)
4 Genus of tropical herbs
(in the mallow family), having
large, lobed leaves and often
yellow flowers (11)
5 at harvest time let?s hope for
an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply (9)
6 Genus of herbaceous plants,
with spurred tubular flowers (9)
9 this variety of meadow phlox
is also the last letter of the
Greek alphabet (5)
10 rhododendron bud _____ is
a disease that prevents the bud
from opening into a flower (5)
17 the common sunflower
(Helianthus anuus) is also
known as the ____ flower (4)
across 1 ptarmigan 7 Bulb 8 nero 9 orb 11 nip 12 May 13 oregano 14 aim 15
spa 16 act 18 cone 19 thai 20 calabrese
Down 2 tulipomania 3 Moor 4 abelmoschus 5 abundance 6 corydalis 9
omega 10 Blast 17 comb
answers to aBoVe crossworD
keyword to word search 410 (7 april)
nitrogen
and the winner is:
sharon lawrence, northorpe, lincolnshire
46 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
INSTANT GARDENING
Classic Clematis - Unbeatable Price!
Despatched within 7 days - ready to enjoy immediately
Abundant display of early summer ?owers
Vigorous climber that?s easy to grow
Clematis ?Montana? Collection
?Rubens?
(1 Rubens Plant & 1 Grandi?ora Plant)
OVER 40% OFF
?Grandiflora?
WAS
�.98
� .99
HURRY OFFER MUST END MAY 22nd
Clematis ?Montana?
Clematis montana are prized for their abundant display
of early summer ?owers that literally smother the foliage.
The leaves emerge a rich bronze colour before darkening to
deep green as they mature. These vigorous climbers will quickly
cover any vertical surface, scaling walls, hiding unsightly sheds
and decorating pergolas. Delivery May.
Collection comprises 1 plant each of:
? Clematis montana ?Rubens? - Striking bronze-green foliage
becomes covered with pink blooms in early Summer to really get
the season going in your garden. Height: 8m (26?). Spread 2.5m (8?).
Pruning group: 1.
? Clematis montana ?Grandi?ora? ? Dense, deep grey-green
foliage, which becomes a backdrop for a spectacular display of crisp
white ?owers in early Summer. Height: 12m (39?). Spread: 4m (13?).
Pruning group: 1.
YOUR BONUS OFFER
Clematis
?New Love?
The star-shaped, indigo
blooms of Clematis ?New Love?
have slender, re?exed petals
and a lovely sweet fragrance.
Height: 90cm (35?).
Spread: 50cm (20?).
WAS �99 NOW ONLY �99
Maxicrop Plant Treatment ONLY �
Give your plants the best possible start in life with a Maxicrop
Treatment by our trained staff prior to despatch. For ONLY �we will
treat your whole order with MAXICROP to give your plants:
? Strong, healthy root system - More energy for growth ? Greener, healthier
leaves ? Great nutrient availability ? Reduced stress during transit ? Better
establishment and improved root growth.
Large 2 litre potted
plants supplied
approx 1m tall
www.thompson-morgan.com/TM_TS318
When ordering online please use order code TM_TS318 to access our special offers
9am-8pm weekdays
Tel:
9am-6pm weekends
YOUR SATISFACTION GUARANTEED
or your money back
0844 573 7414
We want you to be 100% satisfied with any product you buy from
us. If you?re not 100% happy then neither are we, so let us know
and we?ll replace your product or give you your money back.
Maximum call charge for BT customers is 7p per minute. Calls from other networks may vary.
Please send to: Thompson & Morgan, Dept TM_TS318, Poplar Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP8 3BU.
ORDER CODE
TM_TS318
I enclose a cheque/postal order made payable to ?Thompson & Morgan? for �
Price
Product Code Item Description
Name
TJKA4039P Clematis Montana Collection 2 litre pot x 2 (1 of each variety) WAS �.98
�.99
Address
TJ82448
Clematis ?Montana? Rubens, 2 litre pot x 1
�.99
TJ82447
Clematis Montana Grandiflora 2 Litre Pot x 1
�.99
TJ55647
Clematis ?New Love?, 9cm Pot x 1 WAS �99
�99
TKA2524
Maxicrop Plant Treatment
�00
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are unable to ship live plants to the following areas: GY, HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3.
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Expiry Date
/
Spray or ?orists? chrysanths are
ideal for growing outside in a pot
and are then brought in to ?ower
late in a porch or greenhouse
These spray chrysanths will have a long vase life and have
inspired me to order varieties for the garden and greenhouse
How to grow...
Chrysanths are hungry plants,
so once they?re established
in the ground or in pots, liquid
feed with a well-balanced
fertiliser initially, switching
to high potash when flower
buds appear.
chrysanthemums
Plant them now and these versatile blooms will fill your garden with early autumn colour
Time Inc/Alamy
W
E possibly take
chrysanthemums for
granted but these regal,
free-flowering plants fill
many roles in house and garden. Even if
pastel-coloured, daisy-like bunch-fillers
or dwarf pot ?mums? leave you cold,
visit a good florist. I recently bought
three stems of ?spray? varieties, giving
me a gorgeous blend of tight emerald
cushions 1in (2.5cm) across, neat yellow
buttons and longer-petalled white
blooms with yellow and green centres.
Flowers like these inspire us to grow
them at home, where warm colours and
a distinctive perfume speak of autumn.
Chrysanths produce their flower buds
in response to shorter days and cooler
temperatures, so we obtain our young
plants in spring, grow and train them
48 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
through the summer and look forward
to their blooms and unique fragrance
once autumn makes an appearance.
The simplest to try are hardy
herbaceous perennials in the Korean
and Rubellum groups, which are useful
to combine with Japanese anemones,
Michaelmas daisies and nerines for a
late show. Unlike the more tender sorts,
they are left in the ground from one year
to the next. The taller ones will need
supports because the weight of flower
heads combined with autumn gales
can often bring them over.
Florists? chrysanthemum is a broad
term used to cover slightly tender
varieties vulnerable to winter cold and
wet. Grown in containers or planted out,
they are cut back to 8in (20cm) after
flowering. Roots and crowns, known as
?stools?, are forked up and tucked into
boxes of well-draining compost, to be
brought under cover and protected from
frost until spring, when they come to
life and produce cuttings. Early and
midseason varieties usually bloom
outdoors, but late-flowering kinds are
brought under glass to flower in winter.
The processes of potting, feeding,
staking, nipping out growing shoots and
disbudding can sound scarily off-putting,
yet much is aimed at growing for shows.
Chrysanths are an obliging bunch ?
happy to bloom freely given a variety of
treatments. There is a huge variation in
flower size, shape and colour, and while
marvelling at the larger reflexed or
incurved kinds, bear in mind the PG
Wodehouse quote: ?Why don?t you get a
haircut? You look like a chrysanthemum.?
Growing tips
Pot rooted cuttings and
set them in a greenhouse
or frame until late April
or May. Pot on or plant
out in a sunny spot
in good soil.
Plant 12-18in
(30-45cm) apart or
pot on to 5in (13cm)
then 9in (23cm) pots
of 50:50 John Innes
No3 and a soil-free
compost. Provide support.
To stop plants and encourage
branching, nip out tips when they reach 8in (20cm) high.
To grow one large flower per stem, remove all buds
aside from the terminal one.
For a spray of smaller flowers, nip out the terminal bud
and leave or thin out the rest.
If you?ve got the chrysanth bug and want to find out
more, visit nationalchrysanthemumsociety.co.uk.
Woolmans
Some lovely varieties
?Emperor of China?
A nod to the Chinese
origin and history of the
chrysanthemum going
back to the 15th century
BC. A hardy Rubellum
type with double silverypink blooms on plants
4ft (1.2m) high.
Woolmans
Woolmans
?Astro Bronze?
An early variety with
classic chrysanthemum
blooms. It?s at its best
between September
and the first frosts.
This statuesque variety
frequently grows up to
4ft (1.2m) high.
?Froggy Green?
I love the lime-green
pom-poms on this spray
variety, which reaches 3ft
(90cm). Expect lots of stems
bearing acid-green heads
in November. Grow in a
greenhouse for best results.
?Jalta Red?
Flowers are a rich deep
red and generally
disbudded to make large
showy blooms. They shine
out from the garden from
August until cold weather.
Reaches 4ft (1.2m).
12 May 2018 / TM_AG48
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
49
Write to us: Letters, Amateur Gardening magazine,
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park,
Farnborough, Hants, GU14 7BF.
Email us: amateurgardening@timeinc.com
with Wendy Humphries
The Get the look garden (AG, 14 April), owned by Peter and
Christina Harris, who admit they are amateur gardeners
Trevor and his wife Sylvia are
delighted to have a pineapple
forming on top of their plant
Howard Walker
star
letter
Enthusiastic amateurs
A
S always, I turn to the Get the
look feature ?rst in AG, to see
readers? gardens. Often they
have recycled seating,
unusual plant containers or a mirror
placed in a shady corner, and I love the
blue wave of lobelia that looks like a
tiny stream (AG, 14 April). Such ideas
can easily be adapted, even in a
small garden, by anyone.
I strongly disagree with Mrs D.
Graham?s reason (Letters, also 14
April) for not buying AG now. We
?amateur gardeners? are especially
enthusiastic with spring here, and
your features inspire us. Thank you
too for the ?ower seeds!
Mrs Pauline Stowe, Cinderford, Glos
I JUST had to reply to the letter (AG,
14 April) about Get the look gardens.
The reader says she stopped buying
AG because of the large gardens
portrayed and the owners not being
amateur gardeners. Well, in the 14
April issue it was our garden in Get
the look and I can assure her and
your other readers that everything in
our medium-sized garden (1?3 acre) is
done by my husband and myself, and
we are de?nitely amateur gardeners.
Peter and Christina Harris,
Derbyshire
?English Skies? from the USA
I WAS interested to see the plants with ?English?
names including Hemerocallis ?English Skies?
(AG, A Gardeners? Miscellany, 21 April). I was the
importer of this daylily from the USA and this
variety was named in my honour by hybridiser
Dale Hensley. He knew I liked it because I used
to admire it every day in the daylily ?eld in
Asheville, north-west Carolina.
I came back from the USA with a double fan,
Daylily ?English Skies? ?
which I have been carefully dividing and spreading
?It performs well in our
around since 2011. It is not very well known as I
variable weather?
have only gifted it to friends. It always opens well in
our variable weather, and I have seen some of the prettiest ?owers on a dull
overcast day, which is a big bonus!
Jennie Sivyer, West Kingsdown, Kent�(jenniesdaylilies.co.uk)
Home-gown
pineapple
THREE years ago my wife and I decided
to try to grow a pineapple. Having
severed the rosette of foliage and
trimmed the base of its outer leaves,
we suspended it over some water and
were thrilled that it started to root.�
We planted it and ?nally have a
pineapple fruit growing. Does it need
any special care while it is fruiting?
Trevor Bayes,
Cheltenham, Glos
Advice from the pineapple grower
at Heligan Gardens, Cornwall:
?First, well done for getting your
pineapple to ?ower in your home.
Pineapples (Ananas comosus) originate
from tropical America, so they love full
sun, heat and humidity.
?The bad news is that once they
?ower and fruit the mother plant dies.
So it?s best not to disturb your plant
now, just fertilise it once a week with
liquid seaweed fertiliser. They usually
produce offshoots from the parent
plant and these can be separated and
potted on. If you don?t have suckers
on your plant then you can start again
with the top of the fruit once it matures
as you did before. Dry the crown for a
week and plant up in a rich compost
with some gravel in the bottom of the
pot for drainage. While the new plant is
establishing, feed once a week.?�
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
51
Share your stories, tips and photos with us and if your
letter is published you will receive a new book.
When you write, please indicate your area of interest!
Plant Breeders? Rights provide
protection against reproduction
and resale of a new variety
Incredible flowering power: the cymbidium orchid
T&M
G Boldero
Photo
of the
week
?I am the envy of my friends?
I JUST thought I would share this
photo with other readers. This is a
cutting from a parent cymbidium
orchid from the 1980s. It?s situated in
a south-facing conservatory and loves
it! I think my in-laws, who gave me the
cutting, would be proud. Needless to
Plants with
breeders? rights
say, I am the envy of my friends!
G Boldero, Pontypridd, South Wales
I RECENTLy bought some plants from
Thompson & Morgan as advertised in
AG. The planting instructions end with?
?Please note, most of the plants are
protected by plant breeders? rights.
Propagation of any of these is illegal.?
The thought that some snooper from
the breeder may want to check next
year to see if I have taken cuttings, or
divided a dahlia, is a little preposterous.
Could they possibly enforce it? For
a start, how would they prove that their
material had been used?
Chris Edwards, Salisbury, Wilts
Wendy says I inherited one too and
divided it to make five new plants.
The one that spent summer in a shady
spot outdoors flowered the best!
Reader?s Quick Tip
Editorial contacts:
Editorial offices: Amateur Gardening, Time Inc
(UK), Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough,
Hampshire, GU14 7BF & 01252 555138
Email: amateurgardening@timeinc.com
Subscriptions: & 0330 333 1113
Editor: Garry Coward-Williams
Gardening editor: Ruth Hayes
Designers: Al Rigger, Emily Secrett
Picture editor and Letters: Wendy Humphries
Features: Kathryn Wilson
Marketing: Samantha Blakey
Classified advertising & 07572 116044
Advertising director: Kate Barnfield
& 07817 629935
52 AMAtEur GArDENING 12 MAY 2018
M Kovrilija
I AM trying to do whatever I can to
lessen the impact of plastic on the
environment. By using two matching
clear food-package items, I place one
on top of another, burn a hole through
both lips (using a heated food skewer)
and secure with paperclips. Then I have
a handy mini propagator that fits nicely
on my windowsill.
Margaret Kovrlija, Knottingley, W. Yorks
Content director: Mark Hedges
Group managing director: Oswin Grady
Complaints procedure: We work hard to achieve
the highest standards of editorial content, and
we are committed to complying with the Editors?
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Editors? Code. We will endeavour to acknowledge
your complaint within five working days and
we aim to correct substantial errors as soon as
possible. amateurgardening.com
Wendy says Good question! We asked
T&M?s plant breeder Charles Valin, who
replied: ?Only propagation for resale
is illegal. Propagating a few plants for
one?s own garden is perfectly fine even
on PBR protected plants.?
Subscription rates (51 issues, all prices
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the Wyndeham Group. Distributed by Marketforce (UK), 5 Churchill
Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU. Registered as a newspaper at
the post office. Amateur Gardening (inc. Popular Gardening) AMATEUR
GARDENING, Time Inc (UK), Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Hampshire,
GU14 7BF, & 01252 555138. Amateur Gardening� is a registered trade
mark � Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. ISSN 0954-8513 Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, 161 Marsh
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12 May 2018 / TM_AG45
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
53
the look
Get
Ideas for gorgeous gardens
Walk through a rainbow by layering
colourful plants. Purple clematis and an
orange rose provide the backdrop for
shrubs, perennials and annuals,
including eye-catching combinations of
pineapple lily Eucomis comosa ?Sparkling
Burgundy? and dwarf nasturtium
Town garden
with a difference
Create a purple patch and team it with orange for
beautiful results. Clematis viticella ?etoile Violette?
is combined with rosa ?Lady emma hamilton?
A wildlife-friendly garden that?s full of contrasts, says Sue Bradley
T
he gArden behind Mary and
Paul Morgan?s edwardian
house is a retreat within which
the couple can switch off from
the outside world, although it?s rare that
they?re ever completely alone.
They?ve created a relaxing and
private space just off the centre of the
Wiltshire market town of devizes that?s
friendly to wildlife too.
This means that insects feasting on
the nectar in the garden?s flowers are
constant companions, as are seed and
bug-eating birds and amphibians, and
dragonflies that are attracted to their
small pond.
54 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 May 2018
?We like the area
to look natural?
Paul and Mary moved to their home
in 2001 and initially put their energies
into adding a small extension to the
back of the property. They also levelled
the area immediately beyond it to
create a patio using pavers and bricks,
before setting about putting their
stamp on the rest of the garden.
?We wanted to be able to make the
most of this sunny area,? explains Mary,.
?so we asked the chap who designed
our extension to come up with a layout.?
Mary?s planting scheme for the patio
has a tropical feel, with a mix of hardy
and tender plants with exotic-looking
leaves, and flowering annuals and
perennials, such as day lily, salvia and
nasturtium, which surround the area
with layers of vibrant colour.
Stone steps link the patio to the next
section of the garden, the focal point of
which is a large wooden greenhouse.
here, Mary is able to propagate plants,
overwinter tender species and grow
Photographs: Peter Chatterton
Use soft fruits within a colourful planting
scheme: purple-skinned gooseberries
look good with Knautia macedonica
Install a greenhouse that suits its surroundings.
This one is made by Woodpecker Joinery
A small rill provides moving water
that helps oxygenate the pond
Plant stands with begonias and fuchsias, a potted tree and variegated
tree ivy x Fatshedera lizei ?Variegata? are used to draw the eye away
from the wall of the house, while a wooden screen hides a water butt
tomatoes during the summer months.
In this area the borders have a more
?cottage-garden? feel, with fruit bushes
adding to the overall theme of maroons
and purples.
Large blue arches constructed by
Paul and positioned at the end of this
?greenhouse? garden signal a gateway
into a patch that has an entirely
different mood. There is a gentler mix
of wildflowers and grasses populating
a more naturalistic area containing
a wildlife pond and shallow channel,
willow arbour, wood piles for beetles
and a hedgehog house.
?We like this area to look natural but
remove anything that doesn?t work,
such as rosebay willowherb that?s too
rampant,? says Mary. ?I cut things down
when they look messy, although I try to
leave things like teasels, the stems of
Arches painted ?blue jade? provide
a gateway to the wild garden beyond
12 may 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
55
the look
Get
Ideas for gorgeous gardens
The house can merge seamlessly with the garden
beyond by planting a climber against it. Here a
grapevine looks good and produces fruit
Merge sculptures
with climbing plants
Create a focal point by placing a table
and chairs set at the end of a long path
Mix plants with objects, such
as this rusted iron silhouette
56 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 may 2018
Make a sun spot: the patio is surrounded by a variety of plants chosen for their
vibrant colours and exotic-looking foliage, including ricinus (castor-oil plant), fig,
fatsia and melianthus
A large white butterfly feasts
on the nectar of Verbena
bonariensis.
Plant low evergreen hedges, such as box,
to form distinct shapes. The purple flowers
of wall germander add contrast
which are used by hibernating insects.?
An apple tree nods to the orchard
that once filled this area, while a silver
birch and other ornamental trees
combine with neighbouring canopies
to blur the boundaries.
The pastoral feel at the far end of
the garden comes as a direct contrast
to the area immediately in front of the
house. Here, low box hedges grown
from cuttings have been planted to
create a spiral, out of which a bay tree
clipped to resemble a pear ? a nod to
the name of the cottage ? emerges.
?It?s a haven to
share with nature?
This more formal setting, which suits
the antiquity of the house, is softened
by swathes of purple-flowered wall
germander, a bee-friendly evergreen
that Mary cuts back every February
and March to ensure it keeps its shape.
Mary and Paul?s eye-catching
garden is never short of admirers,
and has garnered several prizes from
Devizes in Bloom over the years.
?I find gardening relaxing: I first
started doing it when I had my first
house and fell in love with it,? says
Mary. ?For us, the garden is our haven,
but it?s lovely to share it with wildlife
and the people who visit on open
days,? she adds.
Inject rich colours by planting vibrant day
lilies (hemerocallis), such as this ?Stafford?
cultivar. Each bloom lasts just 24 hours,
but they keep coming
meet the owners
Create a quiet spot by planting a willow
arbour over a bench seat, for a place to
sit, read and simply ?to be?
Encourage a wild area in the garden. The edge of the
pond is home to purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria),
Geranium pratense and buttercup
Owners:
Mary and
Paul Morgan
Address:
Pear Cottage,
28 Pans Lane,
Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 5AF
Size of garden:
8m (26ft) x 24m (79ft)
Aspect: East facing
Soil: Green sand, slightly acidic
Visited: August
Special features:
Formal clipped evergreens in
front of the house and a vibrant
exotic patio at the rear leading to
a tranquil wild garden with a
willow arbour and pond
Open for the NGS: Friday 15 June
and Saturday 7 July, 2-5pm.
12 may 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
57
Amateur
Classifieds
Call 0203 148 2517 / Fax 0203 148 8314 / or email Lee.Morris@timeinc.com
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Chrysanthemums
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Tel: 0800 046 7443
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A new garden variety
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www.chrysanthemumsdirect.co.uk
STREPTOCARPUS,
SAINTPAULIAS
AND UNUSUAL
HOUSEPLANTS
For your FREE colour
catalogue which includes
new Streptocarpus
varieties for 2018
2016,
Achimenes, Begonias,
Primulina, Coleus and
exotic houseplants.
Please telephone or write to: Dibleys Nurseries, Dept AG, Llanelidan,
Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 2LG
Tel: 01978790677 www.dibleys.com
SNOWDROPS IN THE GREEN
snowdrops in the green
Single Snowdrops....................... �per 100
Single Snowdrops....................� per 1000
Double snowdrops ....................� per 100
Double snowdrops ................ �0 per 1000
English bluebells........................� per 100
Crocus ......................................... �per 100
Miniture Daffodils........................ �per 50
Aconites ........................................ �per 50
Dwarf Iris .................................... � per 10
Snowflakes...................................� per 10
Credit and debit cards accepted
p&p free make cheques & postal
orders payable to Anglia Bulbs
Lords Lane, wisbech, Cambs. pe13 4tU
phone 01945 410966
Toby Buckland
?Look for pot-grown
tomatoes at plant
fairs,? says Toby
Toby?s top tips
sure-green.com
Victoriana Nurseries
Nurseryman and former Gardeners? World host
1
Rather than bamboo canes
that bend, I support outdoor
tomatoes with steel fencing pins
(sold by builders? merchants) driven
into the ground before planting.
Black beauties
Toby looks at a range of black-skinned tomatoes that are
a tastier and tougher alternative to Mediterranean types
Time Inc
T
HE Russian proverb that states
?A pessimist is a well-informed
optimist? is worth remembering,
especially when choosing
outdoor tomatoes. While tempting Italian
heritage varieties like ?Costoluto
Genovese? have names redolent of the
Italian Riviera and mouth-watering
descriptions, in a poor summer they?re
as miserable as a muddy campsite in
Bognor Regis. And this means they die
of the fungal disease ?blight? before a
single tomato ripens.
For the circumspect, the choice has
always been for less romantic but ?triedand-tested? varieties like ?Gardener?s
Delight? or ?Tumbler?, which may not be
the tastiest but always produce
something even when blight is bad.
Since Glasnost and the fall of the
Soviet Union, a group of black-skinned
tomatoes has come on the scene.
With the same depth of flavour as
Mediterranean heritage toms but
harking from Russia, they offer a tasty
and tougher alternative.
I?ve been growing them for years
and top of my list is ?Black Cherry?,
which when trained to a cane as a
single-stemmed ?cordon? bears a
succession of burgundy and deliciously
sweet and tangy bite-sized fruits right
through summer.
?Black Russian?, another cordon-type,
bears mahogany-red fruits reminiscent
of antique billiard balls right through
summer. The flavour is often described
as ?smoky?, but all I know is that they?re
perfect for griddling on a barbecue.
Biggest of all is ?Black From Tula? ? a
beefsteak that hails from a town of the
same name near Moscow. Each fruit is
4in (10cm) across and bulbous like a
beanbag. While they wouldn?t win a
beauty contest, when sliced and salted
2
As plants grow, tie the stems
to the support with soft twine.
The bigger the fruit, the more ties
the better to support the weight.
the meaty texture and flavour are
second to none.
Other good tomato varieties include
?Koralik?, which is early to produce so
misses the blight; ?Black Krim? from
Crimea, which is a beefsteak that?s great
for cooking; ?Purple Russian?, which is the
best for keeping; and ?Silvery Fir Tree?,
so-called because it has filigree silverygreen foliage that?s resistant to disease.
It?s too late to sow from seed now, but
look for pot-grown plants at plant fairs.
When Lisa and I had our nursery we
always grew a batch of different types.
Black tomatoes
Black tomatoes were first bred in southern Ukraine and
distributed after the Crimean War by soldiers returning
home from the fighting throughout western Russia.
New varieties were then bred from these and spread
to the West in the late 1980s. As with red tomatoes
they are either ?bush? (or ?determinate?), which are best
left unpruned to produce all their fruits at once, or
cordon (?indeterminate?) varieties that have their main
stem tied to a support and the side shots removed when
they appear in the join where the leaves meet the main stem.
?Black Krim?
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
Victoriana Nursery
DT Brown
?Black Cherry? produces a succession of
bite-sized fruits throughout summer
59
.
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The ultimate cat repellent ? New LARGER plants now available
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or buy 6 plants for
�.99 ? SAVE �.99
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�99
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This durable pot stands 30cm (12?) tall and 39cm (15?) wide.
Black with a brushed metal ?nish, lattice design and a large
saucer ideal for all your patio favourites. Just �99
Coleus Canina This easy to grow Coleus Canina keeps cats, dogs, rabbits and
foxes away from your garden, also known as the ?Scaredy Cat? Plant. It produces an odour
that cats in particular ?nd offensive. It will be at its most effective when planted in a sunny
spot, because the odour gets stronger the hotter the leaves become - fortunately the
odour is barely obvious to humans! Coleus Canina is easy to grow and will thrive on
neglect as it is a naturally drought tolerant plant. It even produces attractive blue ?owers
during the summer months and early autumn. Hurry Offer must end 22nd May.
Supplied as 9cm potted plants from June.
www.thompson-morgan.com/TM_TS312
When ordering online please use order code TM_TS312 to access our special offers
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TJKA1637 Coleus Canina Scaredy Cat 9cm Pot x 3 �.99
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GY, HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3.
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ith nematodes in late April.
34 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Teucrium scorodonia ?Crispum? A crinkly leaved wood sage
with grey-green woolly leaves. Use to add interesting textural
contrast to all types of ferns
ADVERTISEMENT
Sound advice on tinnitus
S
ix million Britons are living with tinnitus ? but
many feel they aren?t getting enough help.
More than half of those who visited their GP with
the condition were unhappy with the advice they received,
according to research by the British Tinnitus Association.
Eighty-eight per cent of those referred to an audiology
unit reported having to wait up to four months for an
appointment.
The good news is there are people who can help. Global
hearing specialist Amplifon can quickly provide expert
advice and hearing aids to bring respite from symptoms.
Studies suggest that hearing aids do reduce the effects of
tinnitus for a significant number of people. By amplifying
the sounds around them, aids can make the noises
associated with tinnitus less noticeable for sufferers.
Amplifon can offer state-of-the-art digital aids that can
be tailored to suit individual hearing needs and come with
bespoke tinnitus programmes. Lots of people are already
?nding that thanks to good advice from an audiologist
through Amplifon ? which has 200 hearing centres in the
UK ? their quality of life has been transformed.
K
een traveller William Allan
knew he needed to seek help
after struggling to hear a
tour guide on a dream trip to
China.
Now, the 57-year-old?s hearing has
improved and his tinnitus symptoms
have eased thanks to Amplifon.
William and wife Valerie were
completing their bucket list of places
to visit when he became aware of his
problem. Upon their return, he booked
an appointment with Amplifon, and
was impressed with what he found.
?I don?t suffer from tinnitus
as much now, which means
I can sleep better at night.?
?My audiologist,
Andrew, spent time
?nding out about
my background,?
he says.?We went
through everything in
detail and he answered all
of my questions. I?d also been suffering
from a complex form of tinnitus so he
recommended a pair of hearing aids
that would suit.?
During a free trial of his hearing aids
he found that his hearing was
transformed. The aids have special
settings that help soothe the symptoms,
including tones he can play when the
tinnitus becomes unbearable.
?I don?t suffer from tinnitus as much
now, which means I can sleep better at
night,? says William. ?It couldn?t have
been any better and it showed that
these were the hearing aids for me.?
Whilst his globe-trotting has
bene?tted, William?s new hearing
aids also allow him to take part in
conversations in noisy rooms, which
he struggled with before. He is now
also able to watch television without
the volume turned up to the max.
?I would recommend Amplifon
to anyone who has any kind of
problems with their hearing,
including tinnitus,? he adds.
Book your FREE hearing test and
FREE hearing aid trial today!
FREEPHONE 0800 912 7906
quote AG120518
Steve Javan
BOOK YOUR FREE
HEARING TEST
AND
FREE HEARING
AID TRIAL TODAY!
WE?RE ON
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NEAR YOU
Est.
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amplifon.com
AMPLIFON IS LISTENING TO THE NEW GENERATION
Find out what makes you part of it.
Hearing. It?s all we do.
Anne Swithinbank?s masterclass on: filling the hungry gap
Step Veg that
by step will ?ll the
Plants of purple sprouting
broccoli deliver several
rounds of tasty spears from
January or February through
to the end of April
hungry gap
All images Time Inc
1
Sow purple sprouting broccoli
from April until June, or shop
for young plants to put out in
June or July.
What can I grow to ?ll the hungry gap?
Q
Although I have a garden with a
small greenhouse and a decentsized allotment, we have been in a
?hungry gap? since last autumn. How
can I avoid this and bring crops on
for winter and spring?
Alan Benedict, Gosport, Hampshire
A
VEGETABLE growers can fall victim
to enthusiastic spring sowings of
broad beans, peas, French beans,
onions, salads, carrots and beetroot,
summer cabbage, courgettes and
sweetcorn, but run out of steam so that
supplies dry up come September. Yet
with good planning, there is every
prospect of better self-sufficiency and
plugging the hungry gap.
Celeriac is best sown in March for an
autumn-to-spring supply of roots to
flavour soups and casseroles, as well as
eating grated and raw. Hunt around now
for fresh young plants to set at decent
18in (45cm) spacings. March and April
are the usual months for starting
parsnips and leeks, which are two more
flavoursome and useful hardy winter
veg. Look out for leek transplants to go
in from May to July, but parsnips are best
sown direct so be ready next year.
May is a great time for sowing hardy
winter brassicas, including savoy
cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale,
purple sprouting broccoli and spring
cauliflowers. Give them generous
spacings in firm soil limed if it is neutral
or acidic. Cover with mesh to exclude
cabbage-white butterflies and stake
the taller varieties. As soon as possible,
sow pumpkins and other winter squash
to store over winter.
Come June, sow swedes, more
carrots and beetroot for winter supplies.
Also, red chicory (radicchio) for autumn
salads. I like to sow my chard and
perpetual spinach into modules or direct
to soil in early July, for leaves to gather
from autumn to spring.
By August, you need packets of hardy
winter salads like winter lettuce, land
cress, rocket, mustard, mizuna, miner?s
lettuce (claytonia) and lamb?s lettuce. This
is also the month for sowing turnips and
spring cabbage. September-sown salad
onions will be great for spring stir fries.
Looking ahead, sow hardy peas and
broad beans in October or November for
the earliest crops, and in January and
February start parsley, lettuce, spinach,
summer cabbage and calabrese.
2
Start hardy salads like this
mixture in early August to grow
under cloches or glass, and pick by
the leaf through to spring.
3
Sow broad beans in
November or under glass
in February and you should be
harvesting from June.
Perennial veg
PERENNIALS are long-lived plants that
require less input and yield well.
Perennial kale ?Taunton Deane? (see
right) delivers all year, forced sea kale
crops in March, asparagus from April,
Jerusalem artichokes during winter
and rhubarb from March to summer.
4
Sow beetroot direct or in
modules in June for roots to
lift in autumn and winter.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
37
10%
OFF
qu
*
ote code:
AGAG18
Designing and manufacturing an inspiring range of garden structures and plant supports for nearly 50 years.
* Terms & Conditions apply, see website for details. Valid until 31/08/18.
Arches ? Pergolas ? Gazebos ? Bowers ? Porticoes ? Obelisks ? Screens ? Fruit Cages
www.agriframes.co.uk | 0117 934 1790
Dr Jane Bingham and John Negus
Spurge sap is an irritant
Seeds and cuttings usually require
special low-nutrient compost
Is peat suitable for propagation?
Q
I want to use a peat-based compost
for propagating, but it is hard to
find. However, I can source bags of peat
only. Should I mix this with peat-free
products, and in what ratio?
Emanuel Finegold, via email
A
I use specifically formulated seed
and cutting compost for most of my
propagation. There are various brands
on the market.
There are also some peat-free seed
and cutting composts, and although ?all
right?, they are still not as good as the
peat-based ones.�
There are also loam-based ones such
as John Innes, which are ideal for seeds
of woody plants that need to be sown in
autumn for germinating the following
spring, and hardwood cuttings that sit
dormant through the winter.
Like most gardeners, I expect you
have a favourite garden centre or garden
shop and, as such, are restricted to the
brands they stock. However, you are sure
to find at least one peat-based seed and
cutting compost and this is going to be
the best one for taking cuttings.
It is possible to use multi-purpose
compost for propagating, but the results
aren?t always satisfactory ? some seeds
and seedlings fail if nutrient levels are
too high. These composts are designed
for growing plants on, with sufficient
nutrients to support growth for 6-8
weeks and so, despite the packaging
stating that the compost is suitable for
all purposes, it really isn?t.�
How can I grow beautiful peonies?
All pictures Time Inc
Q
A
Please could you give me some advice on how to grow yellow peonies?
L. Lawrence, Maidstone, Kent
Peonies make the early summer
(? 01256 896533). Other peony
so special and there are
specialists are:
dozens of varieties to
Binny Plants, Binny Estate,
choose from.
Ecclesmachan Road,
Lovely yellowish
Uphall, West Lothian
herbaceous varieties
EH52 6NL (? 01506
are the pale yellow,
858931);
almost creamy
Kelways, Picts Hill,
?Claire de Lune?, pale
Langport, Somerset
?Starlight? and light
TA10 9EZ (? 01458
Peonies like sun
250521).
yellow ?Molly the Witch?.
or light shade
You could order them
Provided you set your
from Hardy?s, Priory Lane
peonies in full sun or light
Nursery, Freefolk Priors,
shade, in free-draining fertile soil,
they will prosper.
Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7NJ
Intriguing plant
Q
What is this plant in my neighbour?s
garden? It is dark green at the
bottom and lighter at the top?
Alison Jackson, Luton, Beds
A
It is caper spurge (Euphorbia
lathyris), a native of Europe and
north-west Africa. It freely seeds itself
and plants often appear unexpectedly.
As a biennial, it forms a rosette of
leaves in its first year then flowers, seeds
and dies in the second. It has great
charm but its sap is an irritant, so wear
gloves when tending it.
Sweet vernal grass
is not invasive
An alien in the lawn
Q
Please can you tell me why this
unsightly grass is growing in my
lawn. Can I eradicate it?
Joan Heard, via email
A
Unwanted grasses in a lawn are
difficult to eradicate. There are no
selective weedkillers to use against
them without killing the other lawn
grasses. Feeding the lawn can help the
desired grass plants out-compete the
unwanted ones.
Fortunately, sweet vernal grass is not
invasive and rarely causes a problem. It
is relatively slow-growing and slow to
establish from seed. The plants are not
long-lived.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
39
Write to us: Ask The AG Experts, Amateur Gardening magazine,
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park,
Farnborough, Hants, GU14 7BF.
Email us: amateurgardening@timeinc.com
Quick questions
& answers
Lupins are not greedy plants
Q
My gooseberry
bush has
powdery mildew.
What can I do?
Philip Mills, via email
A
Dilemma over what to feed my lupins
Q
What should I use to feed my lupins
? Growmore or tomato food?
Mrs G Brice, Brentwood, Essex
A
Lupins are not hungry plants and do
best on light soils. Over-rich soil
produces soft growth, which means
plants need staking, are more vulnerable
to slug and snail attack, and may
produce more leaf than flower.
Growmore is a balanced blend of the
three major plant foods essential for
strong, healthy growth. Tomato feeds
such as Tomorite are recommended for
fruiting crops as they contain a high
proportion of potassium, which is good
for flowering and fruiting.
If your lupins are in the ground they
might not need feeding at all. If they start
to look a bit peaky (with yellow leaves) I
would top-dress with Growmore for allround health. The problem with tomato
feeds is that they promote flowering but
do little to support the leaves.
What problem is blighting my box?
Q
My 10-year-old box has developed
bare patches and brittle stems,
though there is plenty of green fresh
growth. What can I do?
Dennis Faulkner, Torquay, Devon
A
Box blight can be hard to control
40 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Sadly, your box is badly infected
with box blight, a fungus that, if
unchecked, will destroy the whole bush.
For the moment, cut back infected
shoots to live, healthy tissue and bin or
burn prunings. Then spray with Bayer
Fungus Fighter or Scotts Fungus Clear
Ultra, which hopefully will check the
spread of the disease.
Additionally, feed the bush with Long
Acres? Health Mix. A 200g bucket costs
�.99. Consisting of a fungicide that
burns box-blight spores, and nutrients
to boost growth, it will help your box
recover. Phone the company on & 01276
476 778 or log on to 8 longacres.co.uk.
If the above action doesn?t control the
disease, I urge you to remove the bush,
roots and all, and the root-area soil.
Powdery mildew can
develop on the leaves
flowers and fruit of many plants.
It is prevalent in hot dry weather.
It is encouraged by dry soil
and humid conditions around the
leaves. Provide plenty of water to
the roots but avoid wetting the top
growth. Overcrowding and overfeeding can also encourage it.
Q
What is this
climbing plant?
Marcia Thompson,
via email
A
It is mile-a-minute
or Russian vine
(Fallopia baldschuanica). A
native of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and
west Pakistan, it is our fastest
growing twining climber.
Enjoyed for its whitish-pink
summer flowers, it is best trained
over a wall or fence or robust tree
with which it can?t compete. If it
outgrows its situation, cut it back in
early spring before buds burst.
Q
Can you tell me if
this is a weed or a
flower? It has spread
but the flowers
look nice.
Kathleen Young,
via email
A
It is woodruff (Galium
odoratum), a British native that
likes lightly shaded woodland areas
where the soil is damp. In spring, it
becomes a carpet of enchanting
starry white flowers.
If you wish to keep it, consign it
to damp patch where the soil does
not dry out in summer. If you
position it with other small plants, it
quickly embraces them and may
cause them to weaken and die.
12 May 2018 / TM_AG49
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
41
Tried & tested
We try before you buy
Hanging baskets
There?s more to basket design than you think, as AG?s Tim Rumball discovers
LANTING and maintaining a
hanging basket is a serious
business. The rewards in terms
of blooms are spectacular, but
baskets can be tricky to plant up, they
need daily attention and they don?t all
offer the same in terms of flower power.
Baskets that are planted both on top
P
and around the sides carry more plants
and will give a bigger display, but
they?re more expensive to fill and
planting the sides can be difficult.
Baskets with only the top to plant are
simple and cheaper to fill, but fewer
plants generally means a weaker
display and it may not cover the basket
? so the basket itself needs to look
good. Regular watering is critical to
success, and baskets with a built-in
water reservoir have an advantage.
We?ve tried six different hangingbasket designs to assess their
strengths and weaknesses, so you can
pick one that suits your requirements.
Smart Hanging Basket
�79 �95 delivery
Corinthian Hanging
Basket �49
Banana Braid Hanging
Cone �20
0800 707 6677
robertdyas.co.uk
Score
0203 657 5230
stewart-garden.co.uk
0345 077 8888
homebase.co.uk
Score
Score
12
/15
10
/15
10
Features
Features
Features
Traditional bowl-shaped wire hanging
basket with coco liner fitted. Three
hanging chains. Compost capacity
4.5 litres. Dimensions: diameter 12in
(30cm), basket height 51?2in (14cm),
height with chains 21in (54cm).
Lightweight, UV-resistant plastic.
Built-in self-watering system with
tube. Available in green or terracotta.
Compost capacity 6.5 litres.
Dimensions: diameter 13in (31.5cm),
basket height 61?2in (16.5cm), height
with chain 21in (52cm).
Cone made from natural plant material
woven around a metal frame. Integral
plastic liner to retain moisture. Three
hanging chains. Compost capacity 9.5
litres Dimensions: diameter 14in (36cm),
cone height 14in (36cm), height with
chains 31in (79cm).
Performance
Performance
Small basket, easy to fill with compost
and plant up. No liner required. Stands
securely for planting. Only top can be
planted. Watering tube is tricky to reach
when hung up. Reservoir overflow
holes prevent compost getting
saturated. Should last a long time.
Stand base in a pot or hang within
reach for filling. Can be used in a
conservatory ? plastic liner needs
puncturing to allow drainage if hanging
outdoors. Easy to add compost. Good
top planting area. Compost must be
watered from above. Plastic liner
reduces water loss. Natural materials
will deteriorate over the years.
Performance
Stand basket on pot or hang within
reach to plant up. Adding compost
easy. Liner must be cut to plant up
sides, and plants threaded through
carefully ? but you choose where you
want them so you can pack plants in for
maximum impact. Watering from above
only. No water reservoir so regular
checking of compost moisture needed.
Value
Classic style, well-priced model which
should last. Needs relining each year.
42 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
Value
Good price and smart watering system,
but limited planting space and dull
looks may not be covered by flowers.
/15
Value
A low-cost ornamental hanging planter.
BEsT Buy...
Easy Fill
Hanging Basket
�.99 for two plus �95 delivery
0844 573 1818
Thompson-morgan.com
NGIN
HA 2018 G
Amateur
Aqua Lock Hanging
Basket �95 6.95 delivery
Large Terracotta Hanging
Basket �.99 �99 delivery
01384 401996
ashwoodnurseries.com
01344 578111
Crocus.co.uk
Score
Score
12
/15
BEsT Buy
BA
sKETs
Amateur
Best buy
15
/15
10
/15
Features
Features
Features
Black plastic basket in ribbed design
with wick-fed self-watering system and
detachable water reservoir. Compost
capacity 11 litres. Four hanging chains
for stability. Dimensions: diameter 16in
(41cm), basket height 13in (33cm),
height with chains 27in (69cm).
Contemporary style inverted cone
planter in natural terracotta. One small
drain hole. Compost capacity 2 litres.
Dimensions: diameter 8in (20cm), cone
height 10in (25cm), height with chains
27in (69cm).
Performance
Liner (not supplied) needed. Sideplanting access awkward. Big top
planting area. Water reservoir can be
unscrewed to check level or fill without
lowering basket. Doesn?t drip like
conventional baskets so can be used
in conservatories.
Value
Reasonably priced large basket with
clever watering system. It should last
for years.
Performance
Good-looking design. Fragile terracotta
needs careful handling. Stand in a pot
or hang to plant up. Very limited
planting space in top so probably best
suits one bold plant ? trailing types
could waste its good looks. Small
capacity, no water reservoir and porous
terracotta means compost needs
regular checking for moisture.
Value
A pricey but attractive planter that
would suit a modern home.
Black plastic basket with built-in
water reservoir. Twelve snap-in
panels for easy planting of sides.
Compost capacity 10 litres. Four
hanging chains for stability.
Dimensions: diameter 14in (36cm),
basket height 81?2in (22cm), height
with chains 241?2in (62cm).
Performance
Easy to fill with compost, no liner
required. Stands securely for
planting. Good plant capacity with
big top area plus 12 side pockets
in two tiers. Snap out/in panels
make planting sides simple and
allow bigger plants to be used.
Watering is direct onto compost at
the top. It then drains down to
reservoir in base.
Value
Reasonably priced, the easy-fill
system is excellent and baskets
should last for years.
12 MAY 2018 AmAteur GArDeNING
43
Gardening?s king of trivia and brain-teasers, Graham Clarke
THIS Gardening
WEEK history
IN
8-14 May
A sea of colour
For many gardeners, May is the month of the tulip. Most general spring bulbs are
either yellow, like daffodils, or have purple and pink shades but are on the small side.
However, when tulips begin blooming, everyone knows it. Their colours, often
planted in blocks, make the garden come alive. So let?s look at some of the facts
and quirks associated with the ultimate spring flower.
? 8 May 1926
English
broadcaster
and
naturalist,
Sir David
Attenborough,
was born in
Isleworth,
Middlesex. He has done more than
anyone to bring the natural world
into our homes.
? 9 May 1826
Joseph Paxton
started work
for the Duke of
Devonshire at
Chatsworth,
where he built
the famous Great Conservatory.
? 10 May 1566
Leonhard Fuchs,
German physician
and botanist, who
lent his name to
the fuchsia, died.
? 10 May 1964
Controversial Irish
garden designer
and television
personality,
Diarmuid Gavin,
was born.
? 11 May 1949
King George
VI and Queen
Elizabeth
made an
official visit
to the RHS
Gardens at
Wisley in
Surrey.
Tulipomania arrives in Britain
The first tulips were imported to Britain
from Turkey in 1577. Their flowers were
plain and dull, in shades of white,
yellow, purple or red. But they were
seen as curiosities and, even then,
only the wealthy could afford them.
However, in 1634 ?Tulipomania?
broke out in the Netherlands. The
tulip?s popularity soared, sending the
prices of some bulbs so high they cost
the same as a house. Bulbs were being
5
sold faster than they could grow. At the
peak of the craze, in March 1637, some
single tulip bulbs sold for more than
10 times the annual income of a skilled
craftsman ? the modern-day equivalent
of over �0,000.
But a crash was inevitable, and shortly
after this prices went through the floor.
Speculators abandoned the tulip, and it
was left to gardeners to carry on growing
and developing the blooms.
decorative plants with
?tulip? in the common name
Siam tulip
? Curcuma
alismatifolia
(the lotus
ginger)
Blue tulip ? Pulsatilla
vulgaris (the pasque?ower)
? 14 May 1700
Mary Delaney,
English writer
and paper
flower artist,
was born in
Coulston,
Wiltshire.
44 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
Drooping
tulip
? Fritillaria
meleagris
(the
snakeshead
fritillary)
African tulip ?
Haemanthus coccineus
(the blood lily)
Tulip willow ? Salix x rubra
(the green-leaved willow)
Different divisions
Botanists have
classified
tulips into 15
divisions:
? DIVISION
1: Single
earlies such
as ?Apricot
Beauty?
Division 10?s fringed
? DIVISION 2:
variety: ?Fantasy?
Double earlies
? ?Peach Blossom?
? DIVISION 3: Mid-season hybrids
? ?Barcelona?
? DIVISION 4: Darwin hybrids ?
?Burning Heart? and ?Olympic Flame?
? DIVISION 5: Single lates ? ?Pink
Diamond? and ?Queen of the Night?
? DIVISION 6: Lily-flowered ? ?Queen
of Sheba? and ?White Triumphator?
? DIVISION 7: Fringed ?
?Burgundy Lace? and ?Fancy Frills?
? DIVISION 8: Viridiflora, with green
markings ? ?Artist? and ?Esperanto?
? DIVISION 9: Rembrandt (see below)
? DIVISION 10: Parrot, fringed and
twisted petals ? ?Fantasy? and
?Flaming Parrot?
? DIVISION 11: Double lates ?
?Bonanza? and ?Mount Tacoma?
? DIVISION 12: Kaufmanniana,
small and early ? ?Heart?s Delight?
? DIVISION 13: Fosteriana,
slightly larger than Kaufmanniana
? ?Candela? and ?Juan?
? DIVISION 14: Greigii, maroon-mottled
leaves ? ?Plaisir? and ?Toronto?
? DIVISION 15: Species, tulips that
occur naturally with no breeding or
intervention involved ? ?Lilac Wonder?
and ?Fusilier?
Time Inc/Alamy/Wikimedia
Rembrandt tulips
Division 9 tulips
are listed as the
?Rembrandts?.
These are the
blooms painted
by the Dutch Old
Masters, not
necessarily
Rembrandt, and
are distinguished
by their streaked petals, which are
caused by a virus.
Strict plant health regulations mean
these varieties are no longer available,
but are kept by private collectors. The
streaked tulips you see today are not
caused by a virus, and are safe to plant.
Prize draw
Westland SafeLawn is for gardeners
who love their lawn, but are put off using
chemicals due to safety concerns over
children and pets. Creating a healthier
and stronger lawn while preventing weeds
and moss, it?s an organic fertiliser with
added lawn seed, and is made using only
natural ingredients.
We have two 80sq m coverage packs to
give away, each worth �99. See below for
details of how to enter the prize draw.
How to enter
Send your name and address on the back of a postcard to Westland
SafeLawn fertiliser (12 May), Amateur Gardening, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst
Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7BF. Or you can email your details to
ag_giveaway@timeinc.com, heading the email Westland SafeLawn fertiliser
(12 May). The closing date is 17 May 2018.
WIN
�
Word search
This word search
comprises words
associated with tulips.
They are listed below; in
the grid they may be read
across, backwards, up,
down or diagonally. Letters
may be shared between
words. Erroneous or
duplicate words may
appear in the grid, but
there is only one correct
solution. After the listed
words are found there are
11 letters remaining;
arrange these to make this
week?s KEYWORD.
BREAKING
DARWIN
DOUBLE
DUTCH
EARLY
EELWORM
FIRE
FOSTERIANA
FRINGED
HARD
HYBRID
LATE
PARROT
REMBRANDT
SPRING
TRIUMPH
R
D
O
U
B
L
E
S
I
F
T
E
A
R
L
Y
P
M
O
T
M
G
M
H
A
R
D
S
O
R
R
N
U
B
I
I
T
R
H
I
O
I
L
N
R
E
R
D
C
U
W
R
G
B
R
A
A
A
T
M
No:
415
L
F
Y
I
P
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N
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E
H
A
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P
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N
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HOW TO ENTER: Enter this week?s keyword on the entry form,
and send it to AG Word Search No 415, Amateur Gardening,
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14
7BF, to arrive by Tuesday 22 May, 2018. The first correct entry
chosen at random will win our � cash prize.
This week?s keyword is ....................................................................................
Name ..................................................................................................................
Address ..............................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................
Postcode ............................................................................................................
Email ...................................................................................................................
Tel no ..................................................................................................................
Time Inc (UK) Ltd, publisher of Amateur Gardening will collect your personal information solely to
process your competition entry.
12 MAY 2018 AMATEUR GARDENING
45
A Gardener?s
Miscellany
Pretty tulip names
if you want to name a baby girl
after this spring bloom ? and
why wouldn?t you ? then
choose from the following
varieties of tulip:
angelique (Group 11),
antoinette (5), Bernadette (15),
cindy (15), claudia (6), cynthia
(15), esther (5), Gabriella (3),
Georgette (5), Jacqueline (6), Mabel (9), Maureen (5),
Muriel (10), sheila (15) and shirley (3).
of course, there is also Fats domino (3) (pictured
above), but that might not be very flattering for a baby girl!
Guide to floral grammar
have you ever wondered about plurals when it comes to
latin plant names? the common name of tulip is easily
pluralised to tulips, and the same goes for the genus
name of tulipa (tulipas). But what about other bulbs? For
example, what is the plural of gladiolus: gladioluses or
gladioli? strictly speaking, the names of all plant genera
? tulipa, freesia, chionodoxa ? are both singular and
plural. For example, you should say ?one narcissus? and
?two narcissus? or ?one gladiolus? and ?two gladiolus?.
however ?two crocus? sounds odd; ?croci? is wrong
and sounds awful, and so ?crocuses?, which sounds right
to the english ear, has become the norm.
this doesn?t work for gladiolus though ? ?gladioluses?
is clumsy. Most gardeners, in this instance, say ?gladioli?,
which breaks all the rules, but sounds right.
Wow! I didn?t know that
? tulips came from turkey originally and it was from
the turkish word tulband or tuliband, meaning ?turban?,
that tulip was derived. it is the turban-like shape of the
flower that gives the plant its name.
? in the fabled ?language of flowers?, a red tulip ? rather
like the red rose ? is the floral message ?i love you.?
? today, the dutch export more than 1,000 million
tulip bulbs per year.
Crossword
...just for fun!
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
9
12
11
13
14
15
16
18
17
19
20
across
1 this variety of rhododendron
is also a northern grouse of
mountainous and arctic
regions (9)
7 tulip organ for shining light
in a garden, perhaps (4)
8 roman emperor after whom
a fig and a grape variety are
both named (4)
9 spherical body or globe; as
in Canna ?Golden ___? (3)
11 to pinch out, or to do it in
the bud (3)
12 in england, the hawthorn
(Crataegus monogyna) is also
called the ___ flower ? this
month only! (3)
13 another name for
marjoram (7)
14 point to shoot, as in a
mega impatiens (3)
15 health resort near a mineral
or hot spring, such as in the
saxifrage ?Boston ___? (3)
16 this lawful decree is threefifths of a modified leaf! (3)
18 the seed-bearing structure
of conifers, composed of hard
bracts (4)
19 Citrus hystrix is the _____
lime; Ocimum tenuiflorum is
the _____ basil (4)
20 Broccoli (Brassica oleracea
italica) having a greenish
terminal head and similar lateral
heads that develop after the
terminal one is cut (9)
Down
2 well-documented period in
the dutch Golden age fuelled
by the obsessive desire for the
same spring-flowering bulb (11)
3 this variety of miniature
double pelargonium is actually
a tract of open uncultivated
upland, typically covered
with heather! (4)
4 Genus of tropical herbs
(in the mallow family), having
large, lobed leaves and often
yellow flowers (11)
5 at harvest time let?s hope for
an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply (9)
6 Genus of herbaceous plants,
with spurred tubular flowers (9)
9 this variety of meadow phlox
is also the last letter of the
Greek alphabet (5)
10 rhododendron bud _____ is
a disease that prevents the bud
from opening into a flower (5)
17 the common sunflower
(Helianthus anuus) is also
known as the ____ flower (4)
across 1 ptarmigan 7 Bulb 8 nero 9 orb 11 nip 12 May 13 oregano 14 aim 15
spa 16 act 18 cone 19 thai 20 calabrese
Down 2 tulipomania 3 Moor 4 abelmoschus 5 abundance 6 corydalis 9
omega 10 Blast 17 comb
answers to aBoVe crossworD
keyword to word search 410 (7 april)
nitrogen
and the winner is:
sharon lawrence, northorpe, lincolnshire
46 AmAteur GArDeNING 12 MAY 2018
INSTANT GARDENING
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When ordering online please use order code TM_TS318 to access our special offers
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Please send to: Thompson & Morgan, Dept TM_TS318, Poplar Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP8 3BU.
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TM_TS318
I enclose a cheque/postal order made payable to ?Thompson & Morgan? for �
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Product Code Item Description
Name
TJKA4039P Clematis Montana Collection 2 litre pot x 2 (1 of each variety) WAS �.98
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Clematis ?Montana? Rubens, 2 litre pot x 1
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the right to substitute varieties if necessary.*Please note that savings are based on the equivalent of multiples of the cheapest pack size. � 2018 Thompson & Morgan. Regretfully we
are unable to ship live plants to the following areas: GY, HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR24, ZE1-ZE3.
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Expiry Date
/
Spray or ?orists? chrysanths are
ideal for growing outside in a pot
and are then brought in to ?ower
late in a porch or greenhouse
These spray chrysanths will have a long vase life and have
inspired me to order varieties for the garden and greenhouse
How to grow...
Chrysanths are hungry plants,
so once they?re established
in the ground or in pots, liquid
feed with a well-balanced
fertiliser initially, switching
to high potash when flower
buds appear.
chrysanthemums
Plant them now and these versatile blooms will fill your garden with early autumn colour
Time Inc/Alamy
W
E possibly take
chrysanthemums for
granted but these regal,
free-flowering plants fill
many roles in house and garden. Even if
pastel-coloured, daisy-like bunch-fillers
or dwarf pot ?mums? leave you cold,
visit a good florist. I recently bought
three stems of ?spray? varieties, giving
me a gorgeous blend of tight emerald
cushions 1in (2.5cm) across, neat yellow
buttons and longer-petalled white
blooms with yellow and green centres.
Flowers like these inspire us to grow
them at home, where warm colours and
a distinctive perfume speak of autumn.
Chrysanths produce their flower buds
in response to shorter days and cooler
temperatures, so we obtain our young
plants in spring, grow and train them
48 AMATEUR GARDENING 12 MAY 2018
through the summer and look forward
to their blooms and unique fragrance
once autumn makes an appearance.
The simplest to try are hardy
herbaceous perennials in the Korean
and Rubellum groups, which are useful
to combine with Japanese anemones,
Michaelmas daisies and nerines for a
late show. Unlike the more tender sorts,
they are left in the ground from one year
to the next. The taller ones will need
supports because the weight of flower
heads combined with autumn gales
can often bring them over.
Florists? chrysanthemum is a broad
term used to cover slightly tender
varieties vulnerable to winter cold and
wet. Grown in containers or planted out,
they are cut back to 8in (20cm) after
flowering. Roots and crowns, known as
?stools?, are forked up and tucked into
boxes of well-draining compost, to be
brought under cover and protected from
frost until spring, when they come to
life and produce cuttings. Early and
midseason varieties usually bloom
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