Canopies of Wonder

A single tree is at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather but together, like the occupants of these beech woods, the trees work as a team and as a result can and do, reach a great age. Each...

Seasonal Scentedness

Jo Arnell’s recommendations for naturally festive fragrances to raise your Christmas spirits You’d be forgiven for thinking that Christmas fragrance comes in the form of a mulled wine sachet or a garden centre scented candle as a pervasive blend of...

A Taste of the Exotic

Tom Hart Dyke, Curator of The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle, shares his passion and top plant care tips for orchids – which aren’t always as tropical as you may think Orchids are now considered to be the largest family...

Where the WILD things are

Try these tips to encourage wildlife to flourish in your garden “There is a shortage of natural nesting holes for wild birds, which impacts population numbers of many familiar species. Putting up a nestbox provides shelter and attracts welcome visitors...

Shape it up…

Sue Whigham makes a statement with unusual colours and shapes Well, the usual deluge hasn’t happened today. Perhaps spring is definitely on its way. Actually, I think it is and so do the bumblebees. I saw a huge one collecting...

Wild at heart

How have our Wealden garden designers been encouraging wildlife back into the garden with wildflower planting?  WILDFLOWER MEADOWS “Creating a wildflower meadow in your garden is a lovely way to ‘soften’ the space and to encourage wildlife diversity, such as...

Sow a meadow

With many options to choose from, Jo Arnell talks us through the basics A dreamy meadow full of poppies, cornflowers and ox-eye daisies is a lovely thing to behold, but perhaps more fantasy than reality in the countryside these days –...

It’s a Wild World

Sue Whigham discusses the measures we can all take to protect biodiversity Last week, squeezed in amongst the newspaper supplements, I spotted a report on comments made by the new President of the British Ecological Society. In it she urges...

Easy Edibles

Read Jo Arnell’s words of wisdom and your gardening confidence will grow alongside your supply of home grown veg  Whatever anyone tells you about growing your own vegetables – it’s a lot of hard work, things often go wrong, pests...

Naked Attraction

Jo Arnell strips the garden back to beautiful winter basics Winter can stretch on into spring sometimes, remaining colourless and drab for longer than necessary, dragging its grey heels even as the days lengthen and the green shoots start peeking...

Plant Hunters

Sue Whigham explores the origins of many popular plant species and how they were discovered   I must say that when my son and daughter-in-law announced that they were going to take a sabbatical in the summer of 2019 and,...

Grow Your Own Sun

Jo Arnell injects some mood-lifting yellows into the winter garden  When most of the colour has withered back into the earth and the natural world is dark and dormant it can seem a bit bleak outside. We can admire the...

Dream of a Green Christmas

Jo Arnell shares her top tips and tricks for an eco-friendly festive season It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And the most wasteful – if my rubbish and recycling bags are anything to go by. Every year I...

Magic Mushrooms

Sue Whigham explores the wonderfully varied world of fungi We’ve got a fast growing and rather beautiful quaking aspen behind the pond; its nooks and crannies providing a nesting site year after year to a pair of starlings. Unfortunately, the...

Structural Assets

Jo Arnell shares her recommendations for plants with year-round staying power A herbaceous border in full swing at the height of summer is a wonder to behold, but come the autumn it does rather collapse into a heap of old...

Sweet Dreams

Sue Whigham goes in search of the lesser-seen members of the Lepidoptera order of moths. I know that many of us, no, all of us, when we think of moths, have dark thoughts about clothes moths, or at least their...

The Forever Plants

Jo Arnell explains what makes succulents such strong survivors. Technically, a succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy (succulent) water storage organs. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems, or roots, so they can go for long periods without needing...

A Changing Climate

Jennifer Stuart-Smith takes a look at how gardeners are having to adapt to extreme weather conditions. Whether you are a farmer, fisherman or gardener, there’s little point battling Mother Nature. She always has the upper hand. So, rather than railing...

Late season crops

Jo Arnell proves that, with a little planning, there’s still plenty to grow in the veg garden as colder months approach. There might be gaps appearing on the plot this month. I’m hoping it means you’ve been able to celebrate...

Late Bloomers

Sue Whigham gives her tips for glorious autumn colour.  A few years ago a group of us went to have lunch at Gravetye Manor, home to the Victorian gardener, William Robinson. Robinson bought the Elizabethan house and about 200 acres in...

Mad about the BEES

Jo Arnell explains why, in a world full of pesticides, making your garden a destination for bees provides them with the ecological haven they’re crying out for. Insects are in crisis at the moment, their numbers declining at a frightening...

Water retention in Pots

Get water-saving savvy with Sue Whigham’s tips for keeping your pots’ occupants happy, healthy and hydrated this summer. The weather is like a yo-yo. Temperatures soar, then the following day it is overcast and drab – now, as we speak,...

Early Harvests

Jo Arnell explains how you can reap the rewards of a little forward planning when it comes to the most productive crops in the veg patch. The unstoppable rush of growth pushes on in the garden, as the plants race...

Wander around the garden

Sue Whigham takes a stroll around her own garden to pick a few of her treasured plants. We walked through one of The Woodland Trust’s small parcels of woodland early this morning for the usual dog walk only to hear...

Euphorbia Euphoria

The other day we made a welcome pit stop at Dulwich Park after crawling slowly up the South Circular and through the dreaded Catford traffic on the way to Brixton. Luckily we chose Dulwich, which, if you don’t know it,...

Points of interest

Looking for a horticultural day out with a difference? Explore WT’s pick of glorious gardens, garden centres and nurseries, each offering something a little unique.Looking for a horticultural day out with a difference? Explore WT’s pick of glorious gardens, garden...

Fern Times

Sue Whigham marvels at these most ancient of plants, which were around before the dinosaurs and still have a lot to offer gardeners now.

Border Basics

Jo Arnell strips back the foliage to put in the groundwork for beautiful borders When we look at a beautiful garden border, packed full of shapely shrubs and perennial colour it’s hard to imagine that they haven’t always been there...

An edible paradise

Jo Arnell tells us how to make a productive garden beautiful with deliciously attractive plants.

Marching forth

Get out and do some pruning, says Sue Whigham – but don’t be tricked into thinking the only way is up. ‘It’s the first day of March so beware with a hint of sweet spring in the air you might...

Borders with backbone

It’s all a matter of balancing the outrageous show-offs with the quiet achievers, says Jo Arnell. Garden borders can be tricky to get right. ‘I’ve looked at borders from both sides now,’ Joni Mitchell might have sung, had she been...

Winter’s promise

The days are lengthening and Jo Arnell is getting excited for the new gardening year.

Seeds of hope

The days are short, damp and dark, but Jo Arnell doesn’t care – she’s got her head deep in the seed catalogues. As soon as the last Christmas card is in the recycling, or even before, I am flicking through...

Keeping it real

Ditch the plastic says Jo Arnell and decorate your home with boughs of real holly (and other lovely things). Our Christmas decoration box is full, we’re wading through clutter and I really do want to cut back on plastic and...

Shining in the shade

It’s not all about the sunny spots – Sue Whigham celebrates the beauty of the darker parts of the garden. There has been a garden at the Inner Temple in London since the 12th century and mediaeval papers record an orchard...

Let the grasses grow

Not just something dull that needs endless mowing Sue Whigham exhalts the subtle effects of feature grasses in borders and for striking autumn colour. In 1871 William Morris travelled down from London to see a house near Lechlade and fell...

Dahlias, darling!

Sue Whigham celebrates and investigates the most joyous of late bloomers. Whether the name ‘dahlia’ was bestowed by the great Carl Linnaeus himself – the Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised ‘binomial nomenclature’, the modern system of naming organisms –...

Taking stock

It’s not the end of the gardening year, says Jo Arnell, but time to look back on the seasons gone by and plan for the next ones. November is a great month to reflect on the growing year gone by....

Fronting up

Take pride in your front garden, says Sue Whigham, and the whole neighbourhood will thank you (gnomes optional…) A few weeks ago I was early for an appointment in Canterbury. It was raining hard. To fill in half an hour...

Summer’s embers

Jo Arnell finds plenty to look forward to as the season turns From where I’m sitting on the parched and dusty plains of this summer, I have to tell you that I am pinning all my hopes on September. I’m...

Grass roots

It’s that time of year when you suddenly notice your lawn is not at its Wimbledon best – time for expert advice. No matter how much you love gardening, there is one job you really shouldn’t try and do yourself: fix...

In full bloom

Jennifer Stuart-Smith of Blooming Green shares her expert knowledge on how to start your own cutting garden and fill your house with flowers Nothing gives a house a lift like vases of fresh flowers – there’s a reason interiors stylists...

Animal magic

Creating a pond in your garden will bring in wonderful wildlife says Sue Whigham The big chill of February and March were very unkind to my lovely little water lily (Pygmaea rubra) that has spent eight years in a large...

Late bloomers

The roses may be over, but don’t despair, says Jo Arnell, there are plenty of plants to bring colour to the borders yet It’s easy to think that the garden is on the way out this month. The early summer...

Harvest home

Jo Arnell celebrates the traditional early autumn festival. It’s hard to remember a time before Wilderness, Latitude, Glastonbury etc, but not so long ago there was only one major festival in the British year – Harvest Festival. Once a major...

Swedish summer

From lichen to beavers, Sue Whigham is rapt with the flora, fauna – and national attitudes to them – on her annual trip to Southern Sweden Sweden might surprise you if you were to visit, both in terms of climate...

A prickly subject

With more hot summers predicted Sue Whigham suggests we – carefully – embrace cactus.