Keeping it Real

When it comes to lush winter foliage, the magic’s in the authenticity, as Jo Arnell explains Fake plants are getting more and more realistic – I often have to pinch a leaf, or even myself, when I see an impossibly...

Duchess Diaries

Jo Arnell goes behind the scenes at Belvior Castle to find out how Emma Manners, the 11th Duchess of Rutland, has tranformed its formal gardens in line with a treasure trove of plans rediscovered in the castle’s archives Imagine plunging...

Emerald City

Sue Whigham looks into evergreen trees and shrubs that can cope with drought conditions  In the 1980s we were custodians of an absolutely enormous holm oak (Quercus ilex). First introduced in the 1500s, these evergreen trees grow to a considerable...

Herb Appeal

Sue Whigham explores the rich history of herbalists So where to start. Perhaps with John Gerard, 16th century naturalist and herbalist (1545-1612) who had responsibility for many important British gardens including the Physic Garden at the College of Physicians in...

Up from the ashes

Jo Arnell picks drought-tolerant plants to soothe a parched summer garden It was a gruelling summer this year – nothing in comparison to what is happening in some parts of the world, but the fierce combination of extreme heat and...

Skandi Style

Sue Whigham reflects on the natural beauty of Sweden Rain at last and I think that we’re all sighing in relief and that goes for our gardens too. We were in Rye when it started yesterday and we passed a...

Totally Tropical

Work with nature to create a lush oasis in our unpredictable climate, as Jo Arnell explains   Making a tropical garden or border means choosing plants that will give the impression of the humid tropics – a lush-leaved oasis dripping...

Boxing Clever

Sue Whigham visits Benenden’s Balmoral Cottage, home to Charlotte and Donald Molesworth  I think I might have taken Charlotte too literally when she suggested an early meeting in her garden last Saturday morning. And I must say that my dogs...

Pick of the Crops

Jo Arnell explains why it’s not too late to get growing for autumn and winter harvests If you’ve been growing your own this year, then this month all that hard work could be about to pay off, although sometimes the...

Forever Colour

Give your garden’s hues true staying-power by selecting blooms that will provide a vibrant display all summer Where have all the flowers gone? It seems like only last week that the borders were full of colour, and now they’ve faded...

Glorious Geum

Sue Whigham delves into the background of this hardy perennial  Bearing in mind what sparkle and zing the bright flowers of geums bring to the garden, I’m wondering why we don’t have more of them here but the three G....

Wild Wine

Foraging expert and self-sufficiency instructor Michael White explains how to reap the rewards of making your own wine – no grapes required!  Do you enjoy drinking wine? Of course you do, but have you ever considered making it yourself? Very...

Cottage Garden Style

Jo Arnell explains how to create your very own country haven with cottage garden plants for a dreamy summer look Arches festooned with romantically billowing roses, paths lined with lavender and borders bursting with colourful perennials, the cottage garden is...

Garden Glory

If you’re planning a garden visit or two this year, then be sure to explore the wealth of horticultural delights the South East offers, as recommended by Sue Whigham Kent Gardens Trust is affiliated to The Gardens Trust and was...

On the Wild-ish Side

Jo Arnell gives her tools a well earned rest and lets the garden do what it does best – embrace nature  Stop weeding. Stop mowing. Dig a pond and plant a tree – then relax while the wildlife looks after...

And the winner is…

Award winners only here! Let’s find out what makes them so popular with the judges Karen McClure What is your approach to sustainability and the environment? Our approach is focused on internal team education, our specification of materials, mindfulness of...

The Big Questions

When taking on a landscaper, it’s important to know what you want ahead of time, so we asked Tim Sykes of Gardenproud for a list of key questions we should ask ourselves and have answers for What are the must...

Small but Mighty

Jo Arnell makes sure mini spaces pack a productive punch Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above…’ Well, sadly most of us do have to have fences and aren’t able to ride through the plains on a...

Heaven Scent

Maximise on fragrance with Sue Whigham’s sweet-smelling picks So what are aromatic plants and how do they differ from plants with fragrant flowers? Yesterday, I layered up and meandered out into the garden in a search for any aromatic plants that...

Part time Veg

Get into the growing groove with Jo Arnell’s tips for fuss-free vegetables No time to grow vegetables? Not much space? Feeling daunted? Well – you don’t have to be rich to grow some veg, you don’t have to be cool...

Sow Magical

There’s endless treasure to be found amongst the pages of this year’s seed catalogues, as Sue Whigham explains It is so lovely to receive a seed catalogue in the post and especially when it is as tempting and full of...

Early Birds

Jo Arnell recommends jobs to get ahead with in the garden this month, and those to leave for the onset of warmer weather If you’re an early bird and in the habit of catching worms, February might not be the...

I’m a survivor

Sue Whigham’s advice on selecting trees that can thrive in our changing climate Last night we were promised that temperatures were on the rise and are expected to reach unseasonably high levels in the next few days; it is certainly...

New Beginnings

Jo Arnell takes a closer look at houseplants for Christmas – and beyond – with help from The Glasshouse Project It’s been a tradition to bring evergreen foliage into the home at this time of year for thousands of years....

Make Your Winter Garden a Wildlife Haven

Follow Jo Arnell’s expert tips for a thriving outside space all year round Imagine sleeping in the garden all through the winter months. Where would you sleep? In the shed? Under a hedge? I could possibly eke it out for...

A Taste of the Mediterranean

It is possible to bring a little holiday magic into your own garden, as Sue Whigham explains As the nights draw in, the thought of a Mediterranean holiday becomes more and more appealing. The image in one’s mind of being...

Wild Harvests

Jo Arnell is scouring the English countryside for all its treasures General foraging rules Make sure you can identify the plant – poisonous plants can look edible and some may look almost identical to edible varieties Don’t pick from roadsides...

Top Trunks

Sue Whigham takes a closer look at native trees and hedging and explains how we can all do our bit to provide year-round sustenance and shelter for wildlife What a peculiar year it has proved to be weather-wise and every...

Live fast die young

Let your borders live life in the fast lane with Jo Arnell’s annual selection Hardy annuals, as their name suggests, are tough, easy going plants that will survive the frosts, so they can be sown in the autumn to flower...

What to do in September

Sue Whigham rolls up her sleeves for a host of garden activities this month Two little granddaughters went home earlier in the week with, amongst other things, a plastic container full of seed heads that they had chased across the...

August Activities

Sue Whigham makes a plan of action to tackle this month's gardening tasks and reflects on the impact a changing climate is having on our own outdoor spaces.

Planting Plans

Planting Plans Jo Arnell gets ahead of the bulb game with fuss-free picks for every part of the garden I had an aunt who, as soon as the longest day was over, would start talking about Christmas. ‘The nights are drawing...

Seed Collectors

Sue Whigham’s top tips for gathering and storing for the next generation of blooms Well, today’s been a bit of a disaster as I’ve just realised that I am about to lose another mature tree to what I assume must...

Fruitful

Jo Arnell picks the juiciest soft fruit for a summer of plentiful natural sweetness I must grow some more fruit next year. I’m saying this as I sow seed and set out yet more little vegetable plants. Most vegetables are annuals...

Grow your own medicine cabinet

Jo Arnell investigates the healing properties of plants Tense, nervous headache? Try chewing on a piece of willow bark. Indigestion? Difficulty sleeping? Just pop into the garden for some fennel to settle your stomach and a bit of lavender to...

Keep it contained

Sue Whigham gives her guidance for container planting success Last year I ordered a salvia collection from one of the national newspapers. The plants arrived but they really were miniscule and looking unlikely to survive until the end of the...

Forget-Me-Not

Jo Arnell explores how biennials are the often overlooked heroes of a successful planting scheme Imagine a plant that looks after itself, one that will flower early, that will grow in difficult shady situations, that after flowering will quietly, sometimes...

Let’s go Wild!

Sue Whigham takes a look at the charity Plantlife’s initiatives to study the nation’s wildflowers This week I managed to book myself into two Zoom lectures at the same time. I’ve obviously been at home too long. But the one...

Stepping Stones

Sue Whigham investigates the appeal of gravel gardening

Ready, set, grow!

Keen to ensure 2021 is filled with a bountiful supply of home-grown edibles, Jo Arnell gets cracking in the veg garden with super-speedy early crops

Pesty Problems?

Sue Whigham gives handy tips to tackle garden pests without harming the wildlife that feeds on them One of my ancient greengage trees was uprooted during one of January’s downpours and so I thought that this was a good excuse...

Feed Me!

Jo Arnell gives her soil-enriching recommendations to ensure your garden plants never go hungry

9-5 In Style

If you’ve made the decision to continue to work from home, why not invest in a beautiful outdoor space that will allow you to take control of your working life, maintain work/life balance and provide a gorgeous focal point in...

Canopies of Wonder

Sue Whigham shares her love of native trees and their regional differences Wayland’s Smithy is a Neolithic long barrow in Oxfordshire built about a mile and a half along the ancient Ridgeway from the Uffington White Horse. History has it...

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...