News - Page 78

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

The world's biggest flower show gets under way this week as the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show opens to hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Taking place against the splendid backdrop of Henry VIII's handsome Tudor country residence, the show brings together the country's top designers and growers for a celebration of summer gardening.

This year you can look forward to spectacular tropical butterflies filling a huge biome of exotic plants, put together by...

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July's plant of the month is the dahlia

July's plant of the month is the dahlia, a real glamour puss and a flamboyant star of the late summer border. Gardeners can't get enough of them at the moment: maybe it's because they're such great value for money, providing spectacular colour from mid-summer until the first frosts.

There's a variety to suit everyone, from the simple, large daisies of the 'Bishops' series to tall, showy cactus types like striking deep red 'Spartacus'. Pompons like 'David Howa...

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What to do in the garden in July

So many gardens peak in July: this is when the delicate shades of early summer give way to the joyful colours and scents of high summer. Make sure your personal fireworks display lasts with this month's key jobs.

General tasks:

Trim hedges now that birds have finished raising their first broods, snipping new growth back to a sharp, neat shape.
Save water to ease...

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Keep crops going through autumn

Keep crops going through autumn with some clever planning now. The veg garden may be at full throttle, with new potatoes, asparagus broad beans and peas on your plate and gooseberries and rhubarb for dessert – but if you don't look ahead your harvest will come crashing to a halt in a couple of months' time.

A late sowing of veg now means you can replace your earliest crops the moment you've harvested them, giving your veg garden a second wind which will last...

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Plant of the Week: Dahlia

Dahlias feel like such an indulgence, from their glamorous, showy foliage to their brilliantly-coloured flowers. Treat yourself from our huge range of varieties for instant colour you can plant right now.

Simple, single flowers mix well among other plants: the 'Bishops' series include the justifiably popular bright scarlet 'Bishop of Llandaff', while 'Twyning's After Eight' is pure white. The decorative dahlias make a fabulous statement, too: try the spiky se...

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Sow next year's spring display

Sow next year's spring display of wallflowers, forget-me-nots, hollyhocks and foxgloves – all of which are biennials, meaning they flower in their second year. Start them now and by autumn they'll be fat clumps of leaves, ready to throw up flower spikes to brighten up your garden next April and May.

You'll find dozens of varieties on sale in your favourite garden centre right now as seed. Hollyhocks come in single or exotic-looking double blo...

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Prune pyracanthas

Prune pyracanthas to keep them looking beautiful and show off their spectacularly colourful berries. These easy-to-grow evergreen shrubs look good all year round, with frothy white flowers in spring followed by masses of berries in traffic-light colours: look out for different varieties in our garden centre, from buttery yellow 'Soleil d'Or' to tangerine-coloured 'Orange Glow' and the best of the reds, 'Saphyr Rouge'.

They look particularly gorgeous trai...

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Plant of the Week: Lavender

Lavender is everyone's favourite garden shrub, with its silvery foliage and soft blue perfumed flowers. They're looking at their very best this month, so visit us and load up with scent and colour for summer.

They're super-easy to grow, asking only a sunny spot and an annual tidy-up after flowering. Choose English lavender for the herb garden, and elegant French types (Lavandula stoechas) among ornamentals. Bees love t...

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It's Father's Day this weekend

It's Father's Day this weekend so treat the gardening Dad in your life to a feast of green-fingered fun.

A trip to your favourite garden centre makes a great day out: enjoy a slap-up lunch at the café, then take him to choose that plant or garden gadget he's always wanted. You'll find some great offers on everything from power tools to secateurs and knee pads. Many garden centres are celebrating Father's Day with local food tastings, beer samples and competit...

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Stake taller plants

Stake taller plants before they get too big and flop over sideways, ruining your display and possibly flattening nearby flowers too. Delphiniums, peonies, dahlias and oriental poppies are all prone to toppling over sideways, especially after heavy wind and rain and sometimes under the weight of their own flowers.

Earlier is always better, as with supports in place before they get too tall plants happily grow out and around to cover unsightly...

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