News - Page 79

Give your pond a summer makeover

Give your pond a summer makeover while it's in full growth and problems are instantly visible. While you're at it, treat yourself to some of the fabulous summer-flowering water plants you'll find in our garden centre too, from pretty floating water forget-me-not to zingy purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).

Follow our checklist to keep your pond in perfect condition this summer:

Get rid of algae: twist bla...

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Plant of the week - Cotinus

Who needs flowers for rich, sumptuous colour? The deep, burgundy leaves of a Cotinus mean you'll never be short of something spectacular to look at. Also known as the smoke bush, those deliciously vibrant leaves are topped with clouds of pink flowers in late summer: the leaves also turn scarlet before falling in autumn.

'Grace' is probably the best known, and the largest at about 6m tall. Others to try are 'Royal Purple', with the deepest coloured leaves, or...

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Keep the greenhouse pest free!

Keep the greenhouse pest free by staying alert for signs of pests and diseases. This is the time of year when many come out of hiding and start to feast on your tomatoes, cucumbers and melons, turning them from healthy plants to sickly, mottled and struggling ones – so it's worth taking action early.

Use a yellow sticky trap as an early warning of trouble ahead: you'll often see greenhouse pe...

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Plant autumn-flowering bulbs now

Plant autumn-flowering bulbs now for an injection of late colour that will have your garden performing at its peak right into winter.

Showy autumn flowerers are a great way of pepping up your borders if they're prone to late-summer flagging. Pack containers for a sunny spot on the patio, or fill your borders with the season's last hurrah.

Here are five late-season spectaculars you'll find right now in our garden centre:

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Plant of the Week: Hydrangea

Was there ever a plant more glamorous than a hydrangea? These showy, elegant shrubs are a great way to add colour and class to your garden, and fantastic value for money with their long season of interest from vibrant young growth in spring, through those spectacular flowers, staying on the plant well into winter.

Choose from Hydrangea macrophylla, the traditional mopheads which turn blue if you've got acid soil; or Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' with its...

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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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