News - Page 79

Speedy veg

When you're just starting out, full of enthusiasm and keen to get going, it can seem an age to wait before you pick the first fruits of all your hard work. And it's true that some crops, like purple-sprouting broccoli or parsnips, can take all year to mature to harvesting stage – mind you, it's well worth the wait.

Luckily there are loads of fantastic quick-crop vegetables to grow and eat while the slowcoaches are getting going, so sow these and you'll have p...

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Top tips for sowing vegetables

Most vegetables are raised from seed, making them fantastic value – for the price of a single lettuce bought in the shops, you can buy a packet of seed to grow 1000. That's reason enough to grow your own: but you'll find sowing seed is also hugely satisfying as the first tiny sprouts appear, with their promise of bumper crops to come.

Growing from seed is straightforward but there are a few things to remember as you crack open that first packet and get sowing...

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A taste of history

Sometimes in veg-growing, as in life, the golden oldies are the best.

Older 'heritage' veg varieties aren't often found in the shops, as they aren't uniformly shaped, sometimes don't store or travel well, and are difficult to harvest mechanically. That means the only way to enjoy their sumptuous flavours, colours and textures is if you grow your own.

Here are five of the best old-style veg to look out for in your favourite garden centre and try in your...

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Plant of the week - Clematis Montana

One of the most useful varieties of climbing plants - very vigourous and colourful, producing flowers for much of the Spring and Summer.  Montana is also very versatile, and not fussy about where it grows - around tree trunks, over a shed, fence or hedge or up a wall!  A very attractive and useful climbing plant.

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Japanese Cherries

It's cherry blossom time as Japanese cherries across the country burst into spectacular bloom.

In Japan the arrival of the cherry blossom is a major event, and in the UK, too, it's a cause for celebration at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire, currently holding its annual Festival of Japanese Flowering Cherries (until the end of the month).

It's well worth tracking down some of these spectacularly beautiful small trees for your own garden. You'll fi...

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Kids Gardening

Get out gardening with the kids this week as the sun is (at last!) shining and there's no better time to be outside getting your hands and knees well and truly muddy.

This week the first big flower show of the year, the RHS Flower Show Cardiff, is bursting with ways to get the whole family outside, including a wheelbarrow competition, making a bee hotel and tree climbing. Have a go at these fun activities at home too:

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Five easy veg

When you're starting out with your new veg garden and trying to decide what to grow first, the sheer variety of vegetables that opens up to you when you grow your own can be bewildering. You'll find so many different types in our garden centre, from artichokes to zucchini, not to mention the mouthwatering selection of varieties of each, that it's hard to know where to begin.

But there are some veg you shouldn't be without: the tried-and- tested, easy-to-grow...

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Sowing and growing annual herbs

Big pots of leafy, flavoursome and generous annual herbs sat just outside the back door where you can reach out and pick them for your cooking are one of the delights of the kitchen garden. When you grow your own, you can have as big a bunch of parsley as you want: and even better, you can try more unusual herbs like caraway, summer savory, dill and chervil.

Here's how to make sure you have pots and pots of flavour from one end of the year to the next:

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Happy National Gardening Week

This nationwide celebration of all that's good about getting out into your back yard begins today and you'll find dozens of events to mark the occasion at allotments, gardens and community gardens near you.

This year the Royal Horticultural Society, which runs the event, is focussing on growing for wildlife, helping you find ways to attract pollinating insects, birds and butterflies into your garden. Look out for the 'Plants for Pollinators' bumblebee logo on...

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Plant of the week - Azalea

Simply Stunning! 

These amazing shrubs have some of the most wonderful colours and make an impact in the garden that is matched by few others. As 'acid loving' plants, they don't do quite so well if you have chalky soil - BUT they work superbly in pots and containers, as well as borders and beds.

Come and see our wonderful selection!

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