News - Page 84

Dust off your binoculars

Dust off your binoculars – it's birdwatching time again! The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is about to hold its annual national count of the country's bird populations, and it needs your help.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has become something of an institution in the three decades since it started. Nearly 600,000 people took part last year and counted 8.2 million birds. It's not difficult to join in: just go to the w...

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Plant up a pot

Plant up a pot and you'll discover just how easy it is to get gardening. Look out for special events in our garden centre under the 'It Starts with a Pot' logo in the coming months: you'll find loads of inspiration and ideas on how to turn a simple container into a mini-garden, full of pretty flowers, tasty veg or fragrant herbs.

Choose a container from the wonderful selection in our garden centre, add some plants and compost, and you'r...

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Prune summer jasmine

Prune summer jasmine now, while it's still dormant and before all those new delicate shoots start appearing as it's easier to see what you're doing when dealing with bare branches.

The heavy perfume of this spectacular summer climber can fill your garden, and in full flower the plant is smothered in a froth of white blooms. Train its twining stems over a bower or archway, perhaps mixed with the blush-pink rambler rose 'Albertine', to ad...

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Plan a crop rotation

Plan a crop rotation to keep your veg healthy and hold pests and diseases at bay. Moving your veg around your patch so you don't grow the same thing in the same place year after year means pests can't find them again quite as easily, and if you've had a minor outbreak of diseases like rust it doesn't get the chance to build up in the soil and re-infest next year's crop.

By spring you'll almost certainly have forgotten where your carrots...

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Keep on top of annual weeds

Keep on top of annual weeds which have been popping up unnoticed in corners here and there over the winter period. These usually belong to a particularly persistent group of annual weeds which just don't know when to stop. Chickweed, groundsel, and bittercress grow right through the coldest months, especially now winters are warmer. Several generations of chickweed can set seed between October and March, quickly spreading across your plot while your...

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Plant spuds in containers

Plant spuds in containers for a super-early harvest of sweet new potatoes a whole month earlier than those grown outdoors. You'll find all the kit you need in our garden centre from easy-to-store collapsible potato bags to more substantial barrel planters with special design features to make harvesting easy; plus of course the all-important seed potatoes to start off your crop.

You'll need the fastest-m...

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What to do in the garden in January:

What to do in the garden in January:

In the cold, dark days of January it's tempting to huddle by the fire till spring comes again. But take yourself outside on sunny, frosty days and it feels good to be alive. Here's what you can be getting on with:

General tasks:
Clean your paths as mo...

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January's plant of the month is the hellebore

January's plant of the month is the hellebore, a welcome sight in early spring as it's one of the few plants which flower very early yet isn't a bulb. The nodding, open-cupped flowers are simple and elegant, held over a crown of big, handsome leaves. These are evergreen, but it's best to trim away the oldest leaves in late winter before the flowers come through as they get a little tatty.

Hellebores interbreed very easily and that's giv...

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our customers! We're looking forward to helping you create the garden of your dreams in 2014.

Get your makeover ideas down on paper now and you'll be well placed to get going as soon as the weather warms up. Your first task is to measure the space and draw it to scale: then fill it with the plants and features you've always wanted. Here are a few tips to help your design come to life:

Draw floo...

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Visit winter gardens

Visit winter gardens at this time of year to inspire you with beautiful ideas to take home and recreate in your own patch.

Among the best is Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire, where coloured stems, delicate winter flowers and architectural silhouettes make a dazzling display. Recreate their famous black-and-white schemes at home by planting a small glade of slender white Jacquemontii silver birch surrounded by a carpet of deepest purple...

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