News - Page 86

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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The first snowfall is just around the corner

The first snowfall is just around the corner if it hasn't arrived already, so prepare your plants now so they get through even the heaviest blanketing without a hitch.

It's not the cold you need to worry about: in fact snow does less harm than frost. It forms a thick insulating blanket over plants and soil, holding them in a cocoon where temperatures are fairly stable and winter gales can't reach. Mostl...

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Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to all our customers! It's a wonderful time to celebrate all that's good about gardening, so just for fun here's a Christmas challenge to try while you're recovering from all that turkey.

Your mission is simple: think of as many plants as you can with a Christmassy theme in the name. Here are a few to start you off:

Christmas cactus: reliable and undemanding houseplant with a profusion of li...

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Plant bare-root fruit

Plant bare-root fruit this month so they establish a good, healthy root system in your garden before bursting into growth next spring. You'll notice lots of bare-root plants appearing on our shelves from around now: we think they offer great value for money, as well as a really good choice of varieties.

Among the bare-root bonanza you'll find raspberries sold in bundles of canes: choose an autumn-fruiti...

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Take care of your terracotta pots

Take care of your terracotta pots this winter and they'll last you for many, many years. We sell handsome clay planters to suit a range of styles in the garden in our garden centre, from beautifully ornate traditional vases and urns to pared-down models with clean lines and understated chic. All are frost-proof and will get through the winter without shattering in the cold – but to extend their life as much as possible, follow our five-point care pl...

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Look after your Christmas roses

Look after your Christmas roses to keep them at their best right through the festive season. The large pure white flowers of Helleborus niger are a real tonic in the chilliest months of the year. Despite the name, they usually flower in late December to early January and make a wonderfully charming companion to the earliest bulbs such as grape hyacinths, palest blue Chionodoxa, winter aconites and of course snowdrops.

G...

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Prune your blackcurrants

Prune your blackcurrants to keep them healthy, vigorous and productive and guarantee heavy crops of those mouthwateringly plump jet-black berries next summer.

If you don't have blackcurrants already in your garden, you'll find plenty of varieties to choose from on sale in our garden centre right now, from compact, reliable 'Ben Connan' to the upright, heavy-yielding 'Ben Lomond'. This month is just the...

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