Around the garden

Cacti that have a dormant period during winter will need shelter from rain and frost and, if indoors, cease watering.

Blood and bone can be scattered over beds you are preparing for annuals, perennials and vegetables.

Bulbils found growing in the leaf axils of liliums can be collected and either planted in pots, or rowed out in a bed in the garden.

Deadhead French lavenders to twin nodes below to encourage side shoots to flower continuously throughout the year. 

English lavenders can be cut back to keep the bushes compact. 

Gangling bushes of Lavandula dentate should be cut back hard to healthy shoots after flowering to help stop the strong branches from eventually breaking up and damaging the bush.   

Rugosa rose hips can be harvested to make delicious rose hip jelly, a wonderful source of vitamin C for all the family.  

Callistemons growing in pots are best planted out in autumn as soon as the weather breaks.

Cut the plant back by about one third and, if it’s potbound, loosen the roots a little but do not break the rootball.

Water after planting and keep moist.

Potted Callistemons are best planted out in autumn as soon as the weather breaks.

Potted Callistemons are best planted out in autumn as soon as the weather breaks.

Iceland poppies will grow in almost any well-dug garden soil, and as poppies can absorb almost unlimited quantities of plant foods, it’s important to incorporate plenty of organic compost into it. 

Plant seedlings with the crown well above the ground because, if the soil should cover the crown, the plants can rot.  

Rugosa rose hips can be harvested to make delicious rose hip jelly...

The art of the grape

Grapevine cuttings can be taken just after the leaves have fallen and planted, firmly, into sandy soil. Keep moist if the weather is dry. 

Cuttings of well-ripened wood are taken just below a pair of leaves with the growing buds left on top, but remove leaves from the base of the cutting.

Take grapevine cuttings just after leaf fall and plant in sandy soil.

Take grapevine cuttings just after leaf fall and plant in sandy soil.

Happy Hydration

Citrus trees growing in tubs that begin to drop their leaves are usually suffering from either too much or too little water.   

Waterlogging is quite common in tub-grown plants if the potting mix is not free draining.  

Drip trays left beneath tubs can also pose a problem as they prevent excess water from draining away freely. 

Citrus can be significantly affected by too much or too little water.

Citrus can be significantly affected by too much or too little water.

Terrific Tulips 

Some of the most beautifully coloured flowers are the striped tulips with patterns ranging from simple, delicate thin lines of colour through to bold flares and blotches. This colouration is caused by a virus.   

The symptoms express themselves every year for the life of the bulb.