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Budget border

Link to Budget border

Got a new border to plant but need to keep your costs down? Be inspired by this bargain blend of fast-growers created by
Helen Derrin from online plant nursery 
1 Ceanothus thyrsiflorus
2 Choisya ternata
3 Verbena bonariensis
4 Geranium x magnificum
5 Campanula portenschlagiana
6 Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’
7 Alchemilla mollis
8 Centaurea cyanus
9 Erigeron karvinskianus
10 Japanese anemone
For more ready-made border ideas from Helen, go to


Shrubs in tubs

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By planting up pots and containers with deciduous and evergreen shrubs, you’ll create longer lasting displays that provide interest all year round. Andy McIndoe recommends five of the best
1 Pittosporum tenufolium ‘Variegatum’ – dense and bushy with waved, blue-green leaves edged with cream. Good in sun or shade. Evergreen.
2 Camellia ‘Jury’s Yellow’ – Pale outer petals and
gorgeous lemon-yellow central ruff. Use…

Make a pumpkin planter

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by Sally Charrett
Pumpkin planters are a fun way to celebrate the season, and they’re quick and easy to make. Use them to dress patios and doorways. Add halloween lanterns and battery-operated fairy lights to the arrangement for extra atmosphere at dusk.


A range of pumpkins large and small (buy from supermarkets, farmers’ markets and PYO farms). Pumpkin planters look great…

Top 10 roses for scent

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Is there any fragrance more legendary than the scent of the rose? Its delicious, sweet perfume is the highlight of the summer garden. The following 10 varieties are among the very best for scent:
‘Louise Odier’ – one for romantics, this intensely scented pink Bourbon rose repeat-flowers and resists disease well. H 5ft (1.5m) S 4ft (1.2m). Supplier:

‘Madame Isaac Pereire’…

Weed control: beds and borders


Keep bedding and border displays weed free this season with top tips from AG gardening editor Kris Collins

Aim to dig out weeds growing in border soils unless you’re faced with persistent weeds that re-grow from bits of root left in the ground (ground elder, bindweed and couch grass spring to mind) .
Digging is eco-friendly, cheaper, and it removes the risk…

Weed control: Patios and paving

spray driveways

Keep patios, paths and drive weed free with top tips from AG gardening editor Kris Collins
Allow weeds to mature in the joins between patio slabs or block paving and it can be a real problem to remove them by hand. With no room to dig out tap roots, perennial weeds will likely return soon after pulling off or scraping away…

Weed control: Hoe, hoe, hoe!

Kris hoeing

Stay chemical free with regular soil cultivation, says AG gardening editor Kris Collins
Regular hoeing or cultivation of garden soils is the best way to prevent weeds taking hold. Scratch over the soil weekly with a hoe or clawed hand cultivator and it’s an easy job – but watch out for emerging perennial flowers. The soil never has time to compact,…

Growing climbers through shrubs

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Usually we grow climbers up a wall or trellis, but how about trying to thread them through shrubs? It can make for a stunning partnership, says Graham Rice 
Many shrubs and trees, when their main season is over, are less than appealing. In particular, this applies to the summer look of winter- and spring-flowering forsythias, viburnums, rhododendrons, crab apples and flowering…

5 easy steps to sowing sunflowers

Link to 5 easy steps to sowing sunflowers

1 At the end of March/early April sow seeds into 9cm pots. Use an equal ratio of loam, perlite and sand.
2 Stand pots in a warm propagator in the greenhouse – they’ll take about 7-10 days to germinate.
3 Put young plants outside during the day to allow the wind to thicken the stems, but return them to the greenhouse overnight.…

It’s all about the Monet, Monet, Monet…

Link to It’s all about the Monet, Monet, Monet…

12 ways to make your garden as pretty as Claude Monet picture:
Let one or two flamboyant, large-flowered hybrids provide the backbone to the garden, and then choose three or four subtler varieties as the ‘supporting acts’. In a late spring border for example, this could be: bearded iris, oriental poppies and peonies together with dame’s rocket, forget-me-not,…