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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…

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

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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…

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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,…

How to grow: Acacia (mimosa)

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While visiting milder parts of the country or passing a sheltered inner city garden during February and March, you’ll occasionally come across a filigree-leaved tree covered in a haze of bright yellow bobbly blossom. These breathtaking encounters usually reveal themselves to be Acacia dealbata or Acacia baileyana. These distinctive Australian plants vary in size from lofty trees to dwarf shrubs.

How to grow: wood anemones

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Wood anemones and windflowers are the unsung treasures of the spring garden, and the perfect ground cover plants to bring your garden together. Follow our advice on how to grow them…

Either plant young flowering anemone plants in the spring, or plant the corms in autumn – soaking them overnight…

Give chillies some heat


AG garden editor, Kris Collins, is dusting off the heated propagator to gets his favourite summer crops underway

Fill cells with seed and cuttings compost. I sieve mine first, to take out all the lumps so there are no obstructions for root development.

Water the trays before sowing, to settle the compost and help seeds to stick firmly in place. Watering afterwards…