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Budget border

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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…

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’…

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,…

Tim’s summer apple pruning

tim video

AG editor, Tim Rumball shows you how to bring apple trees into shape and boost fruiting performance for the following season


Easy fuchsia cuttings


Never taken cuttings? Gain confidence with these easy candidates, says AG garden writer Michelle Wheeler

The part of gardening I enjoy the most is propagating plants. If you have never taken cuttings before, fuchsias are ideal plants to start out with as they have a high success rate of rooting.
The trick is to get everything ready before you start. So soak…

Shrubs for semi-ripe cuttings

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Thinking of taking semi ripe cuttings this summer? see our list here for a range of suitable shrubby subjects

Michelle’s blog: Pest control


The never-ending quest to combat garden pests is now in full swing, especially in my greenhouse. A few weeks ago I fumigated it with a garlic candle, which worked well, but the whitefly came back. So I ordered the biological control Encarsia formosa, a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs into the whitefly larvae and kills them, the wasp will…