Gardening: Adam and Eve it

This is all about Eve; not about the film starring Bette Davis, nor even about the British goth band with Yorkshire connections, famed for their hit Martha’s Harbour, but all about the evergreen shrub ‘Eve Price’.

LOW LIFE: Moss is an unwanted visitor in many lawns.

Growing pains

Whatever the weather, lawns know when it’s getting towards spring, and that means it’s time to start growing, so from now on, mowing regularly – plus, trimming the edges – is the key to a presentable lawn.

FAIRY FLOWER: The common foxglove.

Welcome this gift sowing the seeds you’ll love

Many plants seed freely, and one of the most prolific is the foxglove, the seedlings of which are now appearing and which are easily identifiable.

FLOWER POWER: Spring colour from Bergenia cordifolia.

Gardening: What’s this ear?

Why do we give so many daft names to plants? Is it because we can’t remember their proper Latin names or is it because we like to make them seem a bit more approachable, a bit more like a member of the family?

MELLOW YELLOW: The striking flowers of Aloe vera.

Say hello, aloe

Aloe vera – the plant for all reasons, used in a multitude of everyday products, from dishwashing liquid to yoghurt, from moisturiser to laxative. As a soother of sunburns it is a popular salve for soft-skinned northern tourists.

SEEING RED: The vivid stems of Cornus.

Lose the blooms and just look at those stems

Do you want a plant for its flowers or for the brilliant colour of its stems?

SOMETHING SPECIAL: Hellebores have so much to offer the garden.

Gardening: Cold comforts

Any plants that flower at the coldest time of the year deserve extra attention, but the hellebore is a special case even among this select group.

GOOD CHOICE: A mahonia is an excellent shrub for most gardens.

Tough shrubs with dark fruit good for jams

There aren’t many shrubs that can claim their flowers smell of lily of the valley and that their berries can be made into jam – but mahonias can, even if few people know it. The shrubs, named after Irish nurseryman Bernard McMahon, smell great and, if you don’t mind a bit of bitterness, their dark fruits can be made into a preserve.

HARVEST TIME: Fruit trees have to be one of the most rewarding things in the garden.

Abundance of fruit rewards your labours

Fruit trees have to be one of the most rewarding things in the garden – get it right and you can taste the difference.

CAPTION: HEALTH CHECK: Look after your indoor plants and they will reward you with foliage and flowers.

Trouble shooting

Why is it that when a houseplant gets poorly or simply keels over and dies, it’s always the most expensive or cherished one? Why is it never the cheap and cheerful, the easily replaced, the one you never really liked but never got round to throwing out?

STUNNING: The China rose is one of the wonders of the horticultural world.

Delicate wonder

Way down south, particularly where the sun shines often, the hibiscus has no problems thriving, producing blooms which are the envy of a multitude of other shrubs. And sometimes, in a very warm and sheltered spot in this country, it will give a brief glimpse of its power to enthral.

FRUITFUL: Raspberries are well worth the effort.

Gardening: Just desserts

February may be potentially the worst month of winter but it is also the time for raspberries – pruning the autumn-fruiting canes down to the ground and planting bare-rooted plants of the summer-fruiting varieties.


Q&A: Taking care of the fuchsia

Q: My father has had to go into hospital for a few days and he is worried about the fuchsias in his greenhouse. He has asked me to look after them. Can you advise me?

WORTH CONSIDERING: Some forms of mountain ash are ideal for a smaller garden.

An ill wind can
sometimes blow
good in gardens

Storms can cause havoc – but also be a bit of a blessing in disguise.

SMALL WONDER: Cyclamen coum grow well with snowdrops.

Gardening: Stars of winter

Many gardeners probably had a lovely show of container-grown flowers last year, but, then, come the colder months, they struggled to succeed with any colourful plants to take their place.

BARREL ROLE: Echinocactus grusonii can make a stunning house plant.

At the sharp end of the golden barrel

Some things are meant to be looked at, not touched. Parents tell that fact of life to their young children; puppies and kittens learn that fact of life when they receive a sharp pain in the nose from being too inquisitive.

SUMMER LOVING: The marguerite daisy flowers prolifically in a sunny, sheltered site.

A winter holiday

Some people find it ever so simple to grow argyranthemums. Even in cold spells they are fortunate to have a sheltered spot outdoors where the marguerite daisy can pass the winter without damage.

DAWN BREAKS: Viburnum x bodnantense Dawn is a star worth cultivating.

The Dawn star that brightens up dark months

Plants are going to sleep; most have had a busy year and need a winter of rest and recuperation. They’ve earned it.

SLEEPING GIANT: Florists cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) may not be the biggest of plants but it is one of the most striking for growing in a bedroom.

Sleeping beauties

Do people grow plants in bedrooms? They certainly have them in lounges and dining rooms, in halls and bathrooms; in fact, just about anywhere they can. But bedrooms seem to be a bit of a no-go area.

ON GUARD: Newly-planted trees may need protecting from pests like rabbits or deer.

Gardedning: Navigating roots

Time flies, and with it comes an annual dilemma for many gardeners thinking of planting a tree or shrub – whether to get the job done or wait until spring.

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