Category Archives: Practical gardening

Perennial Garden Spring Tidy-Up

What a strange winter here in the Netherlands. Almost the mildest on record until the end of January and then more than three weeks of intense cold in February. The result is that my normal plan of tidying up the … Continue reading

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Winter ends, gardening begins

Its official, the last day of February marks the end of the meteorological winter and this year its a day later. Or at least that’s what my weather lady tells me on Dutch television. I always had in my head … Continue reading

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Creative Weeding

This gardening practice is well established in Dutch gardening where native plants as well as hardy annuals form a recurring element within planting designs. As a design concept the spontaneous appearance of delicate plants throughout a border or indeed a … Continue reading

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Dry Shade

Two words that seem to trigger instant depression for gardeners: dry and shade. Yes, of course, plants need water and light to grow, but some can do with less. In some ways dry shade can offer opportunities that more clement … Continue reading

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Taking Cuttings of Perennials

Early summer is an excellent time of the year to be taking cuttings of perennials. Perennial meadows use a restricted pallet of plants that are repeated across the planting area to create a bold visual impact; not ones or twos … Continue reading

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Biennials need sowing now.

Its time to think about sowing biennials for a display next year. Biennials are those plants we grow that flower in their second year from sowing after which we traditionally rip them out and replace them with summer bedding; foxgloves … Continue reading

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Perennials from Seed – a trial

New trends in planting design call for large numbers of perennials to replace traditional lawns and fill our garden landscapes. I want to encourage you to join in, but the biggest problem for most of us is simply affording all … Continue reading

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Can you grow Annuals in a Perennial Flower Border?

Annuals are not always true to their name as many which we grow from seed each year are in fact perennial plants that originate from warmer climates than our own. True annuals are often more delicate, etherial and ephemeral elements … Continue reading

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February is the season for snowdrops and hellebores.

In February snowdrops and hellebores are indispensable, but we must know how to use them and avoid the hype that surrounds them. It is not the plants, but the people who promote and sell them that I have a problem … Continue reading

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At the end of January my garden is a mess!

But that’s fine, it should be, the annual cycle is complete and now is the time to get busy outside. My garden is filled with perennial plants which start into growth in spring, reach a peak sometime later and come … Continue reading

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