More Gardening news

The Casual Gardener: Gardens of distinction

John Manley
MY favourite garden in the whole world is my own. Not because I think it’s outstanding in any particular aspect but simply it’s where I’m happiest and most a home. 

BEST OF BUNCH: Ornamental Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

THESE winter showstoppers provide gorgeous colour and blousy texture to containers, providing a focal point in small displays or adding rich foliage form to larger arrangements, planted with small conifers, heathers and feathery artemisia.

Gardening: Plant of the week – Fern

John Manley
THEY are perfect for shady spots and will grow in most soils, but dwarf ferns such as Asplenium scolopendrium can also add texture and form to winter containers.

Plant of the week: Viburnum

THESE colourful, scented shrubs are invaluable over the winter and in spring, providing backdrops for other plants when they are in flower and seasonal interest of their own at other times.

BEST OF THE BUNCH: Smoke Bush (Cotinus)

THIS deciduous tree-like shrub offers a cloud of tiny purple-pink flowers in late summer, which is where the name 'smoke bush' comes from, but it's an all-round winner for much of the year because of its impressive oval purple leaves which turn a brilliant red in late autumn.

The Casual Gardener: Working over winter

John Manley
PLANTING crops in the autumn will give them a head start on those that would otherwise be planted in the spring, sometimes up to five months later.

Best of the bunch – Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)

A NATIVE of North America, the gaultheria procumbens, also known as wintergreen, is an uplifting shrub which provides spectacular colour and enjoyment all year round, producing white or pink bell-shaped flowers in spring and early summer, followed by beautiful scarlet berries as temperatures fall.

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