Gardening

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Planting for birds

No doubt bird feeders and baths will be filled by many of us in the run-up to the annual Big Garden Birdwatch, the world's largest garden wildlife survey, which this year takes place from January 28-30.

Plan ahead for bigger harvests

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Creating a vegetable patch, whether on a large piece of ground or within a smaller raised bed, can bring rich rewards if you plan carefully.

Perk up your poinsettia

decorative Christmas Poinsettia

They are the symbol of Christmas, their traditional red bracts bringing festive cheer to the home - and now Poinsettias come in a range of colours, including light pinks and creams, which would complement more subtle decor.

Deck the halls with berries and branches

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There are so many bits and pieces from the garden you can use to make festive decorations, from Christmas tree clippings as a base for traditional wreaths, to variegated holly with berries, crab apples, poppy seedheads, euonymus and cones.

De-stress with a winter walk

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Take a break from Christmas shopping, list-making and party planning by enjoying the best of winter gardens nationwide.

Christmas tree tips

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If you've dusted off your tree stand, got your baubles out and are surrounded by sparkling tinsel, it must be almost time to put the Christmas tree up.

Christmas gifts for the gardener

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Green-fingered friends and family may have precision tools, pampering presents or ornamental must-haves on their Christmas wish lists, and indeed there is the perfect gift for gardeners out there - you just have to find it...

Bag a gardening book this Christmas

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As winter beckons and thoughts of the festive season are upon us, now is a good time to plan new beds and borders, find inspiring ideas for your garden and work out how you want your garden to look next year.

Amazing acers

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The Japanese maple, or acer, is one of those supremely elegant plants with fine, fern-like foliage in colours to die for, from deep burgundy to pink and white, many producing a brilliant display of intense hues in autumn.

Capture autumn on camera

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Autumn is a glorious season offering plenty of opportunities for garden photography enthusiasts to capture bold-coloured trees, shrubs and fallen leaves.

Go batty in the garden

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They may conjure up images of ghostly goings-on around Halloween time, but bats should be welcomed into our gardens.

Tulip tips

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Of all the bulbs, tulips are probably the most varied in size and colour, ranging from dainty dwarf specimens to frilly, feathery forms and stand-up-straight majestic types.

A moving experience

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Are your borders looking overgrown and overcrowded? If some of your stalwart shrubs and perennials have outgrown their space or simply aren't thriving in their current position, it may be time to move them.

Apples in a pot

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Whether you're into a crisp crunch, a sweet, juicy flavour or the tart tang that makes a crumble or pie a dessert to savour, the apple is among the gardener's favourite.

Big ideas for small spaces

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Think your garden is too small to have the wow factor? Too cramped for carpets of colour or sizeable shrubs?

Pots of pizzazz in autumn

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Don't worry if your summer containers are now past their best because you can perk up your pots with autumn plantings that will give you colour and texture through the cooler months and beyond.

Drift away with bulbs

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There are few things more evocative of spring than drifts of snowdrops or bluebells in dappled shade, or daffodils casting a yellow haze over fresh new grass.

Biological warfare against pests

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Those of us who yearn to ditch the blue pellets and quick-fix chemical sprays in favour of more eco-friendly garden pest controls, should perhaps be taking a biological approach.

Jo tunes in to garden sounds

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When Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley switches off from her busy broadcasting career, she's frequently found tuning in to music of a different kind.