Gardening

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A rose isn't just for Valentine's Day...

I'm not wanting to put a dampener on romance, but I really begrudge my husband paying a fortune for roses on Valentine's Day when the same money could have gone on a living rose that I can plant in my garden and enjoy for years to come.

Monkey business with guerrilla gardeners

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How would you feel if a piece of disused land or a neglected urban space, such as a grass verge or roundabout, was suddenly made into a productive veg patch or pretty flower field?

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

a Tree with shining stars in snowy garden

Winter gardens can be places of pure fairytale. Dusted with snow or dense frost, the stems and skeletons of many plants look magical in the ice cold light.

Poinsettia pointers

poinsettias, See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column,  PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

The shops are awash with poinsettias at this time of year in shades of red, pink and cream, the colourful bracts having taken an average of eight weeks to turn from green to red.

Christmas decorations, naturally

a Christmas Wreath,  PA Photo/Handout/Tobias Smith

You may be tempted by expensive, fancy table decorations and wreaths in the shops, but, if you look in your garden, you'll find some brilliant indoor adornments for free.

Christmas comes early for trees

a Christmas tree from Homebase,  PA Photo/Handout/Homebase

The festive season for Christmas trees seems to have jumped a month, as retailers have now been selling real trees for several weeks to the public, despite advice from the British Christmas Tree Growers Association not to buy your tree earlier than December 1.

Leafing through tree choices

a woman working in garden,  PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

There's no better time to plant trees and conifers, particularly bare-root ones, when the plants are dormant but the soil is still warm enough for the roots to become established before spring.

Meeting the bees' needs

a Bee,  PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

For some time, environmentalists and horticulturists have been urging gardeners to let their grass grow a bit longer, leave at least one area of their garden 'wild' and create nooks and crannies in the form of log piles to allow wildlife to flourish.

A Feast of festive gifts for gardeners

Sloe Gin Kit, harrodhorticultual.com, PA Photo/Handout

Gifts for the gardeners are everywhere, catering for everyone from armchair enthusiasts to green-fingered gadget lovers. Here are just a few ideas to suit different gardening types.

Beat the winter chill

a man hedge trimming, PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

We may have had storms and rain, but while the ground's workable, gardeners should make the most of the time they have left to do the jobs which will give them a head start next year.

Ghoulish greenery

a Titan Arum flowering at Kew,  PA Photo/RBG Kew/Andrew McRobb

You may be opening your front door to mischievous trick or treaters in ghoulish guises this Halloween, but peep into your back garden and you could also spot some stinking, spiky and poisonous subjects.

Be inspired by autumn walks

Thorp Perrow Arboretum, PA Photos/Joe Cornish

So it's official - a walk to take in the seasonal colours of autumn is good for our wellbeing, according to new research by the National Trust.

Waste Not, Want Not

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In this age of recycling - plastics in one bin, glass in another, garden matter and food waste also being separated - there can be no better time to start your own compost heap.

The right tools for the job

Wolf-Garten springtine rake, See PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column, Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout, WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Gardening Column.

The leaves are starting to fall, the lawn needs rejuvenating, the beds could do with a tidy-up, and overcrowded plants can be lifted and divided.

Diarmuid's autumn advice

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After a glorious summer at home pottering around his garden in Ireland, green-fingered TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin is now preparing his beds for the cooler months.

Protect Our Pollinators

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We know bees, hoverflies and other beneficial insects provide a welcome sight for gardeners in spring and summer, pollinating our flowers and helping us to reap rich harvests, but these valued species also need plenty of protection in the winter to ensure they return in years to come.

Boost your spring garden with new bulbs

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There's a nip in the air which, to me, signals the end of summer and provides a wake-up call to start planting some spring bulbs to brighten up borders and patios next year.

How to store your surplus

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If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don't leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Perk up your patio pots for autumn

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As summer draws to a close and plants in pots start looking tired, it's time to give your containers a fresh new look for autumn and winter.

Ditch the holiday blues

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Gardeners who went on holiday confident that friends and family would water, deadhead and harvest their crops in their absence must be feeling pretty smug.