Gardening

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Blooming, beautiful and British

I've always found that buying flowers is so much less rewarding than growing them myself. When I see a beautiful bouquet, I often consider whether I could replicate its contents in my own garden.

A touch of frost

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It's so tempting, I know. All those annuals you've sown indoors from seed are now big enough to plant out, the tomato seedlings are doing well and you just want to clear those windowsills, the greenhouse or the conservatory to make a head start on summer.

Love your lawn

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As the weather warms up, the grass will be growing - so you need to get rid of lumps, bumps and bald patches to ensure you have a carpet of green velvet in the months ahead.

How to outwit squirrels

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Some of my prize spring bulbs simply haven't appeared this year, including tulips and crocuses, which I planted in the autumn. The culprits? Grey squirrels.

Fairytales and flowers

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As families enter the wonderful world of Disneyland Paris with its quirky characters, pink castle, fairytale lands and breath-taking parades, few will notice the quality of the plants, the precision cutting of the lawns or the carefully clipped topiary.

Easter gardens to inspire

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When school's out for Easter, it's time for the family to venture outdoors - and there are some great gardens to visit over the holidays, with the added bonus of raising money for charity while you do it.

The Wong way to make crops tastier

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It's all very well joining the 'grow your own' brigade - but what if your tomatoes don't taste sweet, your beans are stringy and your chillis lack punch?

Gardening gifts for mum

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As spring arrives, so do new gardening tools, sundries, gadgets and seeds, which are timely additions to the wealth of possible presents to give your gardening mum on Mother's Day.

Focus on your garden

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Ever thought about how to capture frost-covered holly, close-ups of pretty petals or swathes of woodland bulbs in fading light?

When the chips are down

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Potato aficionados will now have their windowsills awash with trays, on which seed potatoes are being 'chitted', encouraging the sprouts to appear before planting begins in earnest.

Medieval gardening: does it work?

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I've heard of some strange gardening practices over the years, but some of the tips offered in a medieval gardening book which is said to have inspired Henry VIII's lost Great Garden at Whitehall Palace take the biscuit.

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

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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.

Beardshaw sows ideas for new trends

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The weather is going to be the telling factor in garden design trends this year, thanks to several years of excessively wet weather and flooding.

Help feather some nests

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As the RSPB, bird-watchers and gardeners nationwide gear up for the charity's annual Big Garden Birdwatch, the organisation is warning that birds that have benefited from a mild autumn will begin to struggle as the weather changes.

Be inspired by winter walks

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It's time to put down those left-over mince pies, don your walking boots and take a bracing walk through a winter garden bursting with vibrant stem colour, interesting barks, blossoming bulbs and wafts of winter scent.

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

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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

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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.