Talk of the Month

7.30pm Friday 14th February: 365 Days of Colour. Nick Bailey

COMING UP THIS YEAR – RHS Flower Shows 2020

7th – 8th April RHS London Spring Launch and Orchid Show
17th – 19th April RHS Flower Show Cardiff
7th – 10th May RHS Malvern Spring Festival
19th – 23rd May RHS Chelsea Flower Show
11th – 14th June RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
6th – 12th July RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
22nd – 26th July RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
27th -29th September Malvern Autumn Show

What to do in the garden this month

  • Prune wisteria now, cutting back summer side shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
  • Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.
  • Trim winter flowering heathers as the flowers disappear, to prevent the plants becoming leggy.
  • Start chitting early potatoes – stand them on end in a module tray or egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost-free place.
  • Lift and divide snowdrops still ‘in the green’ if you want to move them or create more plants.
  • Stock up on pots, compost, labels, twine and other sundries in readiness for improved conditions.
  • Plant bare-root roses, hedging and fruit trees.
  • Towards the end of the month prune summer-flowering Clematis before active growth begins.
  • Trim deciduous hedges before the birds start nesting.

Did you know?

Hand tools with wooden handles and disposable plant pots

Fruit Trees

A very easy space-saving option, cordon fruit trees consist of just one main stem with 2-3″ laterals carrying the fruit and flowers. Traditionally grown at a 45-degree angle, they are these days more often grown vertically, but you can still plant them at an angle if you wish.

Space cordon apples and pears 2½-3′ apart. They can be grown against a fence or wall, or along posts and wires, or in the open and staked individually with a ‘standard rose’ type stake, or even a stout bamboo cane. They will reach between 6-8′ in height. They do well on all soils except the light and sandy which should have plenty of organic matter incorporated to add body, and the trees mulched thereafter.

Many of us want to use less plastic in the garden, from plant labels to watering cans, tools, plant pots and the sheeting used to suppress weeds. Buying (and therefore using) less plastic will not only reduce your plastic footprint, but will also send a message to manufacturers that gardeners want alternatives to plastic (especially single-use plastic).

To learn more, click here:


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Don’t forget that if you have any gardening stories or photos to share with us, we would love to hear from you!

Scents aren’t only in the flowers of plants; many plants produce smells from other areas too. Here are some of the most common scents, that aren’t produced from flowers.

  • oranges, lemons and hops have scented oil in the skin of their fruit
  • cinnamon, frankincense and myrrh have scent in their bark
  • ginger and liquorice come from the root of the plant
  • strongly-scented cloves are just unopened flower buds
  • nutmeg, mace, mustard, chillies, cardamom, cumin and pepper are simply scented seeds
  • mint, sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil and lemon balm have scented leaves, which we often use in cooking

Interesting facts

  • Some arums, stapelia and the largest flower in the world – the rafflesia – smell like rotting meat! The reason for this horrible whiff is to attract flies, which carry their pollen to other flowers.
  • The most common scent made by plants is lemon. Apart from an actual lemon, you can find this smell in lemon grass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon-scented geranium, lemon gum and lemon thyme as well.
  • Some plants need moths to pollinate them. They grow pale flowers whose scent is very strong in the evening and hardly noticeable in the daytime.
  • Scents are taken from plants mainly as essential oils, which are then used to make perfume. Some perfumes are a mixture of 50 different smells!
  • The ancient Egyptians were the first people to write down information about perfume. They used many perfumes as offerings to their gods. And they also used them to help preserve their mummies. The ancient Egyptians lived between 2,500 and 5,000 years ago.

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