The Queen attends Chelsea Flower Show

The Queen has attended Chelsea Flower Show ahead of the opening of the iconic event. She was accompanied by Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/21/queen-attends-chelsea-flower-show/

Dedicated growers are the heroes of the day at Chelsea

The Chelsea Flower show usually marks the start of summer, but this year unseasonably cold weather stretched into April, making things nigh on impossible for nurseries. Those growing rose and clematis have found it particularly trying, because forcing these into flower under light and heat produces a floppy horror show, and that won’t win gold….

The top 12 white roses fit for a Royal wedding

Best white English Rose Credit: David Austin Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses says Rosa ‘Desdemona’ can be used for a formal bed, mixed border or large pot. “It’s bushy and free flowering, growing to 1.2m tall, with blush pink buds that open pure white, and a fragrance of strong myrrh. It is very healthy,…

Welsh farmer helping to fight Alzheimer’s by growing high-altitude daffodils to combat disease

A Welsh farmer helping fight Alzheimer’s by growing high-altitude daffodils which have been proven to help combat the disease.  Kevin Stephens, 51, is aiming to become a world-leader in the production of a pioneering drug by farming the flowers on the Black Mountains in Monmouthshire. The daffodils are grown in order to harvest galantamine, a compound that has been proven…

The best summer fragrances 

The heatwave might have passed and your holiday might feel like a long way off, but fortunately there is some light relief in the form of fragrance. For years, brands have been successfully bottling the scent of the sun, sea and sand to transport us to far-flung, exotic lands. Here are the scents that will…

10 spectacular flower festivals to visit this spring

Spring into action with our guide to Europe’s best blooms, featuring flower festivals in France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and the UK.  1. Go Dutch  More than seven million swaying tulips planted over a 32-hectare area at the Keukenhof gardens create a dazzling spectacle. Visitors can still see up to 800 varieties – but this is…

Plans to build homes on nightingale sanctuary threaten all Britain’s wildlife havens, warn experts 

Beauty spots and wildlife sanctuaries across Britain will be under threat if plans go ahead to build thousands of homes on a protected nightingale breeding ground, conservationists have warned. In 2014, Medway Council in Kent approved a planning application to build 5,000 houses on Lodge Hill, a former military site on the Hoo Peninsula which…

A first look at Kew’s five-year restoration project: the Temperate House

At the newly restored Temperate House at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, £41 million worth of fresh glass, paint, state of the art engineering and plantsmanship is set to sparkle in the spring sunshine this weekend – just as Victorian architect Decimus Burton intended. The largest restoration project in Kew’s history, of the largest surviving Victorian…

Ken Thompson: yes it has stripes, but it’s not a wasp

When gardeners think about pollinators, we usually think first about bees. Nothing surprising about that; bees are extremely abundant in gardens, and normally the most important pollinators. After bees, we tend to move on to butterflies – not the most significant pollinators, by a long way, but both conspicuous and attractive. Which all rather leaves…

Top 10 royal gardens to visit this summer

With the Royal Wedding looming, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has chosen 10 royal gardens to visit – just in case you haven’t received your invite for Harry and Meghan’s wedding. See below for a special offer in the May issue of the magazine that gives you 2-for-1 entry to hundreds of gardens. 1. The Savill Garden…

How to grow your own wedding flowers

Bridal flowers are a huge investment. Couples in the UK can expect to spend an average of £1,500 to £2,000 on flowers for their wedding. A luxury display can hit the £20-30k mark. For a couple starting out on life together, this is a significant sum that could be usefully spent elsewhere, so a gardening…

Three gardens to visit this weekend

Chenies Manor House, Chenies, nr Rickmansworth, Bucks WD3 6ER Chenies has long been a renowned garden so it is a cause for celebration that this year it is opening for the first time in aid of the National Garden Scheme. Tomorrow’s open day kicks off a tulip festival and the garden is ablaze with colour,…

10 of the best: top-performing alliums for late spring colour

Perennially popular alliums, also known as ornamental onions, are grown for their showy flower heads that bob pleasingly above the planting line in late spring and early summer. Available in a wide array of sizes and shades of blue, purple, white and even yellow, alliums are planted as bulbs in autumn (although some, such as…

Way to grow! What to plant right now for spring bounty

Ah, sunshine, so nice of you to join us at long last. For this weekend, we are turning a sharp and not-a-little overdue corner into spring. And now it’s arrived, no-one’s quite sure what to expect: will spring be as long as usual and slide into summer a little late, or will it concertina up,…

Common British flowers can stay dormant underground for 20 years

Gardeners puzzled by the sudden emergence of an unusual orchid or despairing that their annuals have vanished should take heart. Scientist have discovered that some British flowers can lie dormant under the ground for up to 20 years, emerging into bloom only when the conditions are just right. Native flowers which have the capability of sheltering…

A tale of two halves: dual exhibitions celebrating the art of Cedric Morris to run in tandem 

Next week, two exhibitions celebrating the achievements of the artist and plantsman Cedric Morris (1889-1982) will open in London. Perhaps best known for teaching a young Lucian Freud, Morris, who counted avant-garde artists Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood among his friends, has been rather neglected in recent years.  The first is a non-selling exhibition of…

How to make a modern, wild spring wreath

“Flowers can have a voice, if used in the right way.” I’m binding wire tightly around a clematis vine covered in flyaway clumps of of Spanish moss and iridescent, paper-thin discs of honesty (Lunaria annua) as florists Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler pass me generous handfuls of lavender leaves to be woven in tightly with…

Moving plants mid-flower may go against the grain, but it’s a risk worth taking, says Stephen Lacey

The tolerance of plants is remarkable, not 
just to yo-yoing temperatures but 
to the rude incursions of gardeners. Flowering on a balmy morning, with the pleasurable tickle of a visiting bee on their pollen-coated anthers, suddenly they get a fork speared through their roots and they are catapulted skywards. In a stuffed garden like mine,…

Why balcony gardeners shouldn’t be afraid of shrubs

When I was first bandying around names for this column, someone suggested “I Don’t Want No Shrubs”. As history would attest, we never did get around to naming the column. But I Don’t Want No Shrubs, while unruly, appealed. It combined three of my favourite things: puns, small space gardening and Nineties RnB sensation TLC,…

12 top tips to get your garden back on track after the Beast

The snow drifts and rime-covered branches of the Beast from the East had barely melted when the mini-beast (aka the ‘Wrong-un from Russia’) blew icily in on its heels. For my postman the snow was a boon: ‘Finally my garden looks as good as the neighbour’s!’ but for me, living in the usually balmy climes…

Cherry blossoms reach full bloom in Japan 

Crowds gathered on Monday to walk by the cherry blossom flowers in Tokyo. The cherry blossom flowers have reached full bloom, heralding spring.  The flowers, which line bank of the Meguro river, began blooming a week ago. The bloom typically lasts 1-2 weeks before the “sakura snow” effect starts and they float down gently from the trees. In…

Even the smallest garden can be grand, says Anthony Noel

When I was nine, in 1959, my mother took me to Sissinghurst, where we met Vita Sackville-West, who was weeding in the Rose Garden. She was dressed in jodhpurs, gaiters, an old silk shirt and pearl necklace and smoking a cheroot. My style is one of humble elegance, with a dash of French. Vita smiled…

10 of the best penstemons to plant now for late summer colour

Penstemons rank among the most valuable of late-summer flowering plants. Their elegant spires of tubular, foxglove-like flowers in tones of pink, red, white, blue and purple are perfect for adding height and colour to a well-drained, sunny border. Used by indigenous Americans as a toothache remedy, penstemons were popular with the Victorians before falling out…

Digital floristry: floral designer Flora Starkey celebrates the spring equinox with first art installation

The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere passes today at 16:15, ushering in the warmer months of 2018. To celebrate, floral designer Flora Starkey has created a digital installation film entitled Spring Rites, depicting the beauty and magic of flowers from seed to bloom.   The immersive time-lapse video aims to bring together elements of fashion and modern art: rainbow prisms feature…

Digital floristry: floral designer Flora Starkey celebrates the spring equinox with first art installation

The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere passes today at 16:15, ushering in the warmer months of 2018. To celebrate, floral designer Flora Starkey has created a digital installation film entitled Spring Rites, depicting the beauty and magic of flowers from seed to bloom.   The immersive time-lapse video aims to bring together elements of fashion and modern art: rainbow prisms feature…

76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting – watch 76MM live here

The Goodwood Members’ Meeting is one of the most exclusive events of the motorsport calendar and serves as the traditional season opener for historic racing, traditionally held as daffodils begin to flower in England. The event is steeped in pomp and tradition, and is themed broadly around a boarding school sports day – guests can take part…

Gardening events 2018

Green-fingered events for 2018 are steadily mounting up and the season has barely begun. Don’t forget to check here for snowdrop-related events until the end of March, too. MARCH March — August Cambridge Cambridge University ‘Science on Sundays’ at University Botanic Garden Cambridge University will be hosting a series of ‘Science on Sundays’ talks taking…

Inside the battle to revive one of Britain’s biggest walled gardens

Walled gardens have healing properties. Inside Frances Hodgson Burnett’s secret retreat a sickly boy was inspired to walk; Gordon Castle’s newly restored walled garden might just provide the antidote needed to ensure its long-term financial health. Jules Hudson’s book Walled Gardens, published this month, details the Countryfile presenter’s journey across the UK in search of…

Could this planting scheme transform urban gardens? 

As the editor of Gardens Illustrated, Lucy Bellamy is no stranger to providing gardeners with aspirational planting advice. But as someone with a small garden behind a terraced house in a Lincolnshire town, she is all too aware of the limits of a more humble plot. Her book, Brilliant and Wild: A Garden From Scratch…

6 of the best Mother’s Day flowers and bouquets to buy in 2018

Mother’s Day is imminent, and what better way to tell your mum you love her than with a grand bouquet of flowers? It’s the least you can do, with same-day delivery options making it harder than ever to forget come March 11. This year, we’re particularly fond of cerise roses, perfect peonies, cheerful daffodils, wafts of lavender and…

How to get a buzz out of backyard beekeeping

Dale Gibson is seriously into his bees. The former stockbroker finds great joy in tending to his hives atop his four-storey townhouse in Bermondsey, south London. “I love the seasonality of keeping bees, it’s so different from the long, routine days I used to do in the City. I love the gentle, industrious nature of…

Wild orchids: Admire their beauty while you still can

It is early spring on the Purbeck coast, and I am looking for orchids in what remains of the day. A storm is gathering, the dipping sun obscured by curdling clouds that mount the horizon. I have not long before this unseasonal weather scythes across the exposed clifftop where I am searching for one plant…

We’ve embraced wonky veg – so why not plants?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the wonky veg movement. At least four of the big supermarkets are selling misshapen vegetables at much cheaper prices. This saves a huge amount of waste because about 40 per cent of crops don’t quite meet the “beauty queen” aesthetic standards supposedly demanded by customers. The rejects end up in landfill and…

Why we should grow to love gorgeous gladioli

It’s an odd thing how few of us grow gladioli. Almost every one of us has a patch of tulips in our garden and yet only a small number can say the same for glads, yet they are the summer tulip. They’re incredibly easy and reliable. If you get them in the ground, they’re guaranteed to…

When plants move house there are bound to be casualties

This time last year we knew we had sold the house. Which, for me, meant that the garden couldn’t come with us. Digging up plants when you change houses is technically illegal. This means you can’t remove the prize ‘Joseph Rock’ tree peony from a border, leaving a hole at the heart of the planting. …

Cerrado sunrises and morning mists: the International Garden Photographer of the Year category winners

Marcio Cabral of Brasilia, Brazil has today been named as International Garden Photographer of the Year at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.  Cabral is widely recognised as one of the top landscape photographers in the world and holds a world record for the largest underwater panorama. The winning image from the Wildflower Landscapes category is entitled ‘Cerrado…

Online Valentine’s Day flowers are ‘droopier’ than shop-bought, Which? warns

Lovers hoping to impress their Valentine next week should avoid buying flowers online, consumer watchdogs have warned, as research shows that they droop after a week. According to Which? shoppers buying flowers are better off heading to the high street where blooms are usually cheaper and higher quality than they are when purchased online. Researchers ordered bouquets…

14 spectacular places to banish the winter blues

From Dutch blooms and tours of New England to natural wonders at home, here are 14 ways to spring into action.  1. Overdue drops in Derbyshire Right, enough now. No more teetotal parsimony, no more lentils for breakfast, no more grey days. I want vital signs, green shoots, flowers. I want spring. I want a…

Valentine’s Day bouquets that will blow the budget  

How to choose the perfect bouquet for Valentine’s Day, you ask? First of all, we’d say go for seasonal, bespoke blooms — but is she (or he) a pink spray roses kind of girl (boy), or would bright, bold buttercup ranunculus be better suited to her (or his) tastes?  If you’re really stuck, one solution is…

Best Valentine’s Day bouquets for under £50

If you’re on a budget, but you also have an amour (or two) in need of a jaw-droppingly fabulous bouquet, you may be in need of some bargainous last-minute flowers.  Luckily for you, there are some excellent options available that don’t skimp on taste and romance. She (or he) will be none the wiser. And they do say it’s the…

Urban beekeeping is harming wild bees, says Cambridge University 

The rise in amateur beekeepers keeping hives on roofs and gardens is contributing to the decline of wild bees, Cambridge University has claimed. Experts at the Department of Zoology said the growth in urban keeping was leaving wild bees struggling to gather enough pollen and nectar. Urban beekeeping has flourished in recent years, with many…

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