Rock chicks of the mountains, a traditional stone trough gives alpines their perfect show stage. Aged with moss and lichen, stone can be hard to beat aesthetically but they are expensive. You can create an artificial stone trough cheaply by covering an old sink in a cement-based hypertufa mix. Here's how.
My gardening week - six on saturday - 31.03.18 This week I planted up a Gloriosa lily, took difficult decisions regarding my veg patch and delighted in a new Elephant's Ear shoot. I also admired the succulent roof on a bird table, planted some mini iris seeds and celebrated victory over fungus gnats.
Easter is one of my favourite times of year for flower arranging. The flowers available are more limited than in the summer but what is there is pretty, diminutive and symbolic of spring. Tea cup arrangements that use small amounts of flower and foliage are a great idea at this time of year as you're unlikely to want to denude your garden too much in search of floristry material
My gardening week - six on saturday - 24.03.18 This week I decided to start planning a woodland path, pruned a wayward climbing rose, admired an Anemone, potted up dahlia tuburs, learned about an inspirational alpine gardener and decided on utilities for my new greenhouse.
Want to grow squash and pumpkins for winter eating and Halloween decoration? -The one thing I do like about All Hallows Eve is the pumpkins. Grow your own to experiment with the more unusual shaped or coloured types - delicious to eat and lovely for decorating the doorstep and home.
My gardening week - six on saturday - 17.03.18 This week I admired wild cherries, a beautiful paperbush plant and my evergreen ferns. I also planted out spent forced bulbs, spotted a ladybird and was pleased to see plastics reduction in action.
Whilst wondering through the Princess of Wales greenhouse at Kew Gardens I spotted an unusual plant in purple white and green and it immediately brought me to mind of the colours of the women's suffragette movement. The suffragettes wore sashes and rosettes in these colours. Purple signified dignity, white purity and green hope.
Most of my novice gardener friends assume dahlias are beyond their skill. Maybe the mesmerising petal formations and dazzling colour variations confuse dahlia debutantes into thinking that they are hard to grow. They are not. Coming in a variety of colours wider than Jackson Pollock's palette, there is a dahlia out there for everyone. There is nothing more stunning in the garden than a dahlia laden with flowers and buds and nothing more beautiful in the autumn home than a tastefully combined or even a brash clash in a mixed arrangement.