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The Rule Of Trees
ONE of the sounds I love is the repetitive sound of a woodpecker drilling on a misty morning, when sound travels over long distances. Sometimes I can also hear the distant rumble of the Fosse Way, about a mile away. It used to be said that those that
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Tools Of The Trade
QUITE often, news of the latest redesigned tool reaches me, and too often my heart sinks at the sight of them. Garden spades have been forged for centuries and improving on all this experience is challenging, to say the least. I prefer wooden handles
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Seedling Maintenance
IT’S more than two months since the start of AG’s free seeds and with spring now well underway, I am sure they are not the only plants germinating and growing on every available flat surface. Your earliest sowings should be ready to prick out into la
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This Week It’s: Easter Connections
THIS is Easter time and, for the majority of us, our thoughts will turn to chocolate eggs, bunnies, bonnets, yellow chicks and having two days off work. For gardeners, there are plant connections to all of these. But Easter week is, of course, far mo
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Fabulous Foliage
WE are all too easily seduced by flowers, colour and scent, but never underestimate the power of leaves. Foliage is the backbone of a garden. It’s the scene-setter, and a key influencer of our garden style. We need foliage to create a canvas of textu
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Plant Starter Kits
SEED sowing is the basic starting point that gets most people into gardening. That satisfying moment when you realise the seeds have germinated and the tiny shoots are showing through the compost is highly addictive. So, it’s important that whichever
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Go Boldly With Perennials
IT’S often the brightly coloured flowers, rather than the pale pastel shades, that catch our eye in gardens. With the sun igniting them, their intense colours can be breathtaking. Prime examples of these colourful creations are the ruby-scarlet Croco
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Grow Your Own Herb Garden
Q I would like to edge our many pathways with a low-growing mass of fragrant herbs. Which would you suggest, and how can we grow a lot of them without spending a fortune? Samantha Bingham, Dawley, Shrops A This plan will deliver soft edges, flavourin
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Word Search
This word search comprises words associated with Easter. They are listed below; in the grid they may be read across, backwards, up, down or diagonally. Letters may be shared between words. Erroneous or duplicate words may appear in the grid, but ther
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Crossword …just For Fun!
1 The outdoor cucumber is also known as this (5) 3 A ____ community is one where gardens and property are enclosed, for added security and privacy (5) 7 These may be at the rear of a shed or greenhouse – and normal MPs sit on them in the House of Com
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Get Filling Those Gaps
WE all love gardening and few things beat the satisfaction of sowing seeds and then nurturing the resulting plants to maturity. But there is so much to juggle in the garden right now that sometimes it helps to have someone or something give you a hel
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Long-term Container Bulbs
WE have a few pots that look really unprepossessing at the moment, just compost topped with dead plant matter. But underneath lies the potential for great things this summer: bulbs waiting to burst forth with colour and scent. Lily and agapanthus wil
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Bird Watch: The jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
THE entire crow tribe is made up of fascinating birds, but the one that sits highly in my affections is the jackdaw, One of the smallest members of the family, they have a grey ‘shawl’ of feathers cloaking their head and shoulders, and round, pale ey
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Buried Treasures
MY great-great uncle Jack was an 18th century diamond miner, sent to South Africa to scour the Transvaal for precious stones. As well as sending gems to his aristocratic employers for their tiaras, he had a sideline smuggling uncut rubies that he gav
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Spring Sparklers
IT’S Easter, the weekend when many people head off to a garden centre, and we can party with a restricted number of friends and family in the garden – we hope. But even if Easter gatherings are limited, adding sparkle to our Easter gardens will surel
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Location, Location…
ONE curious thing about a new garden is how almost anything will grow differently to how it managed in your last garden. A multitude of factors determine which crops thrive unaided, or pine away – well, unless you give them intensive care and support
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It’s Time For Bedder!
THE plant that grows from this week’s free seeds is a winner on every level. Echium ‘Blue Bedder’ not only brings swathes of delicious soft blue flowers to your borders that will last right through summer and well into early winter in sheltered garde
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The Natural Sloping Garden
THE land surrounding the old stone cottage at Drake Carr has been put to many uses since the site was first settled more than 400 years ago, but it’s unlikely that it has ever looked as beautiful as it does now in the hands of Alan and Joan Morris. W
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Easter In The Garden
EASTER always feels like the unofficial start of the gardening year. The long weekend is the first holiday since Christmas and what better way to spend it than working and relaxing in the garden, weather permitting. There is so much to do, from plant
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Nine Quick Jobs For The Weekend
1 Plant perennials for colour and to create a border framework. Small plants are cheap and will soon grow. Plant at the same depth as they were growing before and water well. Then keep free of weeds and pests. 2 Feed fruit trees and bushes with granu
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My Mini Greenhouse
Write to us: Letters, Amateur Gardening magazine, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough, Hants GU14 7BF (please include your address). Email us: amateurgardening@futurenet.com EVERY year I use my mini greenhouse without
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Ask John Negus
John will reply personally to all your gardening questions every week Q I want to keep a large number of the spring bulbs in pots for some years to come. Is there a particular feed that would benefit them? Mark Hadworth (via email) A Bulbs will repea
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Focus On… Growing Carrots
THEY are among the UK’s most popular vegetables, and yet growing carrots at home can be tricky. Here’s how to leapfrog over any hurdles from spring through to winter, so you can make sure that this is your best-ever year for carrots. Light, stone-fre
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Editor’s Note
“Last week, I said now is the time for making decisions: what to change, what to keep, what to grow again. But many of us are not the lone decision maker – we have husbands, wives and partners who share the garden, and we may not always agree on what
Amateur Gardening3 mnt membacaNature
Back To Life…
I’VE just started to see butterflies again in my Gloucestershire garden – such bringers of joy. However, if I lived further south, I might see red admirals flying on winter days, because these butterflies are now resident in warmer parts of Britain d
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Divide Herbaceous Perennials
Q What is the best way to divide herbaceous perennials, and how big a section is best for replanting? I would like to plant some types in together. Is this a good idea? Gloria Chadwick, Birmingham A Herbaceous perennials are longlived, non-woody plan
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Dead Daff Maintenance
DAFFODIL season is coming to an end, soon to be joined by the tulips as they die back for another year. This means that for the next few weeks the areas where they are growing will look a bit tatty as leaves shrivel and die. Tempting though it is to
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Propagating Bamboo Orchids
Steve Bradley MA MHort (RHS) has written (or co-written) more than 40 gardening books, including Propagation Basics, The Pruner’s Bible, The Ground Force Workbook and What’s Wrong With My Plant? He is resident expert on BBC Radio Kent, Sussex and Sur
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Sowing Cosmic Sunshine
LAST year was a great one for cosmos. I sowed the variety ‘Candy Stripe’, which came free with AG, and they flowered right through the summer and well into the autumn, finally flattened by heavy rains and high winds. Cosmos is one of my favourite sum
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Word Search
This word search comprises words associated with celery. They are listed below; in the grid they may be read across, backwards, up, down or diagonally. Letters may be shared between words. Erroneous or duplicate words may appear in the grid, but ther
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