On Line Magazine:
Future Elements

January 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Helleborus
Digging Muse
Flower Anagrams
Cold And Frosty Morn
January Folk Law
Protect From Winter's Weather
Four Shrubs Flowering in January
Grow Polyanthus From Seed
Storing Gardening Chemicals
Happy New Year

Home Page Photo:
Helleborus Christmas Rose

Helleborus which is flowering in southern gardens now,
is a part of the Ranunculaceae family.

Hellebore prefer to grow in a sheltered dappled shade,
protected from the effects of icy winds.

Commercially grown corms can be purchased
from our Trading Centre in early spring.

Plant 300mm (12 inches) apart in a moist, well-drained soil,
with leaf-mould and decayed manure applied.

Propigate by lifting old clumps in April and dividing.

Feed and mulch annually in autumn.

Digging Muse

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil
is to forget ourselves.
Mahatma Gandhi

A gardener is one who calls a spade a spade:
Until they fall over one.

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.

The best place to seek God is in a garden.
You can dig for him there.
George Bernard Shaw

Come my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen
but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers;
they hold up Adam's profession.
Shakespeare, Hamlet V,i

Flower Anagrams

SoresSteal micMeet Front Go
OccursLaid DoffRain on act
Arks Purl

Thy Chains

Lovely Thief Ally

Answers at the foot of this page.

Cold And Frosty Morn

If your greenhouse is devoid of plants,
open the doors and vents.
on cold and frosty mornings.

The natural way to kill off pests,
over wintering in the nooks and crannies.

Another tip is to leave the chickens inside,
to scratch over soil and root out bugs.
Their manure is also a welcome asset.

January Folk Law

If St. Paul's day be fair and clear,
it will betide a happy year.
(St. Paul's day 25th January)

By her who in this month is born,
No gems save Garnets should be worn.

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
'Sara Coleridge'

From Christmas to May, weak cattle decay.

Who in January sows oats, gets gold and groats.
Who sows in May, gets little that way.

Protect From Winter's Weather

Protect from frosts, gale-force winds and heavy rain.

Check tree ties and stakes on established plants,
replace, tighten or slacken them where necessary.

Firm back newly planted trees and shrubs,
where lifted by frost heave or strong winds.

Brush heavy snow off the branches where chance of damage.

General Gardening Tasks in January

Shrubs Flowering in January

in bloom




The January garden need not be devoid of blooms
herewith just four of the shrubs offering colour and scent
Click on the species to link to the RHS plant details.

Grow Polyanthus From Seed

Sow thinly from January onwards,
on the surface of a pot of pre-watered compost.
Place on a windowsill, 10-15°C (50-60°F),
Keep moist not letting dry out.
Seedlings generally appear in 21-42 days.

Pot on individually, holding by a leaf, never by the stem.
Plant out June-October, 20cm (8") apart.
Flowers: March to May next year.

Link to Monty Don's videoHow To Sow Polyanthus.

Storing Gardening Chemicals

Store in a cool, dark, dry and locked cupboard to:

Keep each of the products in premium condition.
Prevent labels and instructions from mouldering or fading.
Keep safe from children and pets.

Check periodically to clear out obsolete items.

Advice from the RHS: Chemicals storage, usage and disposal .

Happy New Year

New Year’s is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated,
but the exact date and nature of festivities has changed over time.
It originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon,
celebrated as an eleven day festival on the first day of spring.

During this time, many cultures used the sun and moon cycle
to decide the “first” day of the year.
It wasn’t until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar
that January 1st became the common day for the celebration.

Answers To Flower Anagrams

RosesClematisForget Me Not


Lilly of the Valley

February 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Cornus mas
Planting For Wildlife
Prune Mophead Hydrangers
Galanthus: Snow Drops
February Folk Law
Feed Fruit Trees and Shrubs
First Early Potatoes
The UK’s Most Expensive Tree
Dahlia Tubers Available Now
Saxifraga apiculata

Home Page Photo: Cornus mas

Cornus mas
Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) is a deciduous shrub,
or small tree growing to approximately 6m height.

The plants first display is in early spring
when it produces masses of small yellow flowers
before the leaves shoot.

In summer the foliage is green and ovate
until autumn brings displays of yellow, oranges and red.

In Autumn the cherry sized edible fruits,
ripen to red then almost black.

The fruit is slightly acidic so is often used
for jams, sauces or as a dried snack.

Link to RHS: Horticultural advice

Planting For Wildlife

A wildlife-friendly garden doesn't have to be overgrown,
with "know how" it can look attractive all year round.
The RSPB offers this advice and guidance.

Prune Mophead Hydrangers

A February mild spell is the time,
to cut back the old flower heads,
of mophead hydrangers

Prune to just above the first healthy buds.

To keep plant young and vigurous,
cut down and thin out old woody stems.

General Gardening Tasks in February

Galanthus: Snow Drops

Snowdrops are a hardy bulbous perennial,
at home in both woodlands and rock gardens.

There are 75 different species and varieties.

They like a neutral to slightly alkaline soil,
rich but well draining.

Purchased snowdrops are planted in autumn,
locate in dappled shade.
Dig a wide shallow hole, add furtilizer,
and just scatter the bulbs.

Regularly water until the frosts.

Snowdrops take time to fully establish.

Divide established groups directly after flowering.

The common snowdrop also has medicinal uses.
The bulb contains galanthamine,
used in the management of Alzheimer’s.

February Folk Law

If in February there be no rain,
'tis neither good for hay nor grain.

If Candlemas Day be sunny and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas Day be cloudy with rain,
Winter is gone, and won't come again.
(Candlemas Day 2nd February)

The Snowdrop, in purest white array,
First rears her head on Candlemas day.

On your farm at Candlemas Day,
Should be half the straw,
and two-thirds hay.

Sow your beans on St Valentine's Day.
(14th February)

All the months in the year curse a fair February.

Feed Fruit Trees and Shrubs

Apply Fertiliser Beneath Fruit Trees and Shrubs.

First remove any mulch, feed around the roots,
water and renew the mulch.

Use organic rather than chemical fertilisers,
to ensure a slow release of nutrients.

A burst of growth too early in the season
increases the risk from disease and pests.

First Early Potatoes

First early potatoes are now available.
Chit them in egg boxes, end up, in a light, frost-free place.

Plant the tubers when the shoots reach 2.5cm (1in) long
and the weather permits spaced at 30cm (12in) apart
on a sunny site away from frost pockets.
Keep well watered in dry weather and hoe up with growth.

RHS advice on How To Grow Potatoes

The UK’s Most Expensive Tree

Berkely Square
In London's Berkely Square is a mature Victorian plane
valued (according to BBC’s Country File) at £750,000.

It's size, health, historical significance and local’s enjoyment,
was taken into consideration when assessing the value.

Dahlia Tubers Available Now

A quality selection of dahlia tubers
are now available from our Trading Centre.

Start tubers into growth indoors from early spring.
Divide the tubers when shoots are 2-3cm (1 inch) tall,
by separating them into portions ensuring,
each has both roots and shoots.
Pot into separate containers and grow on.
Plant out when all chance of frost is past.

RHS advice on Dahlia cultivation.

Saxifraga apiculata

Saxifraga apiculata
Saxifraga apiculata is an alpine that comes into flower
in mild winters from February onward.

'Gregor Mendel' has small white blooms,
is easy to grow and quickly spreading.

Link to RHS: Horticultural advice.

March 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Vinca Minor
Get Busy For The Bees
Give Camellias Some TLC
Floral Cryptic Teasers
Time to Divide Summer Perennials
March 20th: First Day of Spring
Daffodils For Next Spring
Non-Chemical Weed Control
Lilies: Growing In Containers

Home Page Photo: Vinca Minor

Vinca Minor (Periwinkle) is so easy to grow
it tends to becomes invasive so can be an
ideal ground cover plant for smothering weeds.

Not too happy in dry soils.
Tolerates sheltered seaside conditions.

Useful for shaded areas but flowers best in full sun.
Blooms from early spring to mid summer.
The leaves are evergreen with varigated forms available.

Link to RHS: Horticultural advice.

Get Busy For The Bees

Help the bees by propagating Nectar rich plants.
For the experts advice take these web links:
RHS Plants for pollinators.
Gardeners World: Best plants for bees.
BBC: Plants for bees.

Give Camellias Some TLC

March is the ideal time to give your camellias,
attention to promote flowering for next year.

Feed with an acidic fertiliser such as:
Chempak Ericaceous, Miracle-gro Ericaceous,
sulphate of ammonia or sulphate of potash.

Apply mulch around the base to trap winter rain.

Lightly prune, immediately after flowering,
to shape and remove dead or diseased wood.

Link to: RHS guidance

Floral Cryptic Teasers

1. A shy Yorkshire lass2. Solar Blooms
3. A very untidy bird4. On a stylish tandem
5. A vessel full of cholesterol6. Witch's transport
7. Aim your rotten fruit

8. A prickly Scot

Answers at the foot of this page.

Divide Summer Perennials

Spring and ideal time to divide summer flowering perennials.
to ensure healthy, vigorous, rejuvenated plants,
that will continue to perform for further years.

When replanting:
Apply fertilizer, mulch and a support frame.
Ensure plants don’t dry out while they re-establish.
Control slugs and snails to prevent damage to new growth.

Link to: RHS guidance

March 20th: First Day of Spring

There's a magic in the meadows,
There's a presence in the trees,
There's a host of dainty dancers,
Swaying gaily in the breeze.

There are buds and shoots and blossoms,
There to cause our hearts to sing.
All nature cries, "Rejoice! Rejoice!"
Because, at last, it's Spring.

(M. E. Ireland)

What does the farmer do in the spring?
He sows the seed that harvest bring:
But first he wakes the earth from sleep
By ploughing well and harrowing deep.

(Thirza Walely)

Less lyrical UK Metrological Office guide: When Does Spring Start?

Daffodils For Next Spring

Daffodils form next year's bloom now,
so give them some help by feeding with,
a general purpose fertiliser e.g. Growmore.

Dead head and leave the leaves unbunched
for at least 6 weeks after flowering.

In dry conditions after flowering,
water thoroughly until the foliage
shows signs of dying down naturally.

Where container-grown, apply a high potassium liquid feed,
such as tomato food, at one to two week intervals,
from when the blooms have faded,
until the first signs of yellowing of foliage.

Link to: RHS guidance

Non-Chemical Weed Control

Weeds can be controlled without resorting to weedkillers.
from manual removal to smothering, burning and weed barriers.

Link to: RHS advice
Link to: BBC Organic Gardening.


Forsythia × intermedia is a deciduous shrub,
with golden-yellow flowers in early spring.
Happy in most soils and locations.

RHS Link: Horticultural advice. RHS advice on how to prune.

Lilies: Growing In Containers

A quality selection of Lily bulbs
are now available from our Trading Centre.

Lilies grow well in containers, giving the flexibility
to position for maximum effect in the garden
also to fill that blank space in the border.

RHS advice on Growing Lilies In Containers.

Floral Criptic Solutions

1. Primrose2. Sunflowers
3. Ragged Robin4. Daisy
5. Buttercup6. Broom
7. Stocks

8. Thistle

April 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Muscari armeniacum
Doctor's Orders
April Showers
Start Your Tomatoes
Best Crops For Beginners
Eliminating Couch Grass
Hints On Dividing Plants
Sowing Beetroot Seeds
Keeping Weeds At Bay
Elements To Successful Planting

Home Page Photo:
Muscari armeniacum

Muscari armeniacum Armenian grape hyacinth
is a strong-growing bulbous perennial.
Hardy, easy to grow with long-lasting blooms.

In autumn plant the bulbs 10cm deep in a well-draining soil.
Naturalises easily and ideal for the woodland garden.
Divide congested clumps late summer to maintain vigour.

RHS Link: Hoticultural Advice.

Doctor's Orders

Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription.
Hanna Rion

A garden is the best alternative therapy.
Germaine Greer

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Erma Bombeck

Attention to health is the greatest hindrance to life.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
Audrey Hepburn

Life begins the day you start a garden.
Chinese proverb

Psychology Today Link: Why Gardening Is Good For Mental Health.

April Showers

The driver of April Showers is the position of the jet stream.

In early spring, the jet stream begins moving northwards,
resulting in a series of depressions from the Atlantic,
driving across the UK bringing Westerly winds and rain.

'Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers'
is part of a poem first recorded in 1610.

Start Your Tomatoes

Time to sow tomato seeds indoors,
for planting out after all risk of frost has passed.

An alternative is to buy ready-grown tomato plants,
and chose a variety that is blight resistant.

Thompson Morgan have produced a comprehensive guide,
Link to: guidance on tomato varieties.

Best Crops For Beginners

Potatoes require little effort to raise a crop.
Runner beans and french beans are reliable.
Spring onions and radishes are both easy and quick growing.
The herb mint will grow like a weed and spreads fast.

Thompson Morgan's Top 10 Easy To Grow Vegetables.

Eliminating Couch Grass

Couch Grass
Couch Grass(Elymus repens) is an old enemy for many gardeners.
A difficult perennial weed with creeping fibrous roots.
Over time it takes a firm grip and starts to spread rampantly.

Spray with glyphosate (RoundUp) which kills in about 6 weeks.
If still persisting then a further application is required.

Link to RHS: Advice and Guidance

Hints On Dividing Plants

In 1933 Walter Brett the then editor of "Home Gardening",
edited "The Home Gardening Encyclopaedia",
published by C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.

448 pages of guidance for the "Home Gardener"
with a series of hand drawings to illustrate.

Some things never change.
Click to display page 121: Hints On Dividing Plants.

Sowing Beetroot Seeds

"No dig" expert Charles Dowding plants beetroot seeds
in seed trays rather than direct into the soil.
One can give them a controlled environment
which ensures a better germination success.

He finds because beetroot has a round root
it tolerates being carefully transplanted.

Charles plants three to four seeds per compartment
and transplants them out together because
he finds beetroot likes company, then harvesting,
when young, the largest first,
leaving the others to grow on for later picking.

Link to: Charles Dowding's website.

Keeping Weeds At Bay

Learn to recognise weeds at their earliest growth.
Generally anything growing extra vigorously is a weed.

Dispose, and never compost perennial weeds:
dandelion, bindweed, dock, ground elder, couch grass.
Use an herbicide on paths, gravel and perennial weeds.

Hoe when dry. hand weed when wet.

Consider using a weed proof membrane.
Liberally mulch with organic matter.
Never let weeds flower and spread seed.

Weed freshly dug ground as soon as they appear or
sow green manure crops to smother weed growth.
Remove top compost from purchased pot grown plants.

Elements To Successful Planting

Select healthy plants, right plant, in right place.
Thoroughly soak the root ball in a bucket.
Dig the planting hole larger than the root ball.
Add compost and nutriment to improve soil.
Drive in a support pole if an upright.
Fill hole with water and allow to drain away.
Tease roots to aid spread into soil.
Place plant into hole at right depth.
Back fill with soil and gently firm in.
Regularly water until established.

May 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Rhododendron luteum
Hope Springs Eternal
Average May Weather
Floral Cryptic Teasers 2
Sow Your Vegetable Seeds
Choose the Right Size Pot
Regular Watering and Feeding
Tallest Sunflower Record
Prune Your Evergreen Shrubs In May
How To Garden On Line Guides

Home Page Photo:
Rhododendron luteum

Yellow azalea
Rhododendron luteum (Yellow azalea)is at its best in May.

These shrubs require a moist, humus-rich acid soil.
They tolerate partial shade but do better in full sun.

It offers spectacular autumn colour when
the leaves turn orange, purple and red.

Link to RHS: Horticultural advice.

Hope Springs Eternal

With a garden, there is hope.
Grace Firth

Gardening is an exercise in optimism.
Elizabeth Murray

A garden is never so good as it will be next year.
Thomas Cooper

Gardeners dream bigger dreams than an Emperor's.
Mary Cantwell

Gardeners are ever optimistic and looking to something better.
Vita Sackville-West

The love of a garden is a seed, once sown, that never dies.
Vita Sackville-West

Average May Weather

Hayling Island Average Temperatures:
Low: 10°C / 50°F Medium: 14°C / 62°F High: 18°C / 65°F.
Average Sunshine 8 hours.
Average Rainfall 50 mm / 2 inches: Rainfall Days 15.
Average Sea Temperature 11°C / 52°F.

Risks of frost past, temperatures moderate and rain probable,
it's time to finish planting out your summer bedding.

Floral Cryptic Teasers 2

1. Auntie of boy wizard2. Sauce thickener?
3. A fancy feline4. Harlequins spouse
5. The matador inspires6. Unhappy carillon
7. A hand in your front room

8. Ruminant's petticoat

Answers at the foot of this page.

Sow Your Vegetable Seeds

veg seeds
Broad beans, carrots, lettuces, spinach, salad leaves, leeks,
and chard can all be sown as seed this month.
A wide variety of seeds are available from our Trading Centre.

Follow the instructions on the packet.
Where possible start them off in pots in the greenhouse,
or on a window ledge to ensure better results.

Don't sow entire packets of seed in one go!
Sow salads in short runs fortnightly for a continuous crop.

Sarah Raven: Top 5 vegetable seeds to sow in May.

Choose the Right Pot

The right pot can benefit a plant's health and life span.
Partner the pot size to the plants requirements.
Use the right compost for the plant.
Consider total weight to move or support.
Locate to the plant's needs.
Check pot is frost proof if in an outside location.

Miracle Gro How to pick the right pot for your plant.

RHS video: Guide to potting on.

Regular Watering and Feeding

The outer skin of tomatoes, potatoes and carrots,
harden under drought conditions.

Then when followed by heavy rain or watering,
the spurt of growth splits the skin,
making unsuitable for entering in a Show.

Regular watering and feeding ensures maximum crop yield,
and best appearance for the show bench.

RHS advice on watering.

Tallest Sunflower Record

The tallest sunflower record is held by
Hans-Peter Schiffer (according to the Guiness Book of Records)
standing 9.i7 m (30 ft 1 in) on 28 August 2014 in Kaarst, Germany.

How to grow the tallest Sunflowers: An Expert's Guide.

Pruning Evergreen shrubs

shrub pruning
May and the ideal time to prune evergreen shrubs,
also deciduous shrubs that have finished blooming.
Act before the new growth begins.

Cut out the dead, weak and branches that carried flowers.
Prune out the centre and cross over branches to open form.

RHS advice and guidance.

How To Garden: On Line Guides

shrub pruning
The Thompson and Morgan website hosts an interesting,
batch of How To Garden presentations.

Use this link to access: How To Gardening Guides.

Floral Cryptic 2 Solutions

1. Petunia2. Cornflower
3. Dandelion4. Columbine
5. Bulrushes6. Bluebell
7. Parlour Palm

8. Cowslip

June 2019

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Iris (Iridaceae)
When It’s Dry Attack Weeds
Plant Now For Autumn Colour
Flower Anagrams
Hints On Taking Cuttings
Home Truths
Potato Harvesting
Time To Thin Fruit
Low Asthma Gardening
On Line Gardening Advice

Home Page Photo: Iris (Iridaceae)

Iris are at their best in gardens now.
All are available in a rainbow of colours
types, versatility and heights.

They are among the most elegant and easy to grow of flowers,
Link: Doddington Hall's top iris tips.
Link: Irises care and variety guide

When It’s Dry Attack Weeds

When it’s dry, attack ground elder, lords and ladies
and the like with systemic weed killer painted onto the leaves.

Trail tips of bindweed into jam jars full of the same.

Link to: RHS guidance on using chemicals in the garden.

Plant Now For Autumn Colour

tuberous begonia
Plant bulbs now for a burst of colour later in the summer.
Dahlia, gladiolus, canna, crocosmia, tuberous begonia
and tigridia are all excellent candidates.

Visit our Trading Centre for a quality choice.

Flower Anagrams

1. Tears2. Ewes Peat3. Drainage
4. It's Love

5. Up List

6. O Mad Girl

Answers at the foot of this page.

Hints On Taking Cuttings

In 1933 Walter Brett the then editor of "Home Gardening",
edited "The Home Gardening Encyclopaedia",
published by C. Arthur Pearson Ltd.

448 pages of guidance for the "Home Gardener"
with a series of hand drawings to illustrate.

Some things never change.
Click to display page 105: Hints On Taking Cuttings.

Home Truths

Life is like a tin of sardines,
we are all looking for the key.

Never stand between a dog and a lamp post.

If if's and and's were pots and pans,
there'd be no work for tinkers' hands.

Fine words butter no parsnips.

Gossip needs no carriage.

The best fertilizer is a gardener's shadow.

Friends are the flowers in life's garden.

Gardeners don't get old, they go to pot.

The only thing I grow in my garden is tired.

Potato Harvesting

Harvest first and second early potatoes,
once flowers start to open.

Generally June/July for first early
and July/August for second earlies.

Leave maincrop in the ground till foliage dies.
Generally September/October.

RHS video:Harvesting and storing potatoes.

Time To Thin Fruit

Following the natural June drop it's worth reducing
numbers further for the best-size fruits.

Pears thin to two fruits per cluster, clusters 10-15cm apart.
Plums thin to 5-8cm apart.
Apples thin to one fruit per cluster with:
Dessert apples, thin to 10-15cm between clusters.
Cooking varieties, thin to 15-23cm between clusters.

RHS advice

Low Asthma Gardening

Asthma UK recommends gardeners with pollen sensitivities,
cultivate foxgloves, honeysuckle, lavender,
jasmine, sweet william and dahlias.

The pollen of these plants is hidden inside the petals
where as ornamental grasses and trees or shrubs with
catkins throw off large amounts of pollen into the air.

Direct link to: Asthma UK.

On Line Gardening Advice

Wyevale Garden Centres website hosts an interesting,
batch of How To Garden presentations.

Use this link to access: Gardening Advice.

Answers To Flower Anagrams

1. Aster2. Sweet Pea3. Gardenia
4. Violets

5. Tulips

6. Marigold