A show garden with shade-loving plants

What does it take to build a show garden?

Well, for one thing, building a show garden takes a lot of hard work. That’s what I discovered when I helped my garden designer friend Robin build his show garden for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival. His garden was called Out of Darkness and it showed how any shady area can be transformed into a haven…

Close-up of strawberries

Grow fruit and veg for love, not money

There’s lots of evidence that growing your own fruit and veg can save you a bit of money. For example, Jono from Real Men Sow saved £500 in a year. But I think you’ll get on better if you do it for love, not money. Here’s why. Suppose you have a truly amazing growing season and…

Strawberry plants growing in a raised bed

Strawberries versus squirrel: round two

In our small town garden we’re able to grow strawberries with only minimal protection. Last year, I just strung a few milk bottle tops over the rows to scare off any birds that hadn’t been driven away by the neighbourhood cats. My parents aren’t so lucky. They’re further out in the countryside and their hedges…

Tomato plant growing up string

How do you support your greenhouse tomatoes?

I’ve tried a few different ways of supporting my greenhouse tomatoes, usually involving a tangle of garden canes. But I’ve not really been entirely happy with the results; there’s always been a bit too much flopping around when the plants are laden with fruits. So this year I’m trying out growing them up strings tied to…