GardenMessenger

This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Living Room Friendly Poinsettias

'Stargazer Marble'

Researchers have developed a new strain of Poinsettia that is likely to prove much more living room friendly. Not that this was their original objective. For commercial producers of the plants it is increasingly important to explore ways of reducing the energy input into greenhouse production. As part of a collaborative project between breeder and commercial grower, Agriom and Florema, a new range of Poinsettia cultivars has been produced called ‘Eco-Stars’. Financial support for the research was provided by the Dutch Commodity Board for Horticulture.

The breeding objective was not just to create cultivars that grow and develop well at lower temperatures. They must also perform well at normal higher temperature regimes. This allows a grower, at any given time, to change between a high energy regime 20°C (68ºF) and a low energy regime 17°C (62ºF) in accordance with desired finishing times for the crop and relative energy costs. If a crop is growing too fast, or the delivery date for a client is postponed, a grower can switch from a high energy to low energy regime as part of the overall crop management. Another reason that these new cultivars must also perform well at a higher temperature regime is because growers will often have other crops in the same greenhouse block that require the higher energy regime.

So it would seem that the commercial grower is often faced with similar circumstances in terms of light and temperature variation as the home gardener, thus the adaptations in breeding made to create these new cultivars must have benefits to the gardener growing these plants in the house where both temperature variation and often extreme heat, along with variable light, often lead to the early demise of the plants. A number of selections in the ‘Eco-stars’ series have been made, named and are now available: ‘Stargazer Red’, StarGazer White’ and ‘Stargazer Marble’. Photo: Florema

To see these new cultivars illustrated on the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Friday, July 28, 2006

Companion Planting - Pest Deterrent Plants

Thyme deters cabbage loopers, cabbage worms and whiteflies

It is suggested that those who like to garden organically and in an eco-friendly way can do much to improve their chances of controlling insect pests by establishing deterrent plants. For centuries gardeners all over the world have made claims that particular plants control specific pests, but to date nothing has been proved unequivocally scientifically. However, many gardeners believe companion planting is beneficial, even if the results are not yet completely conclusive.


There is a comprehensive list now available on the GardenMessenger web-site. The list that follows is of accumulated knowledge from a number of both written and verbal sources. None of the plants mentioned should be depended upon as an alternative to good practical pest management, whether wholly organic or with the use of pesticides, but they are an interesting starting point for serious organic gardening research. To visit the list click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Vegetable Companions - Companion Planting

Tomato companion plants - asparagus, basil, cabbage, carrot, onion, parsley, pea, and sage

Those who like to garden organically and in an
eco-friendly way can do much to improve their gardening
by associating certain plants together. The concept of
Companion Planting is that there are certain plants that
confer benefits upon others if planted in close proximity.
These benefits may be pest and disease protection, or
merely contributing to the more lusty and healthy growth
of companions. Although there is scant scientific
evidence to support these theories, for centuries there
has been a belief amongst gardeners that benefits are
conferred by companion planting.

A list, which has been compiled from many sources, is now available on the GardenMessenger website click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Saving Your Own Tomato Seeds

Scoop out the seeds and the gel-like material.

It is essential when saving tomato seeds to only select fruits from plants that have all the desirable traits required for the next generation. They must also be growing lustily and in good health. Fruits showing any signs of disease should not be considered for seed saving. Collect the fruits when they have properly ripened. That is when they are red, pink, yellow, or occasionally green, according to cultivar. The seeds within will then have developed normally. Too early removal may impede the proper full development of the seeds.

If a hybridizing programme has been undertaken, then make sure that only fruits that have clipped sepals are harvested for seed. Where a number of different crosses have been made take great care over labelling. Fruits are best placed in separate bags. Never place fruits that are to be used for seed harvesting in metal containers as the metal may react with the acids in the tomato and affect seed viability.

This is part of an introduction to a photographic step-by-step sequence that takes the home gardener through all the necessary processes to ensure successfully prepared home grown tomato seeds. It has been posted today on the GardenMessenger web-site. To visit click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Shovel King

A three-in-one tool

It is always fascinating to come across innovation in gardening, especially when it is said to make life easier. UK-based ISO Manufacturing has recently patented an adjustable tool called the "Shovel-King". This is due for launch at the UK Garden and Leisure Exhibition in September. The tool has a mechanism that can be adjusted to four positions by the operation of a lever within the handle. The blade then locks in place at the appropriate angle. Minimum effort is required – the spade does the work, therefore helping lessen the risk of back strain. The "Shovel-King" is a 3-in-1 product designed primarily for builders – one shovel replaces three. It can be used as a hoe for trench digging, at waist height for loading a concrete mixer, as a dustpan for sweeping up and as a conventional shovel. The inventor is a builder who thought of the idea when he injured his back working on a building site.

This is just one of the news items posted today on the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tomato Hybridizing

Removing the anther cone

Although for many gardeners, gathering seeds from tomatoes to carry over for the following year is just a matter of gathering fruits from plants with desirable traits, it is not the ideal practice. Conventional vining salad tomatoes (i.e. those other than cherry or currant fruiting kinds, and those with potato-like foliage), rarely ever cross- pollinate and generally produce progeny that are very similar to the parent. However, in order to produce either high quality lines of self-fertilized traditional tomatoes, or to create your own new hybrids, a properly prepared hybridizing programme is necessary.

On the GardenMessenger web-site I have created four pages with step by step sequences of how to hybridize your own tomatoes, from selecting the parent plants, until the first fruits for. To visit click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tatton Park Flower Show Garden Winners

Flower show gardens can be pure theatre, sometimes very silly, often unintelligible, but all are fun, and amongst all the friviolity and celebrity there are often exciting and innovative ideas that can be extracted and used in our own gardens. I have taken the 2006 Gold Medal award winning gardens at the Tatton Park Flower Show and presented them on the GardenMessenger web-site. This show is held annually under the direction of the Royal Horticultural Society in the north-west of England and produces some fascinating design ideas. An example of these gardens is Andy Kirman's Inside Out. The description of this garden, and the others, is by the designer, the photos from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Andy Kirman - Inside Out

Andy Kirman - Inside Out
Inside Out embraces the concept of using garden space as an additional room. It encompasses contemporary design solutions, while remaining practical and stylish. It also takes into account wildlife needs and recycling issues. The garden’s focal point is a superb elliptical table/water feature and seating. Freshly baked bread or pizza can be served from the hand-built earth oven, accompanied by salad and herbs from the borders. The black granite-style material used in the garden is made from environmentally friendly recycled coffee cups. It provides a lovely backdrop to the planting, which has been chosen to provide food and shelter for wildlife as well as visual interest, with colours ranging from oranges through to deep purples. A composter, space-saving water butt and wheely/recycling bins are all concealed within the design, and there is storage space beneath the flower beds. This means the garden is highly functional as well as stylish. In essence, the garden reflects the ethos of Kirman Design by showing how even a small space can be modern, practical and environmentally responsible.

To see all the Tatton Park Flower Show Gold Medal award winning gardens click here

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tomato Problems

Late or Potato Blight

One of the most active groups in the GardenMessenger Community is that devoted to the growing of tomatoes, both heirloom and modern kinds. In response to the needs of the TomatoMessenger group a practical information section of the GardenMessenger web-site is being developed and the first of a series of Tomato Growing Guides has been added today. The subject:- Tomato Problems - Fungal Diseases. To provide a glimpse of the way in which the subject is being approached, the reference to Late or Potato Blight is given here.

Late or Potato Blight - Phytophthora infestans
Occurs: Especially in temperate areas and sub-tropical highlands.
Symptoms: A very common disease that causes water-soaked patches and lesions to appear on stems and leaves, often causing entire foliage loss. Large leathery lesions appear on fruits at all stages of development.
Development: Extended periods of rain or leaf wetness in cooling temperatures provide the ideal conditions for the disease’s occurrence. It does not occur in hot dry weather.
Control: The disease persists in live plant debris, especially volunteer potato tubers, the spores being carried on the wind and by the splash of water, so good garden hygiene is essential. There are fungicides which will control the disease.

To learn more about other tomato fungal diseases click here

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pumpkin and Squash Guide

Pumpkin 'Hundredweight'

I am continuing to write the basic gardening guides for GardenMessenger members and others who visit the GardenMessenger website. Amongst the latest is a brief review of the cultivation of pumpkins and squashes.

Pumpkins and Squashes
Pumpkins and squashes are both fun and economical plants to grow. While it is true that they can occupy a considerable space in the vegetable garden, they can be highly productive. Pumpkins are often objects of fun and considered to be fruits that are grown for their spectacular size, rather than their nutritional value.

It is true that it is a satisfying achievement to grow a monster fruit, but when cultivated in a more rational manner the yield of high quality fruit is an excellent return for the time and space expended. The best known pumpkin cultivar is called ‘Hundredweight’, but both ‘Atlantic Giant’ and ‘Jack O' Lantern’ are widely grown.

The related squashes are not as well known in Europe as in North America where they are staple diet. In Europe the most widely grown are ‘Hubbard's Golden Squash’ and ‘Acorn Squash’, along with various crook-neck cultivars. For those who are not familiar with them, squashes all produce fruits which have the quality of very firm marrows.

All pumpkins and most squashes are trailing plants that require an open sunny position and a free-draining, richly organic soil. They are usually sown under glass or on the window ledge during spring, although in frost-free districts they can be sown directly in the open ground. Here two or three seeds are sown in a group at regular stations on the plot and the emerging seedlings are thinned to the strongest.

Indoors the seeds are sown individually in small pots of a good seed compost and pot grown until it is safe to plant out once the danger of frost has passed, usually during late spring or early summer. They must be kept weed-free and well watered particularly during dry spells. The fruits are harvested regularly as they mature. Unblemished ripened fruits of most squashes are easily stored in a cool, dry, frost-free place.

When growing a giant pumpkin it is usual to restrict fruiting. Once the plant has become established it will quickly develop spreading growths that will produce flowers and fruits. Allow three fruits to set. Then remove the first one and observe the other two. When these reach the size of a tennis ball remove the weaker. Keep all the lateral shoots trimmed back to three leaves from the main stem and keep well watered.
Photo: Suttons Seeds

To view all the Vegetable Gardening Guides on the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hampton Court - Design Ideas

The annual Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is over and its show gardens have been dismantled. As usual there has been a lot of interesting innovation as well as a fair measure of theatre. It is a pity to let the event pass without picking out some of the different and often bizarre exhibits, which either provide inspiration or offer warnings as to what might not be such a good idea. So I have made a selection that is presented on the GardenMessenger web-site. It is purely arbitrary, and is intended to record some of the design features that are rarely encountered elsewhere. To provide a taste of these designs I have produced a sample below. The description is that of the designer.

LandArt

Alan Gardner Garden Design
LandArt

Inspired by an art form known as Land Art, Alan Gardner’s design takes the premise of constructing shapes from soil or sand and transfers it to a garden setting. Three cones measuring 2m, 3m and 4m in diameter are constructed at 33º angles and are the main focus of this daring installation. On the right hand side of the garden is a circular lawn within which sits an inverted cone of turf. At the rear is a grass-fronted bank planted across the middle with five multi-stemmed silver birches that cast interesting shadows on the sand cones beneath.The low-maintenance planting scheme is made up of bamboos, moisture-loving grasses and marginal plants to add to the riverbank feel. Photo: RHS
To see further design examples click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Monday, July 17, 2006

Calandiva – the Camel of House Plants

'Leonardo'

The house plant industry is hailing the latest series of Kalanchoe hybrids as not only being the most spectacular yet, but also amongst the easiest of house plants to care for. Those who are responsible for informing us gardeners and the wider flower-loving public of this astonishing new range of plants are calling them the Camel of House Plants, referring to their requirement for a drop of water now and again.

Breeding of these full-blossomed hybrids started in 2002 with ‘Leonardo’, a purple-flowered chance find, named by Ike Vlielander, the breeder of the series, for his brother-in-law. This mutation, discovered in a commercial crop of Kalanchoe in Sweden, had 32 petals to each flower rather than just 4. From this individual a wonderful series of uniform cultivars in different colours has been bred. Requiring a minimum of 15ºC (59ºF), and little else but good light, they are perfect, not only as house plants, but as summer inhabitants of tubs, containers and window boxes. Marketed under the brand name of Calandiva, these are great plants for the gardener, both the novice and the more experienced.

To see the full range of Calandiva visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Monday, July 10, 2006

Broccoli and Calabrese, and Vegetable Gardening Guides

Growing Guide

During the last few days I have been preparing some more Gardening Guides for the GardenMessenger web-site. This time they are introductions to Vegetable Gardening, dealt with crop by crop. To give an idea of their scope the following is the Vegetable Guide for Broccoli and Calabrese

Broccoli is now a name restricted to sprouting broccoli, the so-called cauliflower broccoli being regarded as winter and spring cauliflowers respectively. Sprouting broccoli in both its purple and white forms are invaluable green vegetable crops for the darkest days of winter in cold and temperate areas.

There are two main purple sprouting cultivars known quite logically as ‘Early Purple Sprouting’ and ‘Late Purple Sprouting’. The early kind can be harvested from late autumn until mid-winter, when the late kind takes over and continues until the middle of spring. White sprouting broccoli is late maturing and usually ready to pick at the same time as the later purple kinds.

Calabrese is grown rather like sprouting broccoli, but is not as tough. It is sown during spring and harvested in late summer or autumn. The heads that are harvested are bright or grey-green, fewer in number, and larger than sprouting broccoli. There are innumerable cultivars, but ‘Express Corona’ and ‘Corvet’ are well tried kinds.

Sprouting broccoli and calabrese are sown at varying times during the spring according to cultivar. It is best to sow them in a nursery bed and then transplant them as young plants in their permanent positions. Both broccoli and calabrese germinate freely and should be sown very thinly. They are subject to flea beetle attacks in their seedling stages and dusting with an insecticidal powder is a wise precaution. Flea beetles pepper the leaves of seedling brassicas with tiny holes and often cause their demise.

Once the first two or three true leaves appear the plants can be planted in their permanent positions. The planting distances depend upon the cultivar, but sufficient space should be left between the rows to permit regular hoeing. Soil preparations for broccoli and calabrese are very important. The soil should be in good heart, but must not have been recently dressed with organic matter as this may promote soft, cold-vulnerable growth. Prior to planting the soil should be firmed and raked.

To visit the Vegetable Gardening Guides presently on the GardenMessenger web-site, visit click here

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here


Friday, July 07, 2006

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show Secure

Uncertainty ended

Melbourne City Council, Victoria, Australia, have resolved to extend the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) licence for a further two years at the Carlton Gardens. MIFGS’ three year licence for use of the Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens expired this year. The City of Melbourne’s Marketing and Events Committee has voted to extend the licence for a further two years at that site.

Lord Mayor John So praised MIFGS as the premier flower and garden show in the southern hemisphere. "The Melbourne Flower Show contributes to Melbourne’s reputation as a vibrant, international and liveable city. Over 1.2 million people have attended the Show since its inception in 1996 and the event has a total economic impact for Victoria between AU$8 and AU$9 million annually.

The original license was set for a period of three years with an optional extension fora further two years. The license incorporated requirements to protect the gardens and its heritage features. A report by an independent heritage consultant who monitored the event and its impact on the Carlton Gardens site showed that the event complied with the requirements of the license and had no long term negative impact on the site.
The next show is scheduled for 28th March - 1st April 2007

For details of major world horticultural shows and events, visit the ever-growing Events and Shows section of the GardenMessenger web-site click here

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rose Garden of Excellence 2006 and Festival of Roses

Coughton Court rose labrynth

The Rose Labyrinth, within the historic walled garden at Coughton Court near Alcester, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, has been given the Award of Garden Excellence for 2006 by the World Federation of Rose Societies, which represents 100,000 rose lovers worldwide.The garden was designed by Christina Williams, whose family have lived at Coughton Court for nearly 600 years. The labyrinth features more than 150 different cultivars of shrub, climbing and rambling roses. I was delighted to hear the news, as I was the adviser for the technical development and creation of the rose garden as well as the wider garden for the six years from its inception until it was officially opened. The Throckmorton family, who have developed the garden in association with the National Trust, have also kindly named part of the garden for me. So if you ever get to visit this lovely garden, think of me as you walk through the area known as Philip’s Garden!

This week the Festival of Roses takes place at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. For full details of the award winning growers and to view the new roses launched at the show click here

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.
To visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Show Gardens Review, Shady Colour, Design and Landscape Group

Opposite Attraction

BBC Gardeners' World Live 2006 - Show Gardens Review
This week I seem to have been completely overwhelmed by garden design and landscaping, especially from the garden shows. Whatever you think of the show gardens at major shows - real gardening or pure theatre - there are always things that you can learn for your own garden if you look carefully. Today on the GardenMessenger web-site there is a review of some of the gardens presented at the annual BBC Gardeners’ World Live Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham UK. The descriptions are those provided by the designers. My choice for the blog is an interesting one with some lively ideas.

Opposite Attraction
Key Garden Design

Based around the premise that opposites attract, the black and white scheme depicted in this garden represents man and woman – perhaps the owners of this delightful garden. Man-made materials provide the backbone to the garden and are softened with modern cottage garden plants and some less than cottage garden plants, providing an area in which to spend time to reflect on our own relationships and those within our society. Silver Gilt Flora Medal
Photo:BBC Gardeners World Live

Colourful Solutions for Shady Gardens
Using masses of colourful foliage beneath carefully selected trees and shrubs, the staff at Swanson’s Nursery in Seattle, WA, United States, show their customers that hardy perennials offer much more than flowers.

Ellerslie Flower Show Tertiary Competition
Ellerslie Flower Show, New Zealand’s largest flower and garden show, sponsors this competition, providing a great opportunity for New Zealand tertiary students to launch a landscape design career.

To review the gardens and read other Design News click here.

GardenMessenger Design and Landscape Group

Welcome to the group

Part of the reason for all the frenzied activity with topics related to garden design and landscaping during the past week or so, has been pressure from GardenMessenger members for more information on the subject. There seems to be an insatiable demand for information and inspiration. So responding to this need a subgroup for those interested in both the design elements, and the practical landscaping aspects of gardening has been established. This, we hope will become a community of gardeners, designers and landscapers, both amateur and professional who are united by an interest in creating and enjoying beautiful gardens. Whether you have a home garden to transform, or a more extensive landscaping project, you will be very welcome. We are going to discuss everything from tree planting and drainage to plant combinations and maintenance. The discussions and opportunities for exchanging knowledge and making new friends are limitless. Already in two days we have over 100 members. To join click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

If you have enjoyed this publication, you may also like to visit the monthly SeedMessenger gardeners’ seed saving and seed exchange blog click here.
and the weekly water gardening blog PondMessenger click here.

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the SeedMessenger seed exchange web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Hot Springs

Today one of the most important international flower and garden shows opens just outside London in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, this is a show that is noted world-wide for its innovative garden designs, especially its annual display of show water gardens. This year`s winner of the coveted Tudor Rose Award and a Gold Medal in the Show Water Gardens section is the Dorset Water Lily Company with their garden entitled Hot Springs.

Introducing the garden, the winners say "Hot Springs has been designed and built to illustrate, with our increasingly warm climate, how many semi-tropical and exotic plants can now be grown outdoors in the UK. The greater proportion of plants and trees in this garden originated in the southern hemisphere, brought back to Europe by the explorers, botanists and collectors who ventured to the New World. Looking across a lushly planted pond with its soothing, bubbling water and gentle drifting stream, the onlooker is invited to walk across a rustic bridge to a hideaway on stilts, standing in water. Using plants such as lotus, ferns, cannas, bananas and tree ferns, this exotic garden takes on a semi-tropical atmosphere."

To review all the results for the Show Gardens and design sections, as well as the award winning gardens visit the GardenMessenger web-site click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

If you have enjoyed this publication, you may also like to visit the monthly SeedMessenger gardeners’ seed saving and seed exchange blog click here.
and the weekly water gardening blog PondMessenger click here.

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the SeedMessenger seed exchange web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Monday, July 03, 2006

Phlox - Plant of the Month, Water Gardens and Conceptual Gardens

Phlox ‘Little Princess’

Phlox has been named Plant of the Month by the Dutch nursery industry. Phlox are a large group of frost-hardy perennials with a diverse range of cultural requirements. The majority, especially those that are widely grown in mixed plantings and known as Border Phlox, require a rich, moist, well-drained organic soil if they are to prosper. They are intolerant of drought and should be watered in dry spells, ideally early in the morning. Overhead watering must be avoided and a summer mulch that keeps the roots cool and moist is appreciated. Phlox prefer full sun and need good air circulation, so space the plants generously when planting and thin out over-crowded shoots early on in the season. Remove flower panicles as they fade in order to prolong flowering and prevent unwanted self-seeding. Cultivars do not come true from seed. The Dutch nursery industry make a number of recommendations for cultivars that have proved themselves over time and are widely available click here.

Water Gardens - Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
The water gardens are a regular and well established feature at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. This is a preview of the water garden features for the 2006 show which starts tomorrow. The descriptions are those provided by the exhibitors to the Ryal Horticultural Society. To visit click here.

Conceptual Gardens - Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Conceptual Gardens is a new category for 2006 and open to students and graduates of garden or landscape design. The exhibitors have been challenged to create innovative gardens which push the boundaries of design. All the Conceptual Gardens designers have been awarded a grant of £6,000 from the Royal Horticultural Society and must demonstrate that their design can be created within this capped budget. To visit click here.

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

If you have enjoyed this publication, you may also like to visit the monthly SeedMessenger gardeners’ seed saving and seed exchange blog click here.
and the weekly water gardening blog PondMessenger click here.

To join the GardenMessenger gardening community
click here
.

To visit the SeedMessenger seed exchange web-site
click here
.



Directory of Gardening Blogs

Site Meter