Gardening Blog

Changes to the BBC Gardening website

Matt Walker Matt Walker | 10:38 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2012

Many of the BBC's factual websites will be changing over the next twelve months.

Exciting changes are planned but in the short term, it means that we will no longer be updating some of our existing sites including BBC Gardening Online.

You'll still be able to access existing content but this blog post will be our last and the messageboard will shortly be closed to new activity.

We understand this messageboard is an important place for you to share ideas and we will be looking hard at finding fresh ways to allow you to socialise with each other.

More updates as we have them will be published on the BBC Internet Blog

Matt Walker
Managing Editor, BBC Gardening

Happy New Year!

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Sally Nex Sally Nex | 09:59 UK time, Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Gardening Blog team are taking a short break for a few weeks, but we'll be back later in January.

In the meantime, have a very Happy New Year and we wish you all the best for 2012!

'Tis the Season to be Holly

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Sally Nex Sally Nex | 09:03 UK time, Saturday, 24 December 2011

‘The holly and the ivy
When they are both full-grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown’

 Ilex aquifolium ‘Handsworth New Silver’ AGM

What would Christmas be without holly? Its red berries bedeck our Christmas puds and liven up the wreaths which hang on our doors: and never mind the extra food they provide for birds. But hollies come in lots of colours other than green. In fact there are almost 280 different hollies to choose from altogether; and Jonathan Hutchinson looks after 160 of them, growing in the National Collection of Ilex at RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon. Here’s his list of must-have hollies to grow in the garden. Happy Christmas!

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Winter Flowering Trees and Shrubs

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Robert Vernon Robert Vernon | 07:00 UK time, Monday, 19 December 2011

Prunus x subhirtella 'Fukubana'

Prunus x subhirtella 'Fukubana'

If you thought there wasn't much to look at outside at this time of year - think again. Dozens of beautiful trees and shrubs are at their colourful best in December and into early spring and here are some of my favourites.

Flourishing in the coldest part of our Derbyshire garden are some of the winter flowering cherries. Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' bears flutters of white flowers throughout winter from November till Easter; it's close relative, Prunus subhirtella 'Rosea' is similar with soft pink flowers.

The subtle difference, apart from the colour, which I have noted over the years is that the white form usually has a few flowers virtually continuously during winter unless the weather is exceptionally cold whereas the pink clone has bolder flushes of flowers off and on during this period.

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Will Sibley Will Sibley | 09:30 UK time, Friday, 16 December 2011

No other part of fruit growing creates more uncertainty and confusion than pruning.

Terminology such as renewal pruning, replacement pruning, tip bearers, spur bearers, fruit buds and growth buds abound and cause confusion and trepidation. And that's before the question of winter or summer pruning has been raised. So, as it's freezing out there, let's deal with winter pruning hints.

Pruning an apple tree

Pruning an apple tree

Get yourself a good sharp pair of secateurs and a modern pruning saw with a very sharp blade. Both will last you all your life with care.

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All I want for Christmas

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Sue Beesley Sue Beesley | 07:00 UK time, Sunday, 11 December 2011

It's easy to buy a plant for a gardener at Christmas, isn't it? You just pop into a garden centre and buy a bright poinsettia or, if you're really pushing the boat out, a pure white orchid tied primly to an upright cane, its roots creeping weirdly out of a seemingly undersized pot. If it was for me, a gift is a gift and I'd say thank you and try to mean it. But ask me what I really want...

I want scent, sweet and heady enough to uplift the grimmest winter day. I want a promise of pleasures yet to come as leaves slowly unfurl and brilliant colour follows. I want to caress a little treasure in my rough gardener's hands and imagine it growing with me for years. In short, I want my rustic heart to skip a beat on Christmas Day. Too much to ask of the time-pressed, non-gardening shopper? It's easy when you know how...

Hamamelis Jalena

Hamamelis Jalena

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