Julie Mckenna

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Gardens: layering bulbs

Anyone with a passion for bulbs will be familiar with the conundrum: how can you squeeze as many different species as possible into a small space? Rod and Jane Leeds have the answer. They take advantage of the fact that different bulbs need to be planted at different depths to perform their best by …

Bunny Guinness's top tips for spring gardening

Greenhouses are bursting with life as plug trays of seedlings show the benefits of early season warmth<p>The weather has been so mild recently that I see my neighbour’s pelargoniums have survived outside, as has my wasabi. Quite what the weather will do over the next few weeks is anybody’s guess, but …

Gardening calendar: plant lilies and mow the lawn

Your top 10 tasks for the garden this week, from planting lily bulbs to giving the lawn a spring trim<p><b>1. Display hellebores</b><p>They are at their best now. The most glamorous varieties are the garden hybrid or <b>Lenten hybrid</b> <b>hellebores</b>, which come in an exotic range of flower forms and colours. If a stem …

Grow Up! How to Design Vertical Gardens for Tiny Spaces

If you’re one of the many people in the northern hemisphere who are counting down the days ’til springtime, chances are you may have also been …

Gardeners' World – TV review

A new series of Gogglebox in an ambitious new Friday slot was the TV event of last night. But it is edited late, and preview copies weren't available in time for old-fashioned print deadlines. So we're left with <b>Gardeners' World (BBC2)</b>. That sounds like it's some kind of bum deal. Not a bit of it. I …

Ten gardening apps now that spring is finally arriving

After what seems like relentless months of rain, it is at least attempting to be spring: the soil is warming, the buds swelling and the blossom starting to pop.<p>Whether you're an active gardener, like nosing over the fence at others' gardens, or just like imagining that one day that patch out the …

Gardens: trees of life

Last summer, on a still, bright day in August, the quiet was broken by a thundering crack, followed by a thud which shook the ground. It was one of those rare moments when time moves in slow motion, and as we glanced up from the vegetable garden to the source of the sound we saw an enormous branch …

Is the ban on gardeners using peat really so unfair?

Peat bogs are prodigiously talented. Globally they store twice the carbon locked in forests. It's estimated that the atmospheric carbon stored in peat bogs over the past 10,000 years has reduced global temperatures by 1.5-2C. Globally, 10% of available freshwater is held in them. New research from …

Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst review – a wealth of inspiration for gardeners

You might be forgiven for wondering whether we need another book on Sissinghurst. It is only five years since Adam Nicolson, grandson of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, produced <i>Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History</i>. That beautifully written meditation was underscored by a crusading practical …