How to prune dwarf box hedging

The neat lines of well trimmed box hedging contribute so much to a garden. By contrast they seem to emphasise the form of adjacent plants whilst providing a direct link to the formal lines of nearby paving and brickwork. The architectural quality of clipped hedging connects the garden to the house geometrically.

Here’s how to get your clipping perfecting… Continue reading


How to prune box balls and topiary

▲ The box balls in front have just been clipped, but the large one at the rear waits its turn.

For good results you will need really sharp shears, one-handed shears or garden scissors for detail and some kind of mat or cloth to catch clippings. Continue reading

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How to create quality wire supports for walls and fences

A traditional starting point for training climbers on walls and fences is a system of tensioned horizontal wires. Ideally these wires should provide a permanent structure that needs little maintenance over the years, whilst creating a firm fixing for tendrils, shoots, branches and canes to be attached to. In this post I am looking at the best solution I have found so far: the Gripple Trellis System. Continue reading

Greenhouse 2017 – hot house plants

I’m using the staging and shelf at the north end of the greenhouse to grow a range of ornamentals, including fuchsias, ferns, hosts, pansies and plectranthus. For the most part they are watered from the automatic drip system which makes looking after them considerably easier. This end of the greenhouse now has a distinct humid atmosphere and an exotic spicy perfume thanks to a little hybrid pink. I’ve kept the colour scheme to pinks, purples and whites.

Greenhouse 2017 – the Veggies

I’ve planted the greenhouse with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and some hot-house ornamentals. Trying to cater for all of their needs is tricky: the tomatoes need good air circulation to avoid fungal diseases, but the aubergine and cucumber like a humid environment. This year I’m giving them all a bit more space and TLC. Continue reading