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Find out how to make the most of your soil by using mulches and compost
Mulching around plants preserves moisture and cuts down weeding - a time saver for gardeners.
Agapanthus (African lily) are summer-flowering perennial plants, grown for their showy flowers, commonly in shades of blue and purple, but also white and pink. They thrive in any well-drained, sunny position in the garden, or grow these beauties in containers.
Apples are easy to grow, productive and there are varieties and growth forms for every garden. You can even grow them in containers. They should be valued as a long term investment as they take a few years to crop, but once they start, they will do so for many years.
One of the most sought-after vegetables, asparagus is easy to grow on well-drained soil or in raised beds, as long as it is kept well fed and weed-free.
Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is native to the UK. It is deciduous but when grown as hedging and trimmed annually in August, the leaves will usually be retained in a dry state throughout most of the winter. This enhances its winter appearance and gives value as a year round screen.
Blueberries produce not only delicious fruits, but also attractive flowers and vivid autumn colour. Best suited to acidic soils, they can be grown in the garden or in containers.
Box (Buxus) is commonly planted in gardens as a clipped, formal plant or hedge, although there are many types available that are ideal for naturalistic planting. While box has been a traditional stalwart in gardens, it is now proving more difficult to grow well due to disease and pests marring their neat appearance.
Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) is a common sight in the British countryside. Although less common in gardens, it can be a tough plant to remove. Issues over bracken toxicity and its use as a soil improver are also of importance to gardeners.
Camellias are one of the most popular winter- and spring-flowering shrubs, providing a vivid splash of colour when little else is in bloom. Although they need acid soil, they are easy to grow in containers of ericaceous (acidic) potting compost.
Campsis, or trumpet vine as it is commonly known, is a self-clinging climber grown for its clusters of showy, exotic orange to red or yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers.
Poultry manure is often sold in dried and pelleted form by garden centres and is a good non-chemical fertiliser. Dried, pelleted and powdered forms are distinct from fresh domestic poultry litter, which is best used on the compost heap.
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