Mandy Watson

Gardening: Look out for special deals at Harrogate Spring Flower Show

The Harrogate Spring and Autumn Flower Shows are the highlights of my gardening year, rated the best horticultural events in the country by Which?.

Asiatic lilies Bouquet Mixed in a shade of orange.

Gardening: Tips on growing lilies that are ideal for garden pots

Lilies are up there with roses as people’s favourite flowers and they’re ideal for growing in pots.

Last year's choice, Pastiche.

Gardening: Why sunflowers are ideal for children and beginners

Sunflowers are one of my all-time favourites, so I’m growing three varieties this year for a long season of colour.

Sungold truss.

Gardening: Still time to sow cherry tomatoes despite conditions

Like most of us, I’m way behind my usual schedule of sowing, thanks to the terrible weather.

Daffodil Tete a Tete in flower.

Gardening: Daffodils nearly three weeks later flowering than last year

It appears ‘better late than never’ looks like the gardening phrase of the year.

Bamboo gloves, secateurs and gardening pouch to raise cash for Breast Cancer Now. Picture by Town & Country

Gardening: Buy these products and support Breast Cancer Now

This week saw International Women’s Day and today is Mother’s Day, so what could be more fitting than gardening products to raise money for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity?

A blackbird and starling face off while a dunnock watches.

Gardening: The importance of feeding birds during cold weather

The so-called ‘Beast from the East’ could be the last straw for your garden birds.

Eucalyptus gunnii pruned to encourage new bluish-green round leaves.

Gardening: Get pruning to prepare for summer shows

Now’s the time to dust off your loppers, pruning saw and secateurs and prepare plants for a top show this summer.

Rose Generation Jardin. Picture by Woolmans

Gardening: Hanging basket lovers in for a treat with blooms

Begonia and hanging basket lovers are in for a treat with the fragrant Sweet Pearl Cascade, a cascading variety launched for this season.

Suncherry has a superb flavour.

Gardening: Cherry picking the best tomatoes to grow this year

If saving money and the best flavour is why you want to grow tomatoes this year, you really can’t beat cherry varieties.

Emerging pink rhubarb leaf and stem.

Gardening: Time to ‘force’ that trendy rhubarb for this year’s crop

Rhubarb is a traditional allotment favourite that’s become very trendy again, especially when it is forced, and now’s the time to do it.

A robin.

Gardening: Count the birds in your garden this weekend

It’s the world’s biggest wildlife survey, with about 500,000 people taking part in 2017 – and this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch (BGB) takes place from today until Monday (January 27-29).

Keep your apple and pear trees productive with winter pruning.

Gardening: Get pruning to ensure a good apple and pears crop

If you have an apple or pear tree, now’s the time to winter prune it to ensure a good crop of fruit in autumn. Unpruned trees become less productive and congested with old branches.

Despite its tropical looks, some palms will stand temperatures down to -8C - and snow.

Gardening: Red palm weevil brings ban on imports into the UK

In the last 10 years, hardy palms have become common plants in our gardens but a threat in mainland Europe has prompted the government to take drastic action.

A Christmas fir tree.

Gardening: Tips on planting out your potted Christmas trees

It’s time to take down your Christmas tree, but if you have a potted conifer with roots, what do you do with it?

Red holly berries are associated with Christmas.

Gardening: The plants commonly associated with Christmas

There are many plants that symbolise Christmas - holly, mistletoe and ivy being the obvious ones – but you’ll find a host of others associated with the festive season throughout the world.

A decorated Christmas tree.

Gardening: Making your Christmas tree last well beyond the festivities

A real tree or an artificial one? It’s an argument that’s gone on in our house for many years – the other half doesn’t want the bother of the needles, putting it up and disposing of its corpse.

Time lapse of Amaryllis flower.

Gardening: Make sure plants for gifts are sound and disease free

It’s that time of year again – stores that have absolutely no knowledge of selling or looking after plants are full of them – is there any wonder so many of them die after being given as gifts at Christmas?

Dwarf tulip Pinocchio.

Gardening: Beating the cold and wet soil for a good show of tulips

Got cold, wet soil? No problem! Big showy tulips don’t do well in my garden’s clay soil, so it’s pointless even trying.

Meconopsis Lingholm (Himalayan blue poppy). Picture by: Plant World Seeds

Gardening: Get free seeds with Plant World Seeds’ new catalogue

The Plant World Seeds offers have always been very popular – and here’s a new one to celebrate the company’s new catalogue.

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