Clare Foster

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in May | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
14.05.2024

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in May | House & Garden

May is historically the hungry gap in the vegetable garden, because it is the time when the winter crops run out and before the summer crops get going. If you have been well organised, you may have some early crops of salad leaves, broad beans, radishes and even strawberries to harvest towards the end of the month – as well as asparagus, which is at its prime now. But the main focus this month is the sowing, nurturing and tending of your crops, as growth accelerates. Potatoes should be earthed up so the tubers are not exposed to light, while peas and broad beans need supporting with pea sticks or canes and twine as they get bigger. Weeding must be done regularly (little and often is my motto) and, if the weather is dry, watering is essential. It is best done as a thorough soak every few days rather than a scant daily sprinkling. At the start of May, I sow tender crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes in seed trays and individual pots. I keep these in the greenhouse until later in the month, when it has warmed up and they can go outside. As the month goes on, the focus shifts to planting out. I find it very satisfying to be able to plant a neat row of seedlings along a garden line, rather than try the lottery of direct sowing into the ground, then thinning out. Using the no-dig method, I will have already prepared my beds with a layer of well-rotted compost. Just before planting out, I will rake the bed to break down any larger clods and give the seedlings a better chance of establishing.

A potted history of the Chelsea Flower Show | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Britain
houseandgarden.co.uk
19.05.2024

A potted history of the Chelsea Flower Show | House & Garden

For the last 19 years I have spent the third week in May at the Chelsea Flower show. It's one of those Great British institutions that just has to be experienced — a chance to see the country's best horticultural performers all in one space, to glean ideas, spot trends and talk to the people who make our gardens grow.

Writer Olivia Laing's quest for a personal Eden in her Suffolk garden | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - France
houseandgarden.co.uk
14.05.2024

Writer Olivia Laing's quest for a personal Eden in her Suffolk garden | House & Garden

At the back of the house, Adirondack chairs are placed beside a border with a small standard wisteria, a box spiral and purple Iris ‘Art Deco’ set off by lime-green euphorbia. An unknown red rose on the wall is from Mark Rumary’s 1960s scheme.

Our garden editor's perfect planting scheme for spring borders | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
03.05.2024

Our garden editor's perfect planting scheme for spring borders | House & Garden

Putting plants together is the most creative and joyful part of making a garden. With colour, shape and texture, you can conjure up a living work of art, something that not only gives you sensory pleasure but also benefits wildlife and the environment. But with so many options available to us, where do we start? I always think back to the plantswoman Beth Chatto and her mantra ‘right plant, right place’ when conceiving a plan, because there is no point in rushing to place your favourite sun-loving flowers in a shady spot at the back of a north-facing house. ‘Plants, like people, have their preferences and don’t like being thrust into the nearest available hole,’ she observed.

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in April | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Netherlands
houseandgarden.co.uk
03.05.2024

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in April | House & Garden

This is one of the busiest months in the vegetable garden with a flurry of sowing. I tend to sow most things in seed trays or modules initially, but the soil should be warm enough now to direct-sow most hardy vegetable varieties, including beetroot, chard, carrots and salad crops, straight into the ground. If doing this, use a traditional garden line to create drills and follow the spacing guidelines on each seed packet. Tender crops can also be sown under cover, in modular seed trays (tomatoes, sweet peppers and chillies) or 6-7cm pots (courgettes and squash). Pot these on as they get larger, or plant outside once the weather is warmer towards the end of May.

The 50 best gardening accounts to follow on Instagram | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
04.03.2024

The 50 best gardening accounts to follow on Instagram | House & Garden

Instagram is a constant source of inspiration for those of us in the design world. Bursting with beautiful interiors and gardens, it's the perfect way to keep up with the news and, frankly, to just wallow in lovely imagery. Here are our picks of the best gardeners to follow, from the world's top garden designers to exciting emerging talents.

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in March | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
04.03.2024

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in March | House & Garden

This is a purposeful moment in the vegetable garden. Spring is in the air and I’m gearing up for the busiest time of year. You can start sowing hardy crops such as broad beans, chard, beetroot, lettuce and carrots. But the weather and soil can still be cold in March, so only sow seeds outdoors if you are feeling confident it is warm enough. Alternatively – and, I think, preferably – you can start sowing these crops under cover, either germinating them indoors and growing them on in a cold frame, or in a greenhouse. Sowing seeds in trays and modules gives you more control, as you can plant them out as seedlings rather than taking the risk of leaving them to germinate in the ground. A compromise is to sow seeds in raised troughs, where the soil will be warmer and you can cover them with cloches or panes of glass to protect them further. However, onion sets and garlic can be planted straight out in the garden now.

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in January | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
09.02.2024

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in January | House & Garden

If one of your New Year resolutions is to grow fruit and vegetables, take the time now to design the plot and you will reap the rewards in just a few months. I started six years ago with a blank canvas – just a patch of lawn divided into various spaces, including a vegetable garden. Separated from the rest of the garden by a hornbeam hedge and a trellis of espaliered apples, my vegetable plot is 11.3 x 5.3 metres, with an extra 3.7 metres square tagged onto the side to make it L-shaped. A greenhouse at the far end faces out over three long raised beds and a square bed to the side.

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in February | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Georgia
houseandgarden.co.uk
09.02.2024

How to start a kitchen garden: what to do in February | House & Garden

A small vegetable garden sits in front of the guest house at this elegant Georgian home in Oxfordshire

How to make the most of colour in the autumn garden | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk
houseandgarden.co.uk
12.12.2023

How to make the most of colour in the autumn garden | House & Garden

The colours of autumn are so evocative. Russet, ochre and translucent crimson can look magnificent against a clear blue sky – or more importantly they can light up a dull grey day, catching the eye and cheering the heart. It is fascinating to know a little about the science behind the colour change in the second half of the year, as explained by Chris Clennett at Kew: ‘Trees, like most plants, use chlorophyll to photosynthesise…In autumn, trees that lose their leaves for winter go through a process to shut down photosynthesis and reclaim as many valuable chemicals as possible. Chlorophyll is constantly breaking down and being replaced through the summer, but the process slows down in autumn. This reveals all those other chemicals that were hidden by the presence of the dominant green chlorophyll…yellow flavonols, orange carotenoids and red to purple anthocyanins.’

How to grow hellebores | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Britain - Greece
houseandgarden.co.uk
30.11.2023

How to grow hellebores | House & Garden

Who would be without a hellebore or two in the dark months of February and early March, when we long for the onset of spring? Their generous, characterful flowers bring colour and hope to the garden when we need it most, and they really don’t need much to keep them happy.

Inside an Englishwoman’s dahlia-filled garden in Connecticut | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Britain - state Connecticut
houseandgarden.co.uk
30.11.2023

Inside an Englishwoman’s dahlia-filled garden in Connecticut | House & Garden

You can take an Englishwoman out of England, but you can’t change a deeply ingrained English garden aesthetic. Pom Shillingford has lived in America for 26 years, but she still yearns for the garden she knew as a child — her grandmother’s beloved Arts & Crafts garden in Hampshire, which she remembers always being filled with seasonal flowers. She and her husband David and their three young children moved from Manhattan to the small town of Salisbury in Connecticut in 2013. ‘I had always loved Manhattan, but suddenly I didn’t love it any more and needed to go back to green fields and the outdoors,’ says Pom.

The best plants for a front garden | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Japan
houseandgarden.co.uk
30.11.2023

The best plants for a front garden | House & Garden

Clare Foster's own front garden in Berkshire, with loose planting anchored around clipped spheres of silvery Teucrium fruticans

Ornamental Grasses for Autumn Colour in the garden | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - New Zealand
houseandgarden.co.uk
30.11.2023

Ornamental Grasses for Autumn Colour in the garden | House & Garden

Most ornamental grasses will stay intact through the latter part of the year, providing useful colour and structure in the autumn, when herbaceous plants are dying back. Some are particularly vibrant, picking up on the colours of the trees to echo their shades of russet and yellow, but with lower, softer silhouettes and lots of movement. Using them is easy. Weave them into a herbaceous border, or create more impact in larger gardens by repeat planting, as Piet Oudolf did at Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire, with his sinuous banks of Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Poul Petersen'. Some grasses are deciduous while others are evergreen. It is the deciduous grasses that can dramatically change colour during the autumn.

Why nerines are the perfect flower for autumn | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Britain - France - South Africa - Japan
houseandgarden.co.uk
23.09.2023

Why nerines are the perfect flower for autumn | House & Garden

Nerine ‘Sparkle’ is a hybrid derived from the more tender N. sarniensis, the original Guernsey Lily. Ideal for growing in a conservatory or glasshouse, the sarniensis hybrids have a wider colour range than the hardier species, and typically their flowers appear before their leaves, on a tall, elegant steam.

Agapanthus: How to plant, grow and care for the flowers in the UK | House & Garden - houseandgarden.co.uk - Britain - South Africa
houseandgarden.co.uk
23.08.2023

Agapanthus: How to plant, grow and care for the flowers in the UK | House & Garden

Hailing from South Africa, agapanthus can be evergreen or deciduous; the deciduous varieties are the most hardy in this country. The evergreen varieties grow in the southern Cape in milder areas, so will need frost protection in the UK – or they can be grown in pots and brought inside.

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