Purple crocus flowers

Five plants for spring colour

Has anyone else had enough of the grey clouds and muddy ground? I’m craving some colour – a burst of yellow, a rush of purple or a splash of orange. The garden is starting to show signs of spring growth, with the daffodils pushing up through the cold ground and buds beginning to form on […]

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Dandelion seed head

Dandelions… weeds or wildflowers?

Somewhere on the journey from childhood to gardener, there’s a point where certain flowers lose their innocence and become unwelcome residents in the garden. Dandelions are definitely one of these flowers. While at one time it was fun to blow gently on a dandelion clock and watch the soft, parachute-like seeds being carried gently away, […]

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Bumblebee on borage flower

Too many bees, or too few flowers?

Can there be too many bees? Especially when we are regularly reading about declining pollinator populations in the papers. But an article published last week by researchers from Cambridge University, suggests that efforts to reverse these declines may have become too focused on a single species. The honey bee has received a lot of attention […]

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Blue, white and yellow bouquet

The evolution of flower colour

Gardeners and florists use flowers in a range of colours to create their beautiful designs. Whether it’s restful blues and creams, or brash and energising oranges and reds, colour plays a major role in the pleasure we get from flowers. But those beautifully coloured petals aren’t really there for our enjoyment. They have evolved as […]

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Calendula flowers

Fast Flowers

Annuals are the fast-living members of the flowering plant world. Their entire life cycle, from seed germination to seed production, can be completed in just a few months. They have one purpose, there’s one reason for the flowers they produce, to make seed and ensure there will be a next generation. Annuals can bring almost […]

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Sweet peas

The monk and the school teacher – a sweet pea story

I used to grow flowers for cutting, and sold them through a local cafe. It soon became obvious any bunch of flowers containing sweet peas would sell whole a lot faster than those without them. Everyone loved the ‘old-fashioned’ scent sweet peas brought to a bouquet. But for cut flower growers there’s a trade-off between […]

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