Plant advice articles

Digitalis-mertonensis

Foiling Rabbits

Rabbits might be cute and cuddly, but for gardeners who live close to a rabbit population the sight of just one of these small creatures anywhere near our precious patch can send us into fits of rage. These, as we all know, are rapid reproducers, which means there are lots of mouths to feed. Rabbits are fearless munchers, nibbling leaves, flower stems and digging around the base of plants to get at young tender roots.

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Iris-honinington1

Dwarf Irises

Tall Bearded irises are gorgeous, but equally as beautiful and a less well known are Standard Dwarf Bearded irises, a title abbreviated to ‘SDB’. These short irises grow to between 21 cm and 40 cm high and usually flower in May, although in southern counties, and warm springs, they can start to bloom in April. The flowers are smaller than those of Tall Bearded varieties; sitting just above a low, clump of sword-like, grey-green leaves.

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Back-garden-feb-15

February

February is nearly be over, but it is never too late to start tidying the garden. With every sweep of the clippers and armful of decaying leaves signs of new life are being revealed. Spring is on its way! I actually started some weeks ago, when the ground was frozen, to cut back last year’s growth. Since autumn finished most perennials have descended into a mass of sticks and a mush of brown leaves.

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Iris-salamander-crossing5

Siberian irises

Sibirica, or siberian irises as they are commonly known produce slender leaves that form a very upright clump. Some varieties have thicker leaves that might arch out slightly, but generally, like all irises, the foliage is well behaved.

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