If you’re short of time but want a riot of colour and some architectural gems on your patio, you may be best off choosing perennials, flowering shrubs and evergreens when you plant up your summer containers.
Jo Whittingham: Autumn harvest should still be going strong
This month the garden definitely starts to wind down as the nights grow cooler and the days grow shorter. After our rather mixed bag of a summer, my greenhouse tomatoes only started ripening in quantity two or three weeks ago, leaving a substantial crop of fruits still to take on a hint of orange, let alone turn red.
Jenny Mollison: Hedge your bets to keep buffeting winds at bay
This year few of us escaped the strong winds which buffeted Scotland in early August. I’m fairly philosophical if my bean poles get blown over in September, but not when cropping has only just begun. Tall peas and beans were taking a hammering. I was not alone in heading for the plots to make emergency reinforcements. My neighbour was anchoring his down with a washing line and tent pegs.
Allotment Tales: Battles on Home Front changed landscape
The centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest of the First World War, is being commemorated this year. As the conflict dragged on, a stark realisation that the war was going to be a long, drawn-out affair dawned. Germany was nearly self-sufficient in home-grown food compared with only 45 per cent of UK food being home-produced. The Dig for Victory campaign is associated with the Second World War, but providing home-grown food was just as important in the First World War as German U-boats targeted food supply ships.
Jenny Mollison: Pleasure comes from the process, not the end result
I once spoke in a debate against the motion “a garden is a paradise but gardening is purgatory”. I’m pretty sure that most allotment plot-holders will agree with me that visiting beautiful parks and gardens is enjoyable but the real pleasure comes from getting one’s hands dirty in the soil. Different activities have their seasons. It’s that time of year when weeds seem to grow faster than I can fling them into the compost heap. I’m looking out for signs of germination in recently planted rows of peas and hoping the mice haven’t discovered them first.
Nothing signals the arrival of spring quite like the sight of delicate white snowdrops popping their heads up through the soil, spots of purple and yellow here and there as croci add welcome flecks of colour to the display.
Jenny Mollison: How to outwit the low flying carrot fly
Carrots, beetroot and parsnips seem to be enjoying a surge in popularity just now. They get used as ingredients in sweet as well as savoury dishes. Carrot or beetroot cakes are very moreish and parsnips make a lovely alternative to potato crisps.
Jo Whittingham: Now’s the time to prune, weed, mulch and plant
Spring arrives this month so, even if the weather suggests otherwise, it’s time to get out and garden. First on the list are any remaining winter tasks, such as pruning fruit trees and bushes, and cutting back herbaceous perennials, which should be finished before their green shoots burst into life.