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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.
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July 31, 2014 | Shimmering border at Pensthorpe

Or Oudolf does it again.  Digitalis ferruginea and echinacea.  There was a time, way back in the blurred mist of yesteryear, when the flower borders were losing it for colour and interest  by now.   These two will go on and on.  A brilliant co-planting. 

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July 28, 2014 | How to bud a rose

Well why would you?  Its quite simple – roses can be grown by taking cuttings but to graft a bud onto the rootstock of Rosa Laxa means that vigour and sturdiness is engendered in the new rose plants.    And as to can I be bothered?  - what could be more exciting than rescuing a [...]

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July 24, 2014 | Am I mad to go orange?

I just think enough customers have said “no yellow and definitely no orange” to spin my my mind.  I have spent this week in Norfolk in a rose field and with plenty of time, in the heat, to rethink my Pantone schemes.

Here is Alfresco:  I am in love with this rose and plan to plant [...]

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July 24, 2014 | Smelling roses

Rose de Rescht

Rose de Rescht

The best way to smell a rose?  Cut the bloom and put it into the warm bowl of your hands.  Breath warm air into the flower and then inhale deeply.

The best time to do this smelling?  A damp morning after a night of gentle rain, when the sun has been up long [...]

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July 22, 2014 | OK just this once a little bit of before and after

Here is a hoary handed son of the soil tilling – with rotavator –  this large border 17 metres long by 4 metres wide.  The photo was taken last September 2014.

The planting up was done in the last week of October.  The perennials were all either bare-rooted or in 9cm pots.  The 12 roses were [...]

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July 21, 2014 | Aspirational corner: things I want but have no space for

- a grotto, for example.  This is part of the massive one at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

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July 18, 2014 | Visiting a plant trial ground.

I have been round a trial ground before and it is quite something to see good looking new plants that have endured  the selective breeding process, survived the cull  and made it out the other end.

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July 17, 2014 | It is barking dahlia day today

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July 10, 2014 | So what is this garden coaching malarkey?

Well, one big part of my  garden coaching  is designing gardens.  However a quantum shift has come over me and in the collaborative process, I am keen to get my customers to do the job themselves.  With guidance.   So here are two pictures of a new garden we are working on with views in [...]

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July 9, 2014 | The struggles of the greenhouse virgin

I have been having a bit of a fight with germination.  Left it too late for quite a few of the hardy annuals even with getting twitchy and putting seed trays in the fridge. I failed to ape nature’s seasons asking for cold chilly nights.  As for parsley, I have swilled seeds around in washing [...]

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