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Garden Centre

Since its launch in April 2000, Greenfingers’ magazine has regularly featured articles by some of the UK’s most well-known and respected garden writers. Their articles have been humorous, insightful, sometimes provocative, and always enjoyable to read. We’ve selected some of our favourite moments from the last nine months…

“Why have a busload of dumpy hausfrau hyacinths when you could have a choir of elegant delicate tulips? You’ll say the hyacinths are perfumed perhaps? Well, you are right. By and large tulips have no perfume to speak of. But I can live without that, when they offer so much else. Who’d run off with a hausfrau just because she smelled good?”
Stephen Anderton expresses a preference where spring bulbs are concerned read more

“Several weeks ago I turned 35. Not a big deal in itself perhaps, but on the same day I took up ownership, or rather became custodian, of an allotment. These two events individually don’t amount to much but look at them together and suddenly I’ve turned into Arthur Fowler. So no more dissing and larging it with my posse and not doing up the laces on my Nikes, I’m off down the allotments in my wellies to sip sherry with my new friends and discuss the merits of Axminster carpet as a mulch.”
Andy Sturgeon, allotment owner read more

“As a child I loathed parsnips - they sat on my plate, with the Sunday lunch, looking pale and insipid, boiled and uninteresting. No disrespect to my mother's cooking, but they didn't do it for me, not until I reached adulthood and my own kitchen. Now the humble parsnip is big time back on the menu, but in a different guise altogether!”
Fiona Lawrenson comes round to the charms of the parsnip… read more

“I’ve seen grown men cry over the sight of a giant pumpkin, and serious money can be won and lost on these amazing vegetables. If you don’t feel up to growing show-standard pumpkins, but fancy making your own Hallowe’en lantern or, more in my line, a delicious, hearty soup, then take note. Pumpkins are cool and in vogue.”
… and is rather taken with pumpkins read more

“It became an adventure from which nothing was stopping me except my own ignorance.”
Rosemary Verey on discovering the pleasures of gardening read more

“Stay gardening wild and sing a few songs while you’re doing it!”
Michaela Strachan’s gardening philosophy read more

“Hacking back may give immediate satisfaction to the hacker but it may be doing a lot of unnecessary damage to the shrub.”
Christopher Lloyd advises against using gardening as anger therapy… read more

“Who, now, can resist that glittery black foliage, as black as you find on any plant, and those bright red flowers. It is pure Shirley Bassey, with the emphasis on the lipstick.”
Stephen Anderton gets hot under the collar thinking about Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ read more

“Mulching may be one of those odd words that sounds funnier the more times you say it, but there is nothing better for the garden than a good old mulch.”
Joe Swift on the linguistics of soil improvement read more

“I wonder if some plants fail to become popular because of their tongue twisting names. Could Abeliophyllum distichum be one of these?”
Rosemary Verey ponders plant popularity read more

“I could run on but you get the idea. We southerners don’t have it all our own way.” Christopher Lloyd concedes that gardening in Scotland may have its advantages read more

“For an instant party atmosphere try buying a bag of a hundred tea lights and placing them all over the garden in clear or coloured plastic cups.”
Joe Swift with a quick and fun idea for summer evenings – remember them? read more

“Instead of letting the fact that it’s now dark when you go to work and when you get back get you down, concentrate on one or two little things you can do or buy to cheer you up in preparation for the season of good cheer. It might just be a fern for your bathroom – or it could be the satisfaction of buying a new rose bush and getting out there and digging it in.”
George Plumptre with some thoughts on conquering those winter blues read more

“Many friends think it’s because I’m too busy or too lazy to get my gardening gloves on and spend hours on my hands and knees weeding. And while there might be just an ounce of truth in that accusation, it’s also because my aim is to attract as much wildlife into the garden as possible.”
Michaela Strachan argues that there’s a reason why her garden looks untended… read more

“Think of a plant as a juggler, being planted and getting roots settled at the same time as producing leaves and flowers is a bit like having three balls in the air at once.”
George Plumptre argues for autumn plantings read more

“‘Ground Force’ is in its 28th series. It’s on once a day, except Sunday when it’s on twice. And there are now plans for a dedicated Ground Force Channel available on cable so you can watch it all day, every day.”
Andy Sturgeon foresees a rather terrifying tv future for us all read more

“In between having a conversation with Felix-from-next-door and constantly rescuing Alex from the tree ("duck duck" translating as "stuck stuck"), I managed to do some planting. Out went the packet instructions and ideas about colour co-ordination, in went the bulbs willy-nilly, with winter pansies plonked on top.”
Our New Gardener plants up…read more

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