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Parks under threat

by Alice Wright

They are often described as the “green lungs” of a city – leafy, rejuvenating oases amid the smog and crowds of urban life. But our much-loved parks are “close to crisis point”, according to The Parks Alliance, a body formed last year in response to growing concern about public green spaces.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bela'

Hydrangea heaven

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Hydrangeas those erstwhile urban favourites are making a comeback. Chelsea 2014 Plant of the Year was Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ and singer Katie Melua is currently championing the drama, colour and year-round interest of the hydrangea as the Horticultural Trades Association August Plant of the Month.These showy attention-grabbers can require large growing spaces, but whatever your choice, be it mopheads, lacecaps or panicles, Ashwood Nurseries, show you how to make the most of them in the small urban garden.

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Garden ponds in the city

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Whilst small spaces do not readily lend themselves to water features and ponds, there are ways to create a space with water. City gardens are not just a little bit of calm in an otherwise manic world, but are also great for introducing wildlife, and ponds are no exception to this.

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Suttons Seeds Small Spaces

by Drucilla James

Want to grow your own food but have only the tiniest of growing spaces? Suttons Seeds for Small Spaces could be the ideal solution.

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Pocket wetlands installed on Regent’s Canal

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If you go down to the woods today in Camley Street Natural Park, in the rather unexpected setting of King’s Cross, then you will be able to see the floating islands newly installed on the Regent’s Canal, creating pockets of urban wetland habitat for London’s wildlife.

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Inspiring Kew

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An exhibition showing how Kew Gardens has inspired creative artists from its ‘physic’ garden beginnings in 1759 to the present day will open later this month.

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Young and old join plant charity’s community initiatives

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Plant Heritage is leading the way in involving communities both young and old in gardening through its National Plant Collection and Plant Guardian schemes designed to protect rare and threatened garden plants from disappearing.

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Young gardeners’ conference to take place

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YoungHort, set up by young horticulturalists to promote the industry to their peers, is to host a second event – The YoungHort Autumn Conference at The LANDSCAPE Show in September.

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Gardeners commemorate WW1 Centenary

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New forests, poppy fields and a Ration Garden are amongst the gardening events set to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

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Plants under threat

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A leading plant conservation charity and an artist highlight the threat to familiar aspects of our landscape – trees and cultivated plants.

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New BBC gardening programmes announced

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The cycads, which outlived the dinosaurs and still grow today, form the starting point of a new radio series exploring the history of our relationship with plants. Meanwhile after “reviving”, “allotmenteering”, and community-gardening, BBC television is adding designing to its repertoire- inviting competitors to design a garden for Chelsea 2015.

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Gardening events this week

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Events coming up to this August bank holiday weekend take a floral turn with a massed gathering of flower arrangers at Oxford , a plant hunters’ fair and champagne and canapes in a garden to round off the week.

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Dig the City

by Drucilla James

Fashionably dressed young women, aged rocker buskers, glitzy buildings and – mangoes, melons and mangetouts growing in the streets – it must be that Dig the City time of year in Manchester again.

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Make a moss sculpture

by Drucilla James

Why not try making a living sculpture from moss to add something a little different to your garden. While we tried out rabbit modelling you can create any shape that takes your fancy and get the kids involved too.

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Product News: Watering

by Drucilla James

These watering products could be just what is needed by plants parched by this summer’s heat wave.

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Garden plant care: Stayin’ Alive 2

by Drucilla James

We take a trip to the nursery or garden centre and return home with booty which promises to transform our garden spaces. Full of good intentions, but too busy to check, the next time we look at our plants, we find them at their last gasp and requiring resuscitation. Before last rites are performed, we explain how to care for distressed plants and bring them back to life and suggest some simple procedures to reduce casualties in the future.

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Plant-O-Mats from Suttons Seeds

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Looking ahead, should your thoughts turn to producing labour-saving bulb displays for spring colour, then these new Plant-o-Mats from Suttons Seeds could be the ideal answer.