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Plants

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Evergreens: beyond the ‘golden oldies’

by Drucilla James

It’s a truism that small gardens need evergreens, especially when every inch is on permanent show – the tricky bit is knowing which ones to choose. They come in all shapes and sizes, for every sort of purpose, from conifers to climbers and from ground cover to grasses – many of them aren’t even green! Our experts have picked their four-season favourites.

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Christmas plants: fifteen gifts a-growing

by Drucilla James

One good thing about buying someone a plant for Christmas is, even if they’ve already got the one you give, it’s always lovely to have more! Which plant you choose will depend on the garden it’s going to, but if you’re feeling in need of a little inspiration, our panel of experts have shared which plant they’d love to give or receive this Christmas.

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Spring bulbs for containers

by Drucilla James

When the autumn turns to sepia, it’s a good time to plant up a promise of spring. Bulbs are a cheap and easy way to bring life into the garden in the early months of the year – from the shy purity of snowdrops in February to the sleek glamour of tulips in April.

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Tall plants for small gardens

by Drucilla James

When land is in short supply, builders look upwards and you can do a similar thing in the garden by picking skyscraper plants. Columnar or spire-like plants are useful for adding height, structure and screening in a small plot without taking up much floor space.

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Geraniums for city gardens – not simply red

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Geraniums, as the archetypal city flowers, are ubiquitous in municipal planters and in town house window boxes. A hardy geranium was even the Plant of the Centenary at Chelsea this year.

Here Liz Sims of Vernon Geranium Nursery encourages you to extend your geranium repertoire to include some recent successes and some historic survivors.

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Plants for children

by Rhiannon James

Kids can fall in love with gardening just by planting a few seeds and watching them grow. But if you really want to fire up their imaginations, there’s a whole Willy Wonka world of plants to choose from.

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Climbers for city gardens

by Rhiannon James

Climbers can totally transform a small, enclosed garden. Our experts name their highlights.

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Small roses for city gardens

by Rhiannon James

There’s nothing that breathes romance into a garden quite like roses, especially when they’re heavy with deliciously heady scent. Our experts have each picked out the rose that makes their heart skip a beat.

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Autumn foliage and winter form for city gardens

by Rhiannon James

The weather might be getting dreary but that doesn’t mean the garden has to. Whether you want to light it up with fiery foliage, set it dancing with swaying grasses or keep it fresh with evergreens, there are plenty of plants to keep things interesting through the autumn and winter months. Gardeners’ Question Time panellist, managing director of Clifton Nurseries and garden designer Matthew Wilson picks his favourites.