Mandy Watson

Gardening: Paton brothers smashing records with their pumpkins

Everyone loves monster veg and last weekend four British records were broken, including the biggest pumpkin ever grown in the UK.

Why we should love our disappearing native apple varieties

Gardening: Celebrate the diversity of the autumn apple harvest

Apples are one of the crops we associate with autumn so celebrate the diversity of local varieties on Apple Day, held on October 21.

Carrot Speedo F1. Picture by Mr Fothergill's

Gardening: The top vegetables to select for the 2018 growing season

It’s great when the new catalogues come in and you can sit curled up in a chair, pondering over what you’re going to grow next season.

A bee on lavender flowers.

Gardening: How to encourage bees back into the garden

Not cutting your lawn and planting foxgloves are the two most popular things to do to encourage bees into the garden, according to a survey.

A trial bed of sunflowers, tall and short, at the Royal Horticultural Society's Harlow Carr garden in Harrogate.

Gardening: Why size is not the be all and end all for sunflowers

It’s the time of year when you reap the rewards of growing sunflowers, with the traditional huge yellow heads nodding over the garden.

Allotments and gardening can help people keep fit.

Gardening: Growing the movement – National Allotments Week

It’s National Allotments Week and the theme is Growing the Movement, paying tribute to the voluntary association management committees, plot-holder volunteers and councils managing, creating, developing and safeguarding sites.

The common moth, Tineola bisselliella.

Gardening: The garden plants which can tackle a moth problem

Is your home suffering a moth infestation? If so, you’re not alone – moth numbers have soared this year, thanks to a combination of a mild winter and warm spring.

George with loud bell - we always know where he is.

Gardening: The problems of a pet cat and garden wildlife

Do you, or would you, keep your cat indoors permanently to save garden animals?

The Working Wetlands Garden at Washington Wetland Centre. Picture by Ian Henderson

Gardening: How creating a ‘rain garden’ can help tackle climate change

Gardeners are being encouraged to try ‘rain gardening’ as a way of coping with the effects of climate change at a new WWT Washington Wetland Centre garden exhibit.

Clumping yellow bamboo ... Fargesia robusta Pingwu.

Gardening: Getting the right bamboo plants for your garden

Bamboo is big at the moment – quite literally – don’t fall for the massive varieties that can be an invasive pest.

Orange bouquet lily, geraniums and an Echium brighten up a seating area.

Gardening: Container plants add colour and help stop the spread of weeds

The greatest gardening sin is a bare patch of soil in my opinion – it will only get colonised by weeds – that’s where a collection of container plants comes in handy.

Rose of the Year 2018, Lovestruck. Picture by RHS Media Image Collection

Gardening: The magnificent seven new roses on the market

Everyone loves the first flush of roses, and there is always excitement when new varieties are released at the annual RHS Hampton Court Palace and Chelsea flower shows.

Sunflowers growing amongst vegetables on an alloment. Picture by Mark Bolton/IGPOTY

Gardening: Get snapping to be in with a chance of winning a trip to the Netherlands

Fancy yourself as a garden photographer? Now everyone can enter one of the world’s most prestigious competitions to win a trip to Holland.

Cordon tomatoes planted in simple ring culture pots on top of grow bags.

Gardening: How to get the biggest crops from your grow bags

Grow bags are great news for gardeners with little (or no space) but there are pitfalls – here are my top tips for getting your money’s worth and the biggest crops of tomatoes, peppers ad veg out of soil in sacks.

Calendula ruined by powdery mildew.

Gardening: Got a problem with powdery mildew in your garden?

It seems this year’s number one pest is powdery mildew, caused by our very dry spring – here’s how to identify it and treat outbreaks organically without buying expensive products.

Stunning purple of Angelica gigas purpurea.

Gardening: Use big leaves to break up your borders

The best piece of advice I’ve ever read about designing borders came from Beth Chatto – if you want success, look at the size of your leaves.

Clematis Montana Elizabeth.

Gardening: Make the most of the height hardy climbers bring

Hardy climbers are invaluable in any garden. A big mistake is to have everything performing at ground level, ignoring the vertical growing space.

Plants hardening off on greenhouse staging.

Gardening: Hardening off plants should be a gradual process

One of the problems with starting plants off under glass is that eventually, they need to be hardened off.

Potted geraniums can be left outside until the first frosts.

Gardening: Why our lawns could be a thing of the past

Most gardeners see on a daily basis that climate change is a fact of life but it appears it’s not going to be so grim up north, according to the Royal Horticultual Society’s (RHS) latest report.

Spring scent to lift the spirits - daffodil Pacific Coast.

Why gardening can be good for your mental health

It can only be a good thing that people are talking about mental illness and health – and gardening can really help.

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