Mandy Watson

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.

The apple tree I grew from a pip when was a child - a little too close to the house ...

Gardening: Prime time to plant trees – but beware the dangers with roots

It’s the prime time of the year for new gardeners to plant trees and shrubs – but do you know some root systems can damage your home?

A slug. Picture by RHS/Andrew Halstead

Gardening: Slugging it out with unwanted visitors

It’s a no-brainer that slugs and snails topped the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Gardening Advice Service’s top pest of the year list last year.

Gardening: It’s National Gardening Week but not if you live in this area

Gardening: It’s National Gardening Week but not if you live in this area

National Gardening Week takes place next week (April 10-16), organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), with the aim of encouraging getting non-gardeners to take up the hobby.

Gardening: Yellows, apricots and oranges in fashion

Gardening: Yellows, apricots and oranges in fashion

Looking for some floral inspiration? David Austin Roses has a great 15 per cent saving on roses.

Newly dug-up garlic bulbs.

Gardening: Deny garlic the cold and you will get one clove

Freeze then bake – no, they’re not cooking instructions - it’s how to grow a good garlic crop.

AGM winner, runner bean Lady Di.

Gardening: World of opportunity with seeds to select

The Plant World Seeds offers have always been really popular – two free seed packets with my exclusive voucher code.

Looking up at a stunning Echium Blue Steeple.

Gardening: Exotic, dramatic and tall – that’s the Echium

You may not have heard of them but if you’re a fan the exotic, dramatic and downright tall, you can’t beat the Echium family.

Conjoined melon strikes a bum note.

GARDENING: £500 prize on offer for ‘vulgar veg’

Oh, matron! Tittering at rude-looking veg is all very well but you could win £500 in gardening vouchers if you grow one and highlight the waste in our food production system.

Dark fruits of tomato Rosella.

GARDENING: It makes economic sense to grow your own cherry tomatoes

Small and perfectly formed are the watchwords for this year’s tomatoes – all cherry varieties and in a host of bright colours, some old, some new.

The flower of salmonberry Pacific Rose. Picture by Lubera

GARDENING: Salmonberry fruit is ideal in small gardens

The oddly-named salmonberry is a brilliant way for those with small gardens to grow a decent fruit crop while not compromising on flowers and good looks.

Marigold Indian Kushi. Picture by Suttons

GARDENING: There’s an Indian feel to this year’s marigolds

You’re going to find marigolds everywhere this year – not in the hideous, ’70s-style bedding rows with lobelia and alyssum, but think more tropical, Indian garland style.

Hellishly hot chilli Carolina Reaper. Picture by DT Brown

GARDENING: Chilli growing is not all about intense heat

I’m a bit of a girl when it comes to chillies – I’m not a fan of very hot food, so chillifests leave me cold.

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