A The cup and saucer vine is such a good name for Cobaea scandens because held upright, each bell-shaped flower resembles a cup complete with rim sitting in a saucer formed by the calyx. The other name, cathedral bells, isn’t bad, either. This is a spectacular tendril climber originally from Mexico and South America which, although perennial in warmer climates, is grown in the UK as an annual. The large seeds germinate readily in warmth, but plants need a long growing season in order to reach a good flowering size before the weather turns cold.
I sow several seeds spaced well into a pot placed on a warm windowsill in February or March, and after germination I pot up each separately.
They are moved between house, porch and greenhouse for the best light and warmth, with the aim of potting on to 6in (15cm) pots and eventually into their final container a minimum of 12in (30cm) wide to stand under glass or on a patio.
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Making new fruit bushes
Take hardwood cuttings before buds burst, says Ruth
Plant winter-flowering shrubs for fantastic scent, says Val
What's really in the bag?
The labelling of growing media is now vital, says Peter
Make the most of your house walls, whatever their aspect, by introducing plants that add another dimension to your garden
Magical witch hazels
Witch hazels are unique shrubs that bring shape, colour and fragrance to your winter garden, says Louise Curley, and don’t forget they have fantastic autumn foliage, too
Plant a container-grown tree
Steve and Val Bradley explain how to plant a tree as part of the Green Canopy scheme
How to revive houseplants
We’ve had the sad task of clearing a relative’s house and have brought back a number of mature houseplants, including a Christmas cactus, a clivia and begonias.
Hot and spicy
Want to grow great chillies for spicy meals? Camilla Phelps reveals the best varieties, including heat ratings, sowing techniques, and tips and tricks for these hot plants
Go green for pocket and planet
Eco-gardening benefits more than your garden, says Ruth
If you want your garden to be filled with scent and butterflies this summer, plant a buddleja now, says Hazel Sillver, as she reveals varieties for large and small gardens
WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM DOING 500 SALES CALLS
Want to increase your sales? Rather than manipulate your potential clients, serve them.
MASTER PAINTERS OF THE WORLD
RJD Gallery hosts an exhibition of past and present figurative paintings by Katie O'Hagan.
It's time to stop calling every firm that uses technology a tech company
Defining a company begins by looking at what it produces and sells, not at what enables it to do so.
If you’ve got a stash collection that’s overflowing, our stunning rainbow cushion is the perfect solution! By Sophie Jordan
All About Appliqué
Give your old clothes and accessories a new lease of life
Winter storm whips northeast US
A DANGEROUS winter storm brought significant snowfall, strong thunderstorms and blustery winds to the northeaster n US on a holiday Monday.
Girl about town
Indulge your inner fashionista and sew Maryana Volkova’s modern heirloom doll
Expert's choice - Snowdrops
There is a huge range to choose from, with varying sizes, markings and prices
Potatoes five ways
We put spuds to the test by growing them using five different methods to reveal which is best for high yields and your growing space