THERE’S only one thing more satisfying than hands-on gardening… and that’s when the garden gets off its you-knowwhat and does the work for you.
I’ve been reflecting on this while planting my newly bought box of tulips – bulbs that, once they’ve flowered, generally can’t be relied upon to come back year after year, because there are exceptions to the tulips’ ‘flower once and buy again’ rule.
The species tulips are the wild parents of the highly bred parrots, lilyflowered and triumph varieties – and not only will they self-sow, but they also bloom from smaller bulbs so they don’t take long to reach flowering size.
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Free seeds are back!
It’s time for sowing, says Ruth, starting with bright asters
Focus on... Growing chillies
If you crave crops with a real kick, now’s the time to start sowing your chilli peppers. Lucy Chamberlain shows you how to sow and grow fabulous, flavoursome chillies
The winter garden can be a true wonderland if you plan and plant to really make the most of the frost, says Graham Rice
Lost and found
Val is saddened by wildlife habitat loss due to HS2, but is cheered by the discovery of rare wild honey bees
On the rocks!
Create a drought-resistant gravel border to cut down on watering and enjoy a wealth of Mediterranean plants, says Hazel Sillver, as she reveals how to get started now
Plant a tree for Jubilee
Celebrate our Queen’s 70-year reign and help the planet
The beauty of snowdrops
Snowdrops may have tiny, delicate flowers, but they are remarkably strong, hardy and reliable plants. Tamsin Hope Thomson reveals some of her favourite varieties
The joy of figs
They are easy to grow and generous fruiters, says Ruth
Sweet spud success
If you haven’t yet tried this tastier, more nutritious alternative to potatoes, now’s your chance, says Bob
Think about perennials
They can be moved and split if the soil is right, says Ruth
HOW TO MAKE GRADIENTS
James Gurney demonstrates how to get your colors to change gradually throughout your picture
MASTER PAINTERS OF THE WORLD
Working from dark to light colors, Pamela Hamilton’s pastel paintings feature the smallest and brightest marks at the focal point
Off the Board
Animals come to life in intricate detail through the boldness and versatility of Melissa Helene’s scratchboard art
'For our next trick...'
In a nutshell, if Monitor Audio keeps making loudspeakers as good as this, Mark Craven will keep raving about them
Try a speedy STYLE UPDATE
Have fun with these simple but creative ideas that’ll ring the changes in your home without turning into a full redo
Baked to perfection
Up your hosting game with Emily Ashbourn’s marble-effect DIY cake stand
Girl about town
Indulge your inner fashionista and sew Maryana Volkova’s modern heirloom doll
HERO TO ZERO
Embrace low-waste living with Eilidh Weir’s
Expert's choice - Snowdrops
There is a huge range to choose from, with varying sizes, markings and prices