Let's Get Gardening
Woman's Weekly Living Series|October 2021
All the news and best buys hand-picked for you
Wendy Humphries. Photos: Alamy, Alex Cousins, Apex, James Linsell-Clark, Katielee Arrowsmith/Swns

Travelling to exotic destinations may not be possible right now, but a visit to Cornwall’s Eden Project could be the next best thing. The latest additions are two gardens full of the floral wonders of South Africa.

In partnership with South African conservation organisations, the project developed a South African Garden in the Mediterranean Biome. As part of this, seeds from endangered plants have been carefully selected, sown and grown here. Among the stand-out plants are three different species of cone bush, part of the Proteaceae family which defines South Africa’s fynbos (fine bush) habitats.

The garden is being transformed this summer with a brand new planting and walking trail, highlighting the country’s incredible biodiversity.

Rosie Henstridge, Living Landscapes Technician, said: ‘We have an opportunity to inspire our visitors with some great stories of ecological conservation and the benefits it brings to communities and this beautiful and meaningful new display is a great example.’

Outdoors, next to the Rainforest Biome, you can visit Eden’s new sister garden inspired by the Veld, a wide range of habitats from the mountains to the coast. Among the botanical stars are proteas, aloes, red hot pokers and a plethora of late summer bulbs such as Amaryllis belladonna, hesperanthas and nerines.

For more details visit edenproject.com

Sowing trees for the future

This autumn, The Tree Council is encouraging everyone to get involved with Seed Gathering Season and nurture the trees of the future.

Now more than ever, the true value of trees is being recognised and anyone can get involved – think how easily you can find little acorns waiting to grow!

There is a vast array of seeds you could collect, from hazel or hornbeam to beech or birch. The Seed Gathering Season runs for a month from 23 September, and you can find more detailed guidance on The Tree Council’s website: treecouncil.org.uk.

Here are some tips to help you get started…

Gather your seeds by picking them from the tree or collecting them from the ground, and put them in a paper bag.

Use separate bags for different trees and make sure you label them!

Don’t collect the first seeds to fall from a tree – watch as the seeds, nuts or fruit ripen and then pick them. Some tree seeds can be sown immediately but others need a little more preparation. Check what will work for your seeds before planting.

Think about where you want to plant your tree, whether it’s a garden, hedgerow, park or woodland. Make sure you have the landowner’s permission and that there’ll be enough space for your tree once it’s fully grown!

PLANT OF THE MONTH

Rudbeckia

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