Potpourri Magazine

Body, soul and gardening - water to soothe the senses

As the weather heats up, having cooling water in the garden is all the more appealing.  It creates a calming focal point, adding gentle sound, movement and sparkling light to your outdoor space.

Water soothes the senses: you can hold...

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Our podcast pick - Talking Heads

This lively and informative gardening podcast - which recently celebrated 10,000 downloads - makes for comforting and informative listening while you’re doing your gardening or cooking.  Fellow head gardeners Saul Walker and Lucy Chamberlain are also good friends, which gives...

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Book review - The Modern Cottage Garden by Greg Loades

In his new book, Greg explores a fusion between the ever-popular cottage garden of roses and foxgloves and the prairie-style planting of designers like Piet Outdolf, with swathes of grasses and late flowering perennials.

Greg begins with an interesting exploration...

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Garden trends - vertical gardening

The trend for green or ‘living walls’ continues in popularity, in both domestic and commercial situations, as the technology advances and more specialist companies are set up.  These walls are a fabulous way of making use of limited space, really...

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Technology in the garden - Vegebag

If you’re looking for extra growing space, either in a small garden or because you’ve already packed your garden to the rafters and want to squeeze in some salad leaves, this nifty product is a useful little garden extension for...

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Gardening tip - deadheading roses

Keep deadheading your roses religiously for a succession of blooms.  Removing heads instantly smartens up the plant and can keep repeat-flowering roses going for months.  Remove the flowers as you go along and once all flowering heads are spent, cut...

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The unexpected gardener - Dame Judi Dench

As if being a brilliant actress and generally classy woman isn’t enough, Judi is also passionate about nature.  She is often seen at RHS Chelsea and has a peachy-coloured David Austin rose named after her.

But her big passion is...

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Seasonal produce - what to do with courgettes

Courgettes are hungry plants but easy to grow and versatile.  Aside from ratatouille, they’re great raw and are easy to grate into salads with a bit of lemon and oil.  Alternatively, they can be steamed, grilled or roasted and are fab...

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Father's Day fun - building a bug hotel with the kids

As crafty projects go, this is pretty relaxed as you don’t need any tools or particular material, just twigs, wood and old pots lying around the garden – in fact the kids can do most of the work while dad...

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Gardening tip - the Chelsea chop

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show may not have happened this year but we can still think of it while we prune back our late flowering herbaceous plants to avoid them getting too leggy.  By removing the top shoots, and cutting...

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Garden trends - Shabby chic and recycled materials

The world of garden design is seeing a growing shift away from sleek minimalism towards gardens with character and texture, with greater use of recycled materials reflecting growing environmental awareness.

Many designers are trying to reuse existing material wherever possible,...

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Technology in the garden - birdsong identification apps

Listening to birdsong is one of the great pleasures of being in our gardens more.  And while all birdsong is a delight, getting to know particular bird song brings even greater satisfaction.  Some people are pretty good at this already,...

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Our blog pick - Ann Marie Powell's My Real Garden

The award-winning and charismatic celebrity garden designer, presenter and writer, is media friendly and has appeared on various Youtube videos sharing her extensive knowledge and experience of garden design and gardens and enthusing people about gardening.  Recently she’s been turning...

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Gardening heroine - Rachel de Thame

The gardener and TV presenter of BBC2’s Gardener’s World is also a familiar face in the coverage of RHS shows – though we won’t have had the chance to see her in action this year after Chelsea Flower Show was...

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Body, soul and gardening - Grow your own immune boosting system

Eating your own homegrown fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways of keeping your immune system strong and healthy – so important at the moment.  In particular, eating a ‘rainbow’ diet with a variety of different coloured...
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Seasonal produce - rhubarb upside down cake

A delicious tart fruit, stewed rhubarb, flavoured with sugar and ginger, is fab cold with yoghurt or hot in crumbles.  And it’s harvested from early spring when there are few other fruits and can keep going until early summer, though...

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Gardening tip - heal your lawn

If you you’ve noticed any bald patches in your lawn, there’s still time to reseed them.  Rough up the area with a rake adding a bit of sharp sand for drainage if needs be and a layer of topsoil, scatter...
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The Unexpected Gardener - Helen Mirren

The Oscar-winning actress is a great believer in the power of gardening and has mentioned its benefits in various interviews over the years.

She recently spoke about how it soothes her anxieties.  'I love to spend time in my garden. ...

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Seasonal veg - nettle soup

The next time you weed a bed of nettles, crop them instead, well the tips anyway – they’re a surprisingly tasty, free and vitamin-packed fresh vegetable.  They’re also excellent for boosting your immune system - so important at the moment. ...

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Garden trends - Cooking al fresco

Outdoor kitchens and firepits are big news in garden design.  And this chimes with the current situation where we’re spending time at home, eating with the family.  We were eating al fresco before we had indoor kitchens and there’s something...

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Body, soul and gardening - All in the detail

Having to stay home is forcing us to stop and appreciate nature instead of hurrying by.  And while we can’t all get out into expansive landscapes, we can get close to nature by noticing the small detail. A recent...

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