Potpourri Magazine

Savon noir - black soap for natural garden health

As gardeners we’re always seeking out products that look after our plants as well as the environment and Le Savonnier Marseillais black liquid soap is a natural way of protecting plants, fruit and vegetables from pests and diseases. 

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Piet Oudolf Field, Bruton, Somerset

This small but perfect garden, designed by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, is a beautiful tapestry of colour even at this time of year.  The gardens were created from the farmland, while the farm buildings are now a gallery...

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Body, soul and gardening - the sound of silence

The world is often a noisy place, especially in urban settings.  Research indicates that noise pollution can cause harmful levels of stress, both physically and mentally, and that taking time to be silent in the garden is the perfect...

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Garden trends - gravel gardens

Low maintenance and drought-tolerant, gravel gardens are becoming increasingly popular. They’re perfectly suited to our hot dry summers and have a relaxed airy feel, with plants growing up through gravel with space to breath.

For inspiration, Derek Jarman’s...

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Cut flower corner - what to pick now

The late summer garden can still be full of colour.  There are roses on their second flush, hydrangeas blushing pink and the last of the echinacea, phlox and penstemon taking on a soft faded beauty.  Team this with white...

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The unexpected gardener - Lorraine Kelly

The popular ITV broadcaster enjoys gardening and has talked about finding it a great form of escapism - particularly during stressful times like lockdown.  ‘It’s lovely to just get outside for a while.  I tend to pop in my...

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Technology in the garden - smart rain gauge

It’s easy to overestimate how much water a garden has really had after it’s rained.  The soil might look wet, but it could be surface moisture.  A rain gauge can help you be more precise when watering and prevent...

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Podcast - The Garden Log

Gardener and podcaster Ben Dark, has until recently been working as a Head Gardener at a private English country estate but has now moved his family to Copenhagen where he will continue his gardening journey and log. 

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In the Cotwolds

Frustrated by the limitations of container gardening on our balcony, we wanted a garden, so some years ago we relocated from London to the Cotswolds. We got our big garden, but we also got a theatre full of wildlife.

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Cut flower corner - what to pick in August

The garden is full of high summer flowers to bring into the house – it’s such a lovely thing to do and helps you really appreciate the detail of your flowers up close.  I’ve been cutting my Japanese anemones, which...

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Body, soul and gardening - low allergen gardens

Summer in the garden can be unpleasant for hay fever and asthma sufferers, but this needn’t be the case with the right plant choices.  Here’s what to consider.

As a rule, plants pollinated by insects, rather than wind, cause fewer...

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Gardening hero - Nigel Dunnett

Nigel is Professor of Planting and Urban Horticulture at the University of Sheffield.  He’s a horticulturist and designer and has pioneered innovative ecological approaches to planting gardens and public spaces that integrate ecology and horticulture to achieve beautiful and sustainable...

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Q&A with the McBrides of the Sussex Prairie Garden

Paul and Pauline McBride designed and created this garden from scratch.  We first asked them:

What was the thinking behind the design?

The overall design is a spiral intersected by the curvaceous hornbeam hedge feature which rolls down the centre...

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Garden trends - living roofs

From wild flowers to sedum growing above extensions and sheds, people are increasingly realising the benefits a green roof can bring.  Not only are they attractive, they also help keep buildings warm in winter and cool in summer, and attract...

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Podcast - This week in the garden with Peter Seabrook

Gardening writer, broadcaster and lecturer, Peter shares his wealth of experience on this horticultural podcast.

He talks to horticultural experts from all aspects of the gardening world, from designers Ann-Marie Powell and Bunny Guinness to many of the less high-profile...

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Technology in the garden - Big Green Egg

Roast chicken in the garden, anyone?

If lockdown inspired you to cook al fresco, but you’d like to do more than grill a sausage, it might be worth investing in this iconic outdoor oven.

So, what’s all the fuss about?...

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Podcast - The Virgin Gardener

The Virgin Gardener podcast presented by Laetitia Maklouf and Andrew O’Brien is aimed at anyone wanting to green up their space – indoor or out.  They have a fabulous line up of guests from all areas of the horticultural world...

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Technology in the garden - UV garden parasols

Parasols are perfect for creating soothing shade in a favourite seating or dining area in the garden.  And with climate change and our growing understanding of the damage the sun does, it’s particularly important to consider the level of protection...

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Q & A with William Dyson, curator of Great Comp Garden

William Dyson is the Curator at Great Comp; he also runs his own nursery specialising in salvias which is situated within the garden.

Can you tell us about the different varieties of salvias?

The genus is huge and...

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The secret gardener - Nigel Havers

When he’s not on screen or stage, actor Nigel Havers enjoys working in the garden, describing himself as a keen gardener.

Becoming a home owner, after buying a house in Wandsworth in the 1980s, was what first ignited his interest -...

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Cut flower corner - all about sweet peas

With their gorgeous scent, frilly blooms and beautiful colours, sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) make wonderful summer cut flowers.  They take a bit of tending to, but the rewards are more than worth it.

The best sweet peas for cutting are...

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