Q: What can I plant in my border which will flower for most of the season? CT, Newport
A: There is a perennial wall flower called Bowles mauve which flowers from spring to the end of autumn and lasts for years which has the longest flowering time i know. Named varieties of violas perform very well. Hardy fuchsias, pinks or dianthus, lupins, cape daises and campanulas also give a good long flowering period.
Q: How could I make my own version of the garden seed and feed mixes I see for sale? I’d like to do it more cheaply. MM, Caerleon
A: I think Newport City Council usually plant a lot of seed sown displays. If their accessible you could harvest the seed this year off the plants you like then mix well with some sand and compost and the cost is negligible. Best check with the council to see if they mind.
Q: I’m about to plant some chives and mint in my garden, but as it’s small, I’d like to stop them running wild. How do I do that? EW, Abergavenny
A: Get a plastic tub or pot about ten inches wide and cut the bottom off so you have a tube. Sink this into the ground and leave the lip slightly proud. Plant in the middle for contained and healthy plants.
Q: Our daughter has just started toddling, which plants should I make sure she avoids? RO, Pontypool
A: Thankfully very few plants are toxic to people but to get a comprehensive guide go on to the (real gardeners) website for poisonous plants.
Tips for the week:
Compost has gone up in price in the last few years and there is a lot of rubbish on the market. Leading brands are amongst the worst offenders. Avoid peat based compost that looks very dark. Good quality peat is a brown colour and is springy, plants perform much better.
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