Best garden plants to suit your soil and growing tips plus top varieties for easy success

  A herb garden filled with herbs must be some of the hardest-working plants around. Not only do they look good and smell wonderful, they bring bees and other useful…

Ideas for strong bright colours Imagine how much more inviting a sunny patio will look with containers filled with blooms in the tropical shades of scarlet and orange. To maintain…

Tall and dramatic Known as desert candles or foxtail lilies, the stately spikes of eremurus like it sunny and dry and, in order to induce flowering, a cold snap in…

Cultivating soil is fundamental to good gardening. It improves the soil’s structure as reducing compaction increases aeration, so that more air gets to plant roots and drainage is enhanced. How…

English country garden

Even if you live in the suburbs and your house is modern, it’s easy to create an authentic country-style cottage garden if you look to your granny’s garden for inspiration.…

Irises

Irises have been a favourite flower since the Chinese fell in love with them thousands of years ago. Their picture-perfect blooms have also been a source of inspiration for many…

Weeds

Stinging nettles Well-known for their painful sting, these weeds are widespread. They produce a dense mat of bright yellow roots and form thickets of erect stems more than a metre…

Alpine plants

The majority of alpine enthusiasts use rock gardens replicating their natural habitats to grow these mini mountain plants. Since the 1980s rockeries have been out of favour with less committed…

Spring bulbs to plant

Plant bulbs now for a garden full of colourful surprises in spring. They’re easy to grow – simply dig a hole, pop them in and wait! Most spring-flowering bulbs prefer…

Your garden: How to plant it

One of the toughest parts of planning your garden is figuring out how to plant it. For an instant, new-look garden, take a tip from the experts and reshape the…

Perennials

Flower beds stuffed with plants is the key to creating a great garden and reliable, perennial favourites, like bee balm or Monarda which attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees,…

Gold plants Aureola

Plants that have yellow-gold leaves add a splash of instant sunshine to a shady corner, an effect that lasts longer than any flowers. They look fabulous beside perennials with red,…

Cactus

It’s easy to get hooked on cacti as their spiked, ridged, tall, squat and hairy forms are very collectable – especially with children as they are often sold at pocket-money…

A traditional English rose garden © iStock

The romantic cottage-garden image is unkempt and informal, with bulging borders spilling on to pathways filled with a joyful jumble of old-fashioned flowers with fruit bushes, vegetables and herbs squeezed…

Flowering houseplants

Houseplants make a home healthier, cleaning the air from airborne contaminants and allowing you to breathe more easily. They also make a room feel cosier and with a bit of…