5th April 2014 : Page 1

Amateur Gardening April 08, 2014 00:00

In this issue of Amateur Gardening : It's nice (and something of a relief) when I read of fellow gardeners who are as cost-conscious as I am when buying plants. Anne (p24) is crossing her fingers that three hymenocallis bulbs she bought from The Pound Shop will come good. In my experience, if you pick your plant carefully, cheapies are usually fine. This year I got three healthy dwarf apple trees for six quid each from ASDA. I’ve grown on two weedy gooseberries rescued from my local Poundland, and they’re thriving now; a bargain-bin redcurrant from B&Q is going great guns; and the Magnolia stellata that’s presently carrying a cloud of snowy blooms in our back garden was a rooted twig that cost me less than two quid from Somerfi eld supermarket 10 years ago. I could have wished that some of these plants were better looked after by the stores that sold them – though the apple trees from ASDA were in fine shape. I had to rummage through Poundland offerings to find plants I was prepared to take a risk with. But pick a plant that clearly has green shoots on it, get it home quick and settled in fresh, moist compost, and with patience you’ll probably find you have a good ’un. The cuttings I took from the B&Q redcurrant when I pruned it in the autumn, have all struck and are ready to pot up - so I’ve now got seven plants for a quid. That really is a bargain! Have a great gardening week. Tim Rumball - Editor

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