Plant of the Week: Japanese azalea
If you adore the exuberant, day-glo colours and handsome, glossy leaves of the rhododendron family, yet you haven't room for large shrubs in your garden – try Japanese azaleas.
They're every bit as colourful as their bigger cousins, but only grow to about a metre tall – perfect for smaller gardens and containers of ericaceous (lime-free) compost. The smaller, daintier flowers are quite charming: enjoy the ruffled white flowers of 'Niagara', blotched in green, or 'Irohayama', in pale lavender. The curious 'hose-in-hose' double flowers of 'Coral Bells' are pink, and scented too. Give them dappled shade and damp soil and they'll give you pleasure for years to come.
Many of our most popular summer vegetables can be sown directly outdoors from now onwards. They include broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, spring onions, peas, radish, rocket, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
Hanging baskets make a bright splash of colour against a wall or fence, filled with brilliant scarlet pelargoniums or tumbling begonias. But don't just stick to bedding plants this year: try planting baskets which are productive as well as beautiful.
Edible hanging baskets are a great w…Read more »