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The distortion, known as fasciation, is a freak of nature, and often looks like several stems have been fused together. It's a rare phenomenon and does the plant no lasting harm. It can develop on a range of shrubs, flowers and perennials. The cause
The caterpillars of both the small and large cabbage white butterflies are are the two culprits. The first is pale green with a body up to 2.5cm long, the second is bigger at 4cm and is yellow with black markings. The adult butterflies lay eggs
Hyacinth bulbs are widely available and will produce a broad spectrum of colours. Whatever their shade, hyacinths look spectacular planted on their own in a rustic terracotta pot. It's a quick and easy job for autumn that will have stunning rewards
Digging and forking through the soil allows you to loosen any compaction, remove weeds and debris as well as providing the perfect opportunity to add the organic matter. Plants need good soil conditions if they are to give the best results
These tiny, sap-sucking pests may be only 0.5mm long but they can wreak havoc in a greenhouse or on houseplants indoors. For most of the year they are a pale green colour with two dark spots on their back; it's only in autumn and winter
with your plants for water and nutrients.Avoid using sprinklers in the garden. They are not very efficient and can use up to 1000 litres of water an hour. Use seep hoses instead, which can be hidden beneath the soil and deliver water droplets directly
Learn how to prick out seedlings with Monty Don's comprehensive video advice.springMore on growing plants from seedHow to grow sweet peas from seedGrowing exotic plants from seedGrowing dahlias from seedSowing seeds indoors
Learn how to pinch out and pot on sweet peas with Sarah Raven's step-by-step video guide.springMore advice on growing flowersGrowing sweet peas from seedGrowing lupinsHow to create a cut flower patchPlanting out cerinthes
A plant used to provide height and contrast in bedding schemes, usually among shorter varieties or ground cover plants. Plants often used include roses, dwarf trees and pelargoniums.
The practice of reducing the number of plants in a bed or container to provide more room for growth. In fruit production, to reduce the crop of fruitlets early on in order to produce larger fruits for harvest.