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blue dye plant but it is also an important Chinese medicinal herb, the roots of which are used to treat mumps. The other aspect of putting on a display in the great floral pavilion is the props to use. Personally I like my displays to resemble a small
and hedges so we have a large population of birds. Blue tits are very beneficial for the gardener as they feed their young on caterpillars.Talking of which, it is very easy to unwittingly overwinter caterpillars in glasshouses and polytunnels. Only the other
with coloured labels: red denotes plants destined for Chelsea, blue for Hampton Court and yellow for Art in Action. This way we can monitor how the plants are doing, and which ones need pushing or holding back for the dates of each show.
of year is known by country folk as 'the winter of the blackthorn'. A heavy crop of sloes, the dark blue round fruit, is said to foretell a harsh winter. This year, it foretold a harsh spring. I'm still hoping for a warm spell within the next 15 days