ALLIUMS WITH ATTITUDE
Whether they’re in pots or dotted among bedding plants, easy-to-grow alliums provide a striking visual treat this month. Varieties come in all tones of purple, with a few pinks, greens and whites thrown in for good measure, with densely packed star-shaped flowers sitting atop towering stems in perfectly-shaped globes. They make excellent cut flowers, too – try mixing and matching varieties such as Allium roseum, ‘Purple Sensation’ and ‘Purple Rain’ (£12.50/33 bulbs, sarahraven.com) and use a zinc container that will highlight their colour. Put a drop of bleach into the water to counteract their slightly oniony scent.
Juicy tomatoes There are three secrets to growing tomatoes successfully. The first secret is to bury the roots nice and deep, which will encourage stronger growth, so use the largest container you have and dig the deepest hole you can before popping in the seedling. The second secret is to choose an easy-grow-but-great-results variety. Our fave for super-sweet cherry tomatoes is ‘Gardener’s Delight’ (£2.15/50 seeds, mr-fothergills.co.uk), or for an abundant crop, ‘Red Alert’ (£2.49/30 seeds, suttons.co.uk) will provide a whole bush of tasty toms. Both are very happy growing in containers. And the third secret? Sun! The more sun, the more tomatoes, and the better they’ll taste.
We all know that spending time outdoors is strongly linked to good mental health and a feeling of calm, and in today’s unprecedented climate, we need a little help to feel that more than ever. And if you’re self-isolating or just need a break from spending every second of every day with your family, creating a Zen sanctuary will increase that sense of peace. This trend mixes natural materials such as bamboo and linen with calming shades of warm pink and symbols we unconsciously associate with serenity. And breathe…
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