Monthly Archives April 2014


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By (Simon Eade)

The Pitcher plant – Sarracenia species is a carnivorous plant that captures its prey within a specialised leaf structure and drowns them in a pool of water at the base. Native to most of north America, Sarracenia are broadly distributed and even include a cold hardy species Sarracenia purpurea. So hardy is it that it has even successfully naturalised in Ireland.

Prey items of the pitcher plant include flies, ants, spiders, and even moths, but in their native habitat they tend to mostly attract mosquitoes and midges.

As you would expect with specialist plants they will require specialist conditions, but when it comes to pitcher plants these are relative easy to replic...

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Keukenhof, Holland – the best spring garden in the world?

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By (Charlotte)

Keukenhof opens for just eight weeks each year – from mid-March to mid-May
Is Keukenhof the best spring garden in the world? I’m sure readers will have a view on this. I was lucky enough to visit last week and left with a dizzying array of images depicting the remarkable garden in southern Holland that draws visitors from all over the world. This horticultural mecca opens for just eight weeks each year, but is home to more than seven million bulbs – planted annually – which provide dazzling spring flower displays for the 800,000 visitors who make the pilgrimage to catch a glimpse of the eye candy on offer here between mid-March and mid-May.
More than seven million bulbs are planted annually at Keukenhof
Late March was a little too ear...
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By (Simon Eade)

For those in the know, Japanese flowering cherries are collectively known as ‘Sato zakura’ which means domestic, village or cultivated cherry trees, and as a group they are solely grown for their ornamental qualities. Of course there are many other flowering cherries cultivars that have been developed from northern hemisphere species and these are often erroneously grouped together with Japanese flowering cherries. However for the purpose of this article only the true ‘Sato zakura’ are considered.

Japanese flowering cherries have been extensively bred for over a thousand of years and so its not surprising that a huge number of cultivated varieties exist, most are of...

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By (Simon Eade)

Kiwi fruit are a constant and welcome fixture on our supermarket fresh-produce shelves. However as exotic as they both look and taste they are actually hardy enough to be grown outdoor in all but the coldest of northern European countries.

Image credit – JJ Harrison

There are about 30 species with in the Actinidia genus and while they are not all edible the ones that are of most economic importance are Actinidia deliciosa and Actinidia chinensis and less so Actinidia coriacea, Actinidia arguta), Actinidia kolomikta, Actinidia melanandra Actinidia polygama, and Actinidia purpurea.

As far as availability goes Actinidia chinensis is most likely to be the best of the hardy ...

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