Garden news

A Passiflora collection for your garden, outdoor events in June, as well as your chance to win a Hammerite Metalmaster paint kit to revamp garden furniture
Passiflora collection
A Passiflora collection of six plants costs £9.99

Passiflora collection

Passion flowers are spectacular and vigorous climbers with sweetly-scented summer blooms. Easy to grow, they are always rewarding in the speed of their growth and in the quantities of beautiful flowers they produce.

Plant them in pots or tubs and let them grow upwards, and cascade from a patio pyramid on a patio or decking.

Homes & Property readers can buy a collection of two of each plants: Caerulea, Constance Elliot and Violacea. This Passiflora collection of six plants costs £9.99.

Please send orders to: Evening Standard Offers, Dept. MRES64, PO Box 99, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SN. Cheques should be made payable to TMYP Ltd, or call 0844 573 2020 (and quote MRES64). Or visit

Plug plants supplied, dispatched from June 2009. Offer ends 15 June 2009.

Verbena Bonariensis
Verbena Bonariensis produces vibrant lilac-purple flowers

Special offer: Verbena Bonariensis

Verbena Bonariensis is a beautiful perennial with dark green stems bearing lance-shaped leaves and producing vibrant lilac-purple flowers. With a flowering period from July to September, this tall (approx. 2m) narrow-stemmed border plant looks fabulous in vases as cut-flowers. This herbaceous perennial is also loved by butterflies.

Homes & Property readers can buy five plants for £7.95 including UK p&p, or buy 15 plants for the price of 10 at £15.90, and save £7.95.

Credit card order hotline: 0870 950 5914, quoting R19851WE, or send a cheque made payable to Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, and addressed to: The Standard Verbena Bonariensis Offer (R19851WE), Rookery Farm, Joys Bank, Holbeach St Johns, Spalding, PE12 8SG.

Delivery within 28 days. Offer ends 15 June 2009.

Win: a Hammerite Metalmaster paint kit worth £59.98

Win: a Hammerite Metalmaster paint kit
The Hammerite Metalmaster system is ideal for painting metal garden furniture
The time is ripe for a garden furniture revamp and the new Hammerite Metalmaster system is ideal to make your metal furniture as good as new. Its 3D Wrap precision technology means that the paint coats itself around curved surfaces such as railings, with low overspray.

The Hammerite Metal Paint has an electrostatic charge that, when applied by the Hammerite Metalmaster Electrostatic Paint Gun, paints both sides of the metal at once and enables the task to be completed four times faster than when using a paintbrush.

Unlike conventional gloss paints, Hammerite does not require the use of a primer or undercoat, and gives long lasting professional results.

The prize: Homes & Property has five Metal Mastery Kits to give away, worth £59.98 each. The kits include a Hammerite Metalmaster System (worth £42.99) and a Hammerite Metalmaster Specialist Paint Canister (worth £16.99).

How to enter: send an email including your name and address to:, with 'Hammerite' in the subject field before 19 June 2009.

Open gardens weekend
© Sue Snell
St Dunstan-in-the-East garden, St Dunstan's Hill

Garden events

Transport for London’s Open Garden Squares Weekend
Organised by the London Parks & Gardens Trust, more than 190 gardens throughout Greater London will be participating on 13-14 June 2009, with 25 taking part for the first time.

Event organiser Val Burton says: “Open Garden Squares Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to visit a vast array of gardens, including the magnificent Eaton Square, the traditional gardens of Notting Hill, and the prison gardens of HMP Wandsworth; Wormwood Scrubs and Holloway, which need to be booked in advance."

Also taking part for the first time will be the allotments in Fulham Palace; the delightful garden at the Rococo Chocolate Shop in Motcombe Street; and the hidden garden at the Goring Hotel. There are gardens to suit all tastes and styles, and this event is a great way to get inspiration and practical advice.

Tickets cost £6.75 in advance or £8 if bought during the weekend. These can be bought from the advance ticket hotline on 020 8347 3230 (Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm) which is provided by Capital Gardens, as well as the Britain and London Visitor Centre on Lower Regent Street, and from selected gardens during the weekend. One ticket allows entry to all venues over the entire weekend. Details of the gardens selling tickets are available on

The Garden Museum's Lavender Festival runs from 13-14 June 2009
The Garden Museum's Lavender Festival
This event on 13-14 June 2009 (from 10.30am to 5.00pm on both days) is part of the museum’s Festival of Small Nurseries season, featuring Hadlow, the Kent-based Downderry Nursery.

Downderry owner Dr Simon Charlesworth will display and sell lavender plants and present masterclasses on the care, cultivation and selection of the wide range of lavenders that he grows.

He will also sell lavender products including dried lavender and oils. The garden café will serve lavender inspired food, and the museum displays, shop and the gardens will also be open. Visit Museum admission charges apply. Visit

What to do to avoid gardening injury

* Bend your knees when lifting so that your legs do the work, not your back.
* Use a wheelbarrow for moving heavy items such as compost, stones, etc.
* Keep weeds to a minimum by mulching and keep low maintenance plants. However, if you have to get down low, use a kneeling pad or knee pads.
* Try to use raised beds to avoid bending or reaching and stretching.
* Do some warm up exercises before digging to prepare the muscles.
* Take frequent breaks.
* Use lightweight, long handled tools and power tools where you can.
* Use a small spade when digging.
* Have a couple of jobs on the go at the same time and alternate so as to avoid repetitive movements
* If you feel even a slight twinge, it's time to stop for the day.

For more by Matthew Appleby, visit

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