Anna Pavord - The Independent

Anna Pavord

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Weekend Work: Time to cut back broom

WHAT TO DO

The best gardens all had proper hedges: including this native hawthorn hedge in Hugo Bugg's gold-medal winning plot

Anna Pavord: This year's Chelsea Flower Show surprised me with its emphasis on planting that you might find in a real garden

Very rarely does the Chelsea Flower Show set a trend in gardening, but it often reflects shifts that have been going on for some time in the real world. At this year's show, there was a welcome move away from dark, claret-saturated plantings: maroon astrantia, purple-leaved geranium, interspersed with blobs of knautia. This colour palette was arresting when it was first introduced at Chelsea in the garden made for Gardens Illustrated by Piet Oudolf and Arne Maynard. But that was in 2000. And we've learnt how drab those plantings look in a typical British summer of grey clouds and rain.

Southern belle: Anna Pavord is bowled over by an ultra-modern, ingeniously landscaped plot

Helen Marsden is opening her garden in Dulwich Village tomorrow - and its quite the best thing of its kind our gardening correspondent has seen

Weekend work: Time to tend to apricots and figs

WHAT TO DO

Great crop: The outstanding cherry tomato 'Sungold'
Herbal essences: Rosemary, chives, sage and thyme

Anna Pavord: Grow rosemary and sage and you've got yourself aromatherapy for free - plus the perfect ingredients for a savoury tart

I'm puzzled by rosemary. Not because it's difficult to grow. All it needs is sun and half-decent drainage (grit helps). The puzzle arises from the colour of the flowers. The ones I like best are a deep, intense blue. Over the years, I've taken masses of cuttings from Italian plants that have those kind of flowers.

Evergreen effect: Hart's tongue unfurling
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