Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top of the Props; HOMES & PROPERTY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top of the Props; HOMES & PROPERTY

Article excerpt


Book of the week That's a good idea When plant supports (right) are as handsome as the ones Diana Yakeley uses in her garden (see page opposite), they need no clematis or morning glory to adorn them.

Instead, consider them as pieces of shimmering sculpture and place them anywhere in the garden where you want to liven up the landscape.

Rustfree aluminium spirals are available in two heights, 85cm or 180cm, in packs of three. Small size, [pound]15, or taller, [pound]24, from the 2002 McCord Garden catalogue (0870 908 7005) or visit

Each week we ask an expert to solve Londoners' most common garden problems.

This week Helen Derrin, plant troubleshooter at the online gardening company Crocus, says: "I live in north London and every summer my lilies get covered in red lily beetle; the insects are bright orange, about a centimetre long, and hard to miss. It doesn't take long before the leaves are shredded and the lilies are ruined. There is no chemical control, so you have to pick them off. Hold a piece of white paper underneath, so if they fall you can catch them. I go out at dusk every second evening for a week or two, and squash them."

You can email the Plant Doctor at with a gardening problem and have a reply within 48 hours.

Bruce Fursman, he of the palm trees, Pacific blue shed and snappy Panama hat, opens his garden this Sunday. Star turn in Bruce's garden, which is at 36 Hopefield Avenue, NW6, is the glamorous, fast-growing palm tree Trachycarpus fortunei (below), hardiest of the bunch, with handsome, fan-shaped leaves that eventually reach one metre across.

Find 60cm-80cm high specimens at The Palm Centre, Ham Street, . Bindweed is making its annual appearance; twine lengths onto canes and paint the leaves with glyphosate to kill it systemically.

. Keep cutting sweet peas and roses, and deadhead bedding plants, to promote further flowers.

. Sow lettuce, rocket and other green leaves every Richmond (020 8255 6191), and take in this page for a 10 per cent discount over the next fortnight. …

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