Surround yourselves with impressive, exotic plants you wouldn’t see in your everyday lives.
Pretend you’re in the jungle and stroll hand-in-hand admiring the many species on offer. It’s the first commitmenty thing you can do, before getting a pet or having a child.
But they are all hardy plants, well equipped to withstand low temperatures, and when frost and snow follow mild spells, the plants simply slip into suspended animation, slowing down or stopping their growth until the temperatures rise again. When they occur at blossom time, with fruit trees such as apples, plums and pears, they can nip the flowers so much that the central part is browned and fruit is prevented from developing.
That said, peaches and apricots grown on walls do flower early in the year so it will be worth keeping an eye on them and draping the branches with muslin or old net curtains on cold nights to help preserve a degree or two and give them a better chance of setting fruit.
These date ideas for the green-fingered will really make your love grow…
A botanical garden is a great place for a first date.
In the middle of January, not having had a proper cold snap, up they pushed.
• Multipurpose, organic, peat-free compost • A wigwam support made from bamboo canes or any strong ﬂexible sticks such as willow How to do it Drill several drainage holes in the base of the container if necessary, ﬁll with compost and push in the wigwam support. LATE SPRING TO EARLY SUMMER You will need • 3 tomato plants (a cordon or staking variety such as ‘Sungold’ or ‘Gardener’s Delight’) • 2 cucumber plants such as ‘Ridge Perfection’ or ‘Rocky’ • Up to 8 lettuce plants How to do it Plant the tomatoes and cucumbers next to a vertical support, evenly spaced apart, and tie in. Place in a sunny, sheltered position and tie the climbing plants into the supports as they grow.•Home grown tomatoes are healthier and taste better LATE SUMMER TO EARLY AUTUMN You will need • 3 kale plants such as ‘Cavolo Nero’ or ‘Red Russian’ (you can sow this in advance yourself in small pots in midsummer or buy plug plants) • 4 chard plants such as 'Bright Lights' (raise as for kale, above) • Broad bean seeds for autumn sowing, such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ • 5 early maturing garlic cloves such as ‘Early Purple Wight’ How to do it Remove your summer crops (see above) and the top 5cm of compost.Top up the pot with fresh compost and sow two broad bean seeds at the base of each vertical support, then plant the kale in the centre of the pot with the chard around the outside.We chatted for 5 Hours straight, then exchanged numbers before reluctantly coming offline. 3 years later in September 2015 we got married and are living the dream. With flowers in bloom and leaves reappearing back onto trees, it’s the perfect time to be a gardener.