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Figs, wisteria, and the roses that ‘are ridiculously easy to grow’: Country Life’s 10 best gardens stories of 2023

We take a look back at Country Life’s most popular gardening features and articles of the year.

The rose variety that’s ridiculously easy to grow: ‘Stuff some cuttings into the soil and two years later, they’ll be flourishing’

Long-standing Country Life contributor Charles Quest-Ritson is literally the man who wrote the book on roses — specifically The RHS encyclopedia of Roses — and back in June, he shared some tips on sharing and planting cuttings which proved enormously popular.

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U2’s Adam Clayton: Guitarist, rock god and visionary gardener

Taking on a historic estate with 17 acres of gardens and landscape at the age of 28 is no mean feat, but Adam Clayton did just that when he bought on Danesmoate — and Jane Powers visited the guitarist in March to find out the full story.

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The iconic British garden designer who worked for kings, queens and A-listers across the world

‘Great garden designers have a plant vocabulary that runs into hundreds or even thousands,’ wrote Alan Titchmarsh in July, ‘and that’s at the heart of Russell Page’s genius.’

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Best plants for people who hate weeding? Five beautiful (and low-maintenance) flowers to grow in gravel or sand

Sarah Price shared her top five plants which are low-maintenance hardy-perennials that will grow in sand or gravel.

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The Chelsea Flower Show needs to stop pandering to trends and remember that it’s a celebration of gardening

Ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show, Alan Titchmarsh — who is a keen supporter of the RHS — warned the event organisers that they’re in danger of alienating people instead of inspiring them.

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Alan Titchmarsh: A foolproof guide to growing wisteria

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GARDEN CLIPPINGS: How to deter the deer population

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It has been a while since I’ve seen a deer. We would spot a few when we lived in the rurals, but since moving to town, the only time I’ve seen a deer is when we visited Pinery Provincial Park.   

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But the deer are coming. For sure.  

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It was a few years ago that I was asked by my brother-in-law to design a memorial garden on the grounds of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, a suburb of Chicago. The design was easy enough, and the installation of the garden, which included a brick walkway, bench, boulders and plants, was both energizing and rewarding.   

Three months later I returned to visit the garden and noticed the hostas were missing.  Apparently, the deer had eaten them up a day or two after planting.   

My sister Betty and her husband Tom live in a well-established neighbourhood in Grand Rapids, Mich. Their home is a stone’s throw from the busy 28th Street, a commercial row of Meijer’s, McDonalds and Marriotts. To protect her flower and veggie garden from deer, she applies repellant once a week, more often if it rains.   

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When the inevitable rise in deer population arrives, gardeners would do well to prepare themselves. The easiest way to keep deer out is to utilize deer resistant plants. These days, a quick Google search on any plant variety will reveal

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