Country Life’s 10 best gardening tips of 2020, from which nurseries to trust online to avoiding naff plant pots

Our gardening advice blogs are always enormously popular on the Country Life website — and with writers such as Alan Titchmarsh and Mark Diacono, it's hardly surprising.

Below, you’ll find our top 10 gardening advice columns of the year — and if you notice that there are quite a few by Alan Titchmarsh, don’t be surprised. The gardener, broadcaster, writer and national treasure was recently named Garden Columnist of the Year, not least for his contributions to Country Life.


Your month-by-month checklist of what to do in the garden and when in 2020

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The list came from Becky Crowley, formerly in charge of the cutting garden at Chatsworth.

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The unwritten rules of choosing planters for your garden

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Our columnist Alan Titchmarsh raged against the tyrrany of the blue ceramic pot. ’20 or 30 years ago, I did find blue ceramic planters rather attractive,’ he wrote. ‘Now, they are about as fashionable (and acceptable) as pastel-shaded paving in a mixture of dusky pinks and greens and yellows. They look, well, naff.’

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Why gardeners should keep buying plants online — and seven of the most trustworthy nurseries

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As lockdown took hold, our gardens editor Tiffany Daneff spoke out in praise of the garden centres that kept the nation supplied.

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Why I had to cut down my decades-old hedge

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…and how it worked out better than Alan Titchmarsh could ever have hoped.

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Everything you need to know about Foxgloves

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Charles Quest-Ritson celebrated one of the most striking flowers of this time of summer, the hardy, prolific, beautiful and wonderfully useful foxglove.

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The plants which will make you ignore the crazy rules of tastefulness and embrace a riot of colour

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Too many gardeners are afraid of colour,’ wrote Alan Titchmarsh in June. ‘Indeed, I confess to feeling guilty on occasion at my profligate use of it in the garden. We are conditioned, in this sophisticated world of ours, to revere tastefulness, and tastefulness most frequently involves restraint.’

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How to grow peas: What to plant, when to plant it, and how quickly you’ll be dishing it up

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Mark Diacono shared his tips on peas – as well as anecdotes about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Thomas Jefferson and more.

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The best garden designers in Britain

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A beautiful country house is as much about its surroundings as its bricks and mortar, something that the best garden designers in Britain all understand. Our revised and updated list feastured the finest of them all.

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Growing your own Christmas tree: What to plant and where to plant it

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Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on how to buy a tree that lasts for years, not just a few weeks.

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The ‘underground treasures’ which are like a gardener’s game of chicken

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Growing plants specifically to harvest their roots takes faith, patience and nerve, explained Mark Diacono, but it’s well worth the effort: the pay-off is spectacular.

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