News - Page 154

Get ready for frosty weather

The Met Office is forecasting the first cold snap of the year arriving this week, with Arctic air sending temperatures plunging well below zero, so get ready to batten down the hatches and protect your tender plants now, before the chill arrives.

Many borderline-hardy plants like salvias will survive a couple of degrees below zero, though they'll get through the winter much more comfortably if you lay a thick mulch of dry autumn leaves over their roots.

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The wonderful 'Smoke Tree' - Cotinus 'Royal Purple' - makes a great addition to the garden, with it's deep red/purple leaf, and subtle white flower which forms to give the impression of smoke floating through the plant.

Cotinus has no special requirements, and will grow well in most positions, but if unchecked can get quite large in time (12ft). However, it can be trimmed to keep a good shape and a restricted size.