How asking the right questions can get you a better garden, by Helen Yemm

Osteospermum in flower
Osteospermum in flower Credit: Stuart Fretwell / Alamy 

I bet one Amy Browne didn’t expect to see her name in lights as a result of an innocent little email requesting help with her new garden. You see, Amy is one of those who, to use a loaded phrase from all of our childhoods, "could do better". I am referring not to her lack of horticultural experience  - Amy is a self-confessed novice. No, I refer to her ability, or should that be inability, to give me enough of the right information to enable me to be helpful.

Amy’s Thorny Problem is this: Having planted and kept alive various plants during their first season in a new garden (tender osteospermum as little plants and poppies from seed get a mention) she and her husband now want to know what they...

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