Gardening tips: plant midland hawthorn

Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ in May.

 Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ in May. Photograph: Alamy

Plant this Make the most of tree-planting season to add a native species to your garden. The midland hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ , is unfussy about growing conditions, reaching 5-8m each way once mature. It is smothered in double dark pink blossom in spring, followed by red haws.

Try this Providing water for wildlife during the cold season is just as important as food, so clean out bird baths and refill on icy days. If you have a pond that freezes over, don’t be tempted to crack the ice but instead place a pan of hot water on top of the ice until it melts a hole.

Visit this Stowe Gardens near Buckingham is the perfect place for a bracing walk: from temples to follies, there’s something intriguing to examine at every turn. Dogs on leads are welcome, too.

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