Adding colour to your garden with summer pots

Posted on May 18, 2022 at 3:24 pm

If you are wondering about which of the many plants that are available to grow in pots this summer why not think about the hardy perennial hosta which has a distinct advantage over annual bedding plants as they grow back year on year. They can be planted and left in the same container for many years, without the need to protect them from frosts coming back to life each spring ready to flower again in early summer.

Hostas come in a huge range of varieties with different coloured leaves and flowers. The variegated varieties are particularly stunning with the most common being the green and gold and the silver and green ones so even before they bloom they are a delight to see.

It is always a good idea to grow hostas in planters and pots as they can fall foul of the gardener’s arch enemy the snail. A band of sticky pest proof glue or a copper band placed around the top of the pot will prevent the snails being able to get to the plant and chew its leaves. Regular watering is ideal, but the pots can be positioned in a large shallow dish containing water which can be topped up when necessary.

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Spring into action and spruce up your garden with summer bulbs

Posted on April 12, 2022 at 5:35 pm

As soon as the daffodils and crocuses spring up in the garden it is time to think about which colourful flowers you want to have in your garden during the summer months. Planting bulbs that will flower in summer needs to be done in the middle of spring as soon as the soil has warmed up and the chances of severe frost has gone.

There are lots of bulb varieties to choose from, but it is a good idea to choose bulbs that compliment each other in colour, tone and size. A visit to a garden centre will give you an idea of what is available and often advice can be sought from the experts who work there. One idea is to plant taller dahlias bulbs against a garden wall or fence to provide a backdrop to smaller annuals and perennials which can look lost in a flower bed.

It is possible to plant summer flowering bulbs in containers so that they can be placed around the garden as you desire. Their bright colourful flowers bring a joyous feel to any patio or balcony and will often keep flowering through to the autumn.

Why not think about planting onion and shallot bulbs in pots around the garden so that they will be ready to harvest during the summer. Ideal for enjoying in a summer salad.

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Growing your own Perennial Flower Bulbs

Posted on January 29, 2022 at 4:25 pm

Flowers are among the things that bring people the most joy from plants. Whether it be daffodil or iris flowers, these are among the most popular plants for people to purchase. Just in the UK, over 4000 hectares of land are dedicated to the growing of daffodils, and the sale of the flowers represents a large area of commerce. Daffodils are by no means alone; when you include the growth of all other flowering bulbs, this number exceeds 10,000 hectares of land. A little known secret, however, is that growing your own daffodils and iris bulbs is actually a very simple process that even amateur gardeners will find a simple process that will see your garden and living space beautified. It is also a more affordable option when compared to purchasing fully grown plants, and is a great option for those who want to grow a significant stock of flowering bulbs. It can also be a tremendous opportunity for those that aim to expand their stock through the natural multiplication of plants, which could then be an opportunity for giving away to loved ones as gifts or even sold.

In order to grow your own flowering bulbs, the first step is to make your purchase. Besides the species variations, such as daffodil or iris bulbs, there are also various cultivars that can be confusing when you’re making your purchase. The difference here is perhaps the most important, as different cultivars, which is kind of like a breed for those unfamiliar with the term, will produce different flowers in terms of size and colour that they produce. Take iris bulbs, for example, these can produce flowers from a light blue to a deep violet, and if you have a particular preference, selecting the matching cultivar for your preference is paramount. Different varieties can also be more or less suited to the environment that they’re growing in. Some variation in the ideal soil quality, moisture and light exposure is to be expected.

When you’re looking at this information, it may be worth bearing in mind that a garden centre may not have the complete catalogue of available options regarding species and cultivars that are available to you. If this is the case for your ideal varieties, then you should have a look at online shops. Often times, these are essentially the wholesalers of the large garden centres anyway, which means that you may be able to take advantage of wholesale prices and even purchase iris bulbs and the like in bulk.

The next step in the process is to look at the growing directions of the plant. This isn’t an area where we can directly provide advice as the extraordinary variety of flowering bulbs out there isn’t something that can be covered in a short article when they all have different strategies. For example, iris bulbs like to be planted in the groups of at least three individual bulbs. There is also variation in soil quality as well. The one area where there is some preservation of strategy across species is the depth that you should place the bulb, whereby the length of the bulb should be tripled, and the bulb placed at the bottom. You may also notice that the bulb is tapered at one side, perhaps even with a growth coming out on one end. This is the preliminary shoot that the plant produces so that it can reach the surface, and ideally this growth, also called a nose, should be placed upwards so that the plant doesn’t have to turn around. This will shorten the amount of time and energy the plant needs to reach the surface, and will make the process more successful.

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Bring wildlife into your garden next spring

Posted on December 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm

Many people enjoy welcoming wildlife into their gardens and one sure way to achieve this is to install a pond. As water is a basic need and habitat requirement for all wildlife having a pond in the garden is bound to increase the wildlife you will see.

To have a pond that is wildlife friendly it will need to have a shallow beach area and also shallow areas around the margin of the pond. Frogs need this to be able to get in and out of the pond easily as they are laying frogspawn. Ponds with steep edges are too difficult to navigate in or out.

Putting a couple of larger stones in this area will encourage birds to hop onto them and take a drink whilst also being a nice feature.

Having a log pile near the pond gives shelter to creatures emerging from the pond who may need a safe place to hide from predators and also provides a pantry full of beetles and slugs for newts, frogs and toads.

Whilst you may rarely see in the depths of the pond you can be assured that it will be teeming with water creatures many of which are larvae of insects such as dragonflies and damselflies. Once they are ready to leave the pond they climb up the grasses and change into the magnificent flying spectacles they are.

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Garden maintenance made easy

Posted on November 18, 2021 at 9:11 am

Garden maintenance can become quite difficult for elderly homeowners especially if the garden is extensive. Employing a gardener is one way to solve this problem but for some the cost of doing this means that it is not a viable option. Are there any ways of making garden maintenance easier for those who find looking after a large garden challenging?

One of the regular tasks in a garden is mowing the lawn which can be strenuous work, but some people are now choosing to lay artificial grass which obviously does not need cutting. Good quality artificial grass looks very realistic and can be cut to size and laid quite simply providing a green space in the garden with none of the upkeep issues involved with a turf lawn.

Borders and flower beds that need regular weeding can be a headache to keep on top of so why not use pots and raised beds instead for flowering plants. Once planted up in spring they will need little attention throughout the summer months and can be planted with winter flowering plants in the autumn to provide colour throughout winter. Beds can be covered with weed matting and bark and planted with a few flowering shrubs that will need little attention.

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