Sure, a stuffed-out, summer-flowering hanging basket in full flow is a joy when hanging from a secure bracket on a well-maintained fence. But once autumn arrives, the plants fade and are consigned to the compost bin, what happens then? Of course, you can replace it with a winter basket. And that will last until spring, then begin to look a little tatty before summer bursts back on the scene. Or...you can plant up one basket to last the whole year round.
A good-sized basket is best. The compost doesn’t dry out as quickly and you can get more in there! Then a little bit of planning and planting and a 12-month-of-the-year display is possible:
You’ve done it, I’ve done it - everyone’s done it. I’m on about buying a plant when you know that your garden is full. The plant is delivered and then you have to find a home for it. Or you may have a patio garden. All concrete and paving slabs. No greenery to be seen within the confines of your brick enclosure. Someone buys you a plant as a gift. Help! The answer to both these scenarios is, of course, containers. Any plant will grow in a container given a few principles.
- Match the size of the container to your plant. Not the size it is when you plant it but research (read the label!) the eventual size. Plan acco
As children, building dens in the garden was an instinct – blankets across the washing line, cardboard boxes upended and filled with cushions, and hollowed out hideaways under bushes. As grown-ups, have much better ways to create those special places from which to make the most of our garden. When it comes to truly maximising enjoyment of our outdoor space, a permanent garden shelter is simply a must. Easy to erect and near maintenance-free, these shelters offer a beautiful standout garden feature, without significantly increasing our workload.
So, which sort of shelter is right for your garden?
The chances are that it will either be an arbour, pergola or gazebo but, to make an informed choice about which one to purchase, it’s important to consider exactly what you intend to use it for and to understand their different
Fences are the backdrop for our gardens. Like a canvas, our plants, trees and other garden features create a picture – all framed by our garden fence.
There are lots of fence styles to choose from – from traditional overlap fencing to undulating Paloma style fence panels. But for some, the usual choices aren’t enough to satisfy their creative vision.
If you want to make a bolder statement with your fence line, we’ve gathered lots of creative fencing ideas for how to use your fence to add something extra special to your garden.
Here are some ideas for your next garden makeover:
A simple way to spice up your garden fence is to give it a splash of colour. From softer greens and blues to bright pinks and purples, there is a shade for every taste. Plus, if you fancy a change next season, just grab the paint brush and you can match the latest trends.
During winter, there aren’t as many gardening jobs to be done. The ground - frozen solid. The flowers? Long gone. If you can brave the cold, what better time to get outside and give your tired, old fence panels a new lease of life?
The all-important preparation:
Firstly, check your panels thoroughly, especially if they’ve been around for a few years. Wicked winter winds could have caused damage: loosening fixings, snapping battens and cracking slats of wood. In a particularly bad storm this could cause your panel to go cartwheeling across the garden – no one wants that! A little bit of sprucing also doesn’t hurt: remove those pesky cobwebs, lichen and weeds.
Choosing your treatment:
Try and calculate how much treatment you’ll need. This will vary from product to product, and we’d also recommend sticking to reputable, established brand names. Picking the best colour for your panels f
Earlier this month, we caught up with Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticultural Advisor, about horticulture, wildlife, and his plans for 2017. Check out his interview below.
Our interview with Guy Barter
1. Why is wildlife so important to the horticultural industry?
Wildlife in the general sense of biodiversity is important to everyone as our existence is tied to that of other living things. However for the horticultural industry, in particular, there is a sort of invisible help from wildlife that acts to keep populations in check, so unbeknown to gardeners, pest and diseases are generally suppressed to manageable levels by their natural enemies. Without these, there would be much more pest and disease troubles.
Pollination is, of course, important as most garden plant seeds and virtually all fruit, broad and runner beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and other frui
Featured Image Credit: Anne Heathcote
Earlier this month, we got back in touch with the lovely people at Freshwater Habitats Trust to get their advice on ponds before the summer months. They tell us all about the different wildlife ponds can attract, how to create your own wildlife pond, and whether or not you should worry if water levels drop in your pond in our interview below.
Our Pond Advice interview with Freshwater Habitats Trust
1. What are some of the benefits of wildlife ponds?
Wildlife ponds are fabulous places that can do much more than just offer a home for plants and animals. They bring so much pleasure to people and fascinate many a pond dipper, young and old.
But when it comes to wildlife, making a pond is the single most effective way of boosting wildlife in an area. It’s relatively simple too. In the wide
Fencing has to be practical and look great in the garden. And not just any garden – it has to be right for your own particular plot. Most fencing is used for screening. It might be hiding an ugly view, obscuring the neighbours or acting as a barrier to unwanted guests. Or even to stop winds from howling across a site. There are fencing options that marry practicality and beauty. Check out some different garden fencing ideas and advice below.
The best fencing for different uses
Solid fencing is the best for screening. It blocks as opposed to filters and when positioned carefully and even treated with a colour stain or paint, can either blend in or become a feature of a garden. Overlapping slats on panels allow water to run effortlessly down the panel and, when installed correctly, will last for years with minimal maintenance.
Fence panels with slats or louvres are superb at breaking a view but not causing a blockage. They filter both light and any wind
School children go back to their learning institutions resplendent in over-sized blazers and blister-inducing, shiny black shoes. Crows and ravens return noisily to nest uncomfortably close in neighbours' trees. Strictly Come Dancing revs up for its sprint to Christmas and.....there's plenty to be getting on with in the garden. There's lots of crops to pick, dahlias to cut, gladioli to stake against the breeze as thoughts turn to planting again. After all, the soil is warm, the soil is moist, the soil is ready. September is a marvelous month.
Gardening is a long game and planting bulbs now for superb display next spring is a must in September. Choose whatever you want but only go for sound, solid and disease-free bulbs and plant in well-drained soil and containers. Never let the soil or compost get waterlogged and your garden will be blooming marvelous next year.
Top tips for September
- Net over ponds to stop the first falling leaves clogging up
The humble bumblebee is more important than many may think! We spoke to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust about the importance of these little invertebrates and how to help save them from further depletion. Take a read of our interview below.
Our interview with Bumblebee Conservation Trust
1. A lot of people probably don’t know how important bumblebees are in terms of wildlife. Why should people be concerned about their declining numbers?
Our charismatic bumblebees are keystone species, holding a unique and vital role in the way the ecosystem functions. These wonderful little invertebrates play a huge part in the pollination of a number of the commercial crops that we rely on, such as tomatoes, peas, apples and strawberries (all that good stuff that we love). In fact, according to a study by Potts et al in 2014, bees contribute over £651 million per annum t