Tips for Creating an All Year Garden

Every year, usually in Autumn, I receive a large number of calls from people who need a garden tidy up. Residue from spring bulb flowers are lying looking tired in the borders, some of the summer perennials have died and are toppling over and once this had all been cleared away, there really isn’t much left in the borders. The biggest mistake most people make, when designing their garden, is they get what I call the “Ground Force Effect”. This is where they go to a garden centre, over a very short period of time and buy, buy, buy all … Read More

7 Fragrant plants for your garden

When most people think about designing from scratch or enhancing an existing garden, they will look at size, colour and season of bloom, as a priority when choosing plants. These of course are very important and will always be the main focus, when putting together a garden which will look good all year round. Mixing your evergreens, perennials, annuals and bulbs, to maximise gardens potential from spring through to winter is always a challenge in itself but one area not to overlook is fragrance. Because I work 12 months of the year, I’m very lucky to be amongst garden plants … Read More

Winter Gardening Jobs

As a gardening professional, the question I probably get asked the most is “What do you do in winter when you’re not gardening?” I suppose to a lot of people, the fact that lawns don’t need mowing and shrubs aren’t growing wild, could give the impression that there isn’t much to do in winter. But in truth, winter is actually a great time to get some of the jobs done that you may struggle to do at any other time of the year, so lets take a look at some of the things that can keep gardeners busy in winter. … Read More

Electric Garden Power Tools – Are they any good?

If somebody would have asked me a few years ago whether I’d ever consider using electric garden power tools, I’d have laughed at them. There is no room in a professional gardeners life for cables, poor performance and needing to ask your customer if they have a plug socket you can use. Petrol garden tools will always out perform their electric counterparts and that will remain the case for some time to come. However, in recent years, manufacturers have started bringing lithium battery powered tools to market and in some situations, there may be a good case for home gardeners … Read More

Adding plants to your gravel or slate border

When creating a good garden, there are a few things that are vital to make it work. Obviously it needs to be practical as you will need to be able to use it in the way you want. It will also need plenty of colour, including a lawn and plenty of colourful plants and it also needs to have clean lines and varying texture. Now, when I say clean lines, I am not necessarily talking about straight lines, I mean definitive lines between lawn and border, lawn and patio, border and pathway etc. If you’ve read some of my other … Read More

Hedge Trimming by hand

I suppose, when it comes to looking after your hedges, the clue really lies in the word “trimming”. If you went to the hairdressers and asked for a trim, you’d be mortified if they started hacking the living daylights out of your hair. So it stands to reason that if you want to trim your hedge, well that’s exactly what you are looking to do. Trim off the uneven edges, tidy it up and make it look nice. Rushing off to the local DIY store and firing up a hedge trimmer, when you don’t know what you are doing, can … Read More

Choosing ground cover for your garden

Apart from your actual lawn area, the one thing you don’t really want in your garden is too much empty ground space. Borders can look very bare if you don’t add some sort of ground cover and bare areas, usually lead to prolific weed growth. There are really 2 different types of ground cover. Non growing ground cover and growing ground cover (or natural ground cover). And within these 2 categories, are many different options. Non growing ground cover would consist of things like bark chippings, gravel, boulders, rocks, etc. These obviously can be placed into borders to add a … Read More

Give your garden borders some curves

curved garden border

At this time of year (Spring as I write) I get called to do a lot of garden tidy ups. Usually borders are festooned with last autumns leaves and the weed growth is already prolific. Many of my clients are not as mobile as once they were and although a lot of them are keen gardeners, getting down on their hands and knees and getting rid of weeds, leaves and debris is quite a chore. Even for somebody who does this work for a living, like myself, a full day or two of sorting out garden borders, flower beds and … Read More

Soil PH levels in your garden and why they are important

It’s incredible just how many different plant varieties we have available to buy and plant in the UK. Even more incredible when you look at the number of variations and hybrids there are of just a single plant. The “back in fashion” Camellia for example has around 300 different classified varieties, with up to 3000 additional hybrids. When you think that some of these plants originate from places as far away as Japan and South America, it’s easy to see why some plants you might put into your own back garden, never really thrive and reach their full potential. Weather … Read More

Using Gravel for Borders and Paths

Gravel Border

I’m not a huge fan of covering gardens in concrete or other aggregates but there are times when they really do have their place. Recently I was called in by a couple, who had just moved to the area and were looking to get their previously neglected garden, up to scratch. The biggest issue they had was that there was pretty much nothing growing in the whole garden, save a few bulb flowers and a whole tonne of weeds. Worse still, the area directly in front of their patio was uneven, overgrown and just trying to step onto the lawn … Read More