Horticultural dreams – plan design and create your dream garden.
You can see your new garden in your head. Now release your inner Alan Titchmarsh!
Do you find that a new year is like spring in that it gives you the enthusiasm to start a new project?
If your New Year’s Resolution for next year will be to sort out your garden then I hope this months’ blog will help you.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, let us give you some ideas!
You don’t have to be a professional to design your garden and give it a fabulous makeover!
You may not be using your garden much at the moment, but it’s a great time to plan ahead for what you can do out there next year.
And by planning now, you’ll be ready to go when the weather warms up. So there’ll be no excuses for not doing it!
Start by thinking about and writing down what you’d like in your garden.
Plant types (flowering, evergreen etc)
Maybe there’s a particular spot in your garden that always seems messy that you’d like to smarten up.
Or you might want to add a seating or barbecue area.
Ferns are a great plant for shady spots as they like the darker, damper conditions.
Aggregates are a top all-rounder for adding interest through texture and colour. You can use them to create a rockery, on pathways, to brighten up borders, the list goes on…
Creating a play area for the kids with soft and safe surfaces is a really good idea. They have somewhere of their own to play and your lawn stays in one piece!
Next, sketch a plan of how you’d like your garden to look, what you’d like where etc.
You can use a vision board to do this too – use pictures from magazines to show what you like.
This can be really helpful. You might have ideas in your head of what you want. But magazines and books are sure to give you fresh ideas that you hadn’t thought of!
There are lots of free garden design apps you could use too.
So you know what you want to do in your new-look garden. Now make a list of everything you’ll need – materials, plants, seeds, compost, turf, aggregates etc.
If you’re planning a large-scale, longer-term, project make separate lists for different areas. That way, you can break up the project into smaller tasks.
This will help make it less overwhelming and will also help you to budget for each task and area.
You might be able to get all you need from your local garden centre. But if not, it might be helpful to add to your list where you’ll buy different items from. Which companies, shops or websites. This will make it easier and quicker when you come to buy everything.
I hope this helps you plan your dream garden!
Don’t forget to check out our website for more ideas and advice.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with our latest news, hints and tips!
The days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder…
As we dig out our winter woollies it’s a sign that some parts of the garden need a bit of extra warmth too!
So it’s time to think about preparing your garden for the winter.
Here are our top tips for getting your garden (and house!) winter-ready:
Tend to plants
Before the frost hits, dead-head plants that have finished flowering and prune shrubs.
If you use supports for any of your plants check to see if they need any repairs. If so, do this now before the weather turns.
Put winter warmers on delicate plants!
Not everyone has a greenhouse or space indoors to put delicate plants over the winter.
Protect them with cloches, frost fleece or bubble wrap.
In the greenhouse
Want to grow salads etc over winter? Give them a helping hand to stay warm by fixing a layer of bubble wrap to the interior of your greenhouse.
As long as the ground isn’t waterlogged or frosty, dig clay soil beds to improve the soil quality over winter.
You can leave digging sandy soil until spring.
If you’re not growing veg over the winter, cover your vegetable patch with weed control fabric, plastic sheet or flat cardboard boxes. This will help to protect the soil and stop it from losing valuable nutrients.
Improve your soil
Dig in to, or spread on top of, your beds a good layer of soil improver such as compost or manure.
Even as late as November, you can still plant winter-flowering bulbs for colour in January.
Tidy borders, beds and trim hedges
Weed your beds and borders and give hedges a trim to tidy them up before winter.
Tidy paths, patios and paving. Remove moss or anything that can become slippery in the frost or snow.
It’s a good idea to keep a bag of Rock Salt to spread on these areas too.
Make sure you’ve still got something to enjoy in the garden over winter. Add evergreen shrubs and winter-flowering plants.
Wash and wax
Check sheds, fences, decking and outdoor furniture for damage and repair if necessary.
It’s a good idea to treat wooden structures and furniture regularly with oil, wax or varnish to protect them from the cold wet weather.
If you have metal or plastic furniture, give it a good wash now to make sure it’s clean to use next spring and summer.
Keep it clean
Clean water butts, gutters and downpipes.
Check gutters and drains aren’t clogged with leaves and debris. Clear them if they are to prevent overflow when the rain comes.
Feed your garden visitors
Food is scarce at this time of year for birds, hedgehogs and lots of other garden visitors.
Put out fat balls, seeds and nuts for birds.
Keep water fresh and check it daily to make sure it’s not frozen.
Cut a small hole at the bottom of a fence to allow hedgehogs in and either buy or make a house for them.
Look to the future
Now is a great time to plan your garden for next year. Sketch a plan of your garden to show what you’d like in it and where.
Then make a list of all the things you’ll need so you’re ready to go next year.
And last but not least – don’t forget the lawn!
Winter can be tough on lawns so give yours a head start.
Scarify your lawn to remove any moss and thatch so the growth isn’t stunted.
Aerate with a garden fork or aerating tool to get air and water deep into the roots.
If you’re going to add a top dressing you can do that now too.