To appreciate the value of ground cover plants you must forget the over-groomed garden with its several square inches of weed-free soil
round every plant, and consider instead the ways of nature. In a meadow, every bit of soil is covered, yet there is a tremendous variety of plants. In lightly dappled copses or at the edges of dense forest, plants carpet the ground.
If Read more ...
This brings us to water features and water garden ponds made from 'found' containers. Here the choice is endless. From baths at one end of the scale to an upturned dustbin lid at the other, almost any container can be adapted for use in water gardening
. Some can be left above ground but they can also be sunk into the ground to look like a normal pool. Once again, Read more ...
Slightly-raised flower beds
give a more effective display of the plants and, if cut out of grass, provide a decent clean sharp edge. So, assuming there is no need to lift the turf, this can be dug in and chopped up as the job proceeds. Add rotted manure, old potting soil
or compost and, as the job proceeds, turn the soil to the centre to create a trench so that after the first Read more ...
If you have only a small garden and if you really want your hedge for nothing more than a border between your plot and the next, think in terms of some pretty flowering hedging
plant which will help you decorate the house indoors as well as out.
Roses are ideal. Strong growers can be used as boundary hedges. If you keep pegging long trails down into the ground, Read more ...
Shelter Your Window Flower Boxes / Garden Containers from Weather Conditions
One of the main problems in caring for outdoor container plants is the effect of the wind, particularly with window flower boxes and garden containers
on open balconies, as in a block of flats. Sometimes a shelter can be arranged with glass or transparent plastic panels, or trellis. The latter Read more ...
WEEDS AND PREVENTION
Weeds are basically any plants growing in the wrong place. Fast-growing native plants that spread quickly from seed, such as groundsel, or by rampant underground runners
, like bindweed, are the commonest sorts. Some cultivated plants, however, can become a problem when they establish themselves too well. For the first few years after you dig up an uncultivated Read more ...
ACID SOIL has a pH content lower than 7.0. The majority of plants will grow on acid soil
, while plants such as rhododendrons and heathers will not grow on anything other than acid soil.
AERATING soil or ground, including lawns, means loosening it with tools or a machine to expose it more to the air and to moisture.
AERIAL ROOTS are roots you find on plant stems above Read more ...
Although you can plant pot-grown shrubs at any time of the year when the soil
is workable, the best planting times
are: mid-spring and early autumn for conifers and evergreens, autumn for woody trees, shrubs, fruit and climbers, spring for hardy perennials and rock plants.
Tender plants include slightly tender perennials and Read more ...
The art of good gardening lies in knowing what to plant where. It’s quite easy to find out what individual plants need — for example sun or shade, damp or well drained soil
— if you buy plants from a garden centre, as you’ll find information on the back of the label. It’s harder to see the growing conditions in different parts of your garden from a plant’s point Read more ...
A GREENHOUSE: TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?
Unless you’re lucky enough to have moved into a house with a greenhouse already in place in the garden (or on an allotment), it’s worthwhile pondering the pros and cons of buying one. You need to consider, apart from the cost, the maintenance required, especially if you choose a wooden-framed greenhouse rather than the relatively maintenance-free Read more ...
Making a Pond
Ponds are ideal for encouraging lots of wildlife into your garden as well as adding significantly to the overall visual appeal. They are a great source of interest and education, particularly for children. However, since they can also represent a danger to the safety of very young children, it may be worthwhile considering instead another type of water feature, Read more ...
A pergola is a series of connecting arches that not only links areas of the garden, it also provides shade and support for climbing plants
and a very pleasing way of framing a view or aspect of your garden. Although you can construct a pergola from natural stone, brick, metal or wood, the rustic, wooden version is probably the commonest and the most cost-effective.
An Read more ...
TO FENCE OR TO HEDGE?
It is likely that you will want or have to mark the boundaries of your garden, for security or a more decorative garden, or both. The quickest solution is obviously to erect a fence – it is immediate and you can always start to grow a hedge or plants up against it, once it is in position.
, as you would expect, is often quite stark Read more ...
Trees are ideal for providing height for the back row of a mixed border. Most small gardens don’t have a lot of room for trees, so you must choose carefully. There are plenty of very attractive decorative kinds that won’t outgrow their welcome, but if you only have room for one tree, make it a good one. Plant as far away from the house as their eventual height will be.
Don’t Read more ...
WHY HAVE A LAWN AT ALL?
Although it is easy to assume – mistakenly – that a lawn does not need any attention once it is established, it is true that it is easier and quicker to maintain than a whole series of beds and borders
. It also provides a centrepiece for a garden and, provided it is not neglected, it will enhance the impact of the beds, flowers
and shrubs you Read more ...
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