Some things to do in the garden….all year round !
Theses videos are brought to you from the delightful people at English Garden Magazine English Garden
Some things to do in the garden….all year round !
Theses videos are brought to you from the delightful people at English Garden Magazine English Garden
Organic gardens have become quite popular these days as people are looking for more and more natural alternatives over artificial and synthetic products. An organic garden can give you completely environmentally friendly surroundings and of course it adds to the beauty of your house.
Natural and organic gardening are an exceptionally effective technique to change over wasteland and open turf into something embellishing decorative and significant, and in the meantime get the advantages that any garden would provide you with.Organic gardens or nurseries are known for the way that they don’t require any sorts of chemical added substances like synthetic composts and pesticides, and these are developed in a totally natural way.
Rather than utilising artificially manufactured fertilizers, natural manures are preferred. Instead of using synthetic pesticides, bio-repellent plants are chosen. These natural substitutes play out similar functions that the artificial materials do, however they just do it less remarkably. It is no big surprise that individuals who are planning to raise environmental awareness and saving earth’s valuable resources and assets are looking for natural gardening & planting as a reasonable solution.
When you’ve decided to begin your natural garden, the main thing that you should consider is the soil. Keep in mind that your garden will be just as strong and healthy as the soil on which it grows. So, first and foremost, you need to set up the dirt.For this, you can get compost manure from any organic shop, or you can set it up yourself in an edge of the garden. All you will require is simply the natural debris from your garden and a few earthworms, and should wait for a half year at least.
At the point when the fertilizer is available, add it to the soil and work it in. The soil ought to get a deep shading and scent. Once that happens, your job is done! You have just started making strides towards the environmental friendly garden with one of the best natural resources, which is fertile soil.
You can choose whichever plants you need and take care of your garden simply like a typical garden. However, you should utilise diverse strategies for including manures and pesticides since you can’t utilise synthetic chemicals.
If you have too many trees in your garden and wish to trim them down to make room for other plants, it’s recommended that you should not do the trimming work on your own, if you don’t have any experience in this field.
Remember, if you wish to add fertility value to the garden, you can go ahead and grow a combination of symbiotic plants together. This allows the two plants to add to each other’s nourishment qualities by giving out specific nutrients in the soil. You can also take commonly used natural ways to keep the pests away from your garden. So, what are you waiting for?
Go ahead and grow your own organic garden!
Every year gardening publications get comments from people who are a little bewildered by the complexity of planning their first vegetable garden and don’t know where to start. Some are looking for a ‘quick fix’ – some way to magically come up with the perfect plan for their garden. Others are prepared to spend time but find the plethora of possible combinations of plants and layouts confusing. With that in mind, here’s the best advice in the form of principles to follow when producing a good plan for a new vegetable garden.
When planning a vegetable garden it’s all too easy to jump in with both feet and try to grow as much as possible in the first year. Many experienced gardeners will tell you that this is just setting yourself up for disappointment as the amount to learn, maintain and weed can quickly become overwhelming. Far better is to make a list of your favourite vegetables and narrow it down to the ones that taste best fresh or cost a lot to buy in the shops. Plan to create a few vegetable beds each year, expanding as you become confident and find the timesaving shortcuts that work for you. Defining good paths (using materials such as woodchip and weed suppressant fabric) will pay back many times over in the time saved maintaining them.
If the area you are going to use for your vegetable garden is new then the next decision is what style of garden and planting system you would like to use: raised beds, traditional rows, square foot gardening etc. In general it’s a good idea to define garden beds 4 feet (1.2m) wide and as long as you want them to be with a 2 foot (60cm) path between them. This is about as wide as you can go before it becomes uncomfortable to lean into the middle of the bed (you’ll appreciate this when weeding) without treading on the soil (best avoided as it compacts the soil structure). If you have children around then it’s useful to clearly mark the edges and building raised beds is a good way to do this (also good if you have heavy or waterlogged soil as they drain well.)
Many different crop layouts can work for a particular garden space and there will be far more variation in the harvest due to factors beyond our control such as weather and pests than in whether leeks should be placed next to carrots. Although some gardeners swear by complex companion planting systems the main principles that have been proved to work are summarised as:
1 Mix up plants to confuse pests: Large areas of a single crop (or a single crop family) attract pests whereas mixed planting can confuse them. See our article on Common Sense Companion Planting for details. The one exception to this is where plants require special protection, for example, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers may be grown together if they are all going to be protected from caterpillars in a tunnel of netting or horticultural fleece.
2 Grow insectary plants: There are a number of well-known flowers that attract beneficial insects (ladybirds, hoverflies etc) that will naturally control pests. See my article on Flowers for Vegetable Gardens for help in choosing these.
3 Consider Shade and Support: Tall plants can shade others or can be used to offer support to others e.g. climbing beans can grow up sweet corn.
With these general principles in mind here are my recommendations for placing plants in a new vegetable garden:
1 Tender Plants: Plants such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, basil etc are the most fussy. Unless your climate is extremely warm you’ll want to reserve the best sunny spots in your garden for these high-value crops so add them to your plan first. South facing walls can be particularly good for providing the heat that these plants like in order to produce an abundant harvest.
2 Roaming Plants: Next place plants that like to send out vines that roam around the garden – melon, squash etc. These need to be situated at the edge of your vegetable beds so the broad leaves attached to the vines don’t cover your other plants. Placing them at the edge lets them spread out across paths or grass.
3 Vertically Climbing Plants: Anything that grows up supports – peas, beans and some squash such as cucumbers, will need to be located where they won’t shade other vegetables. The one exception is areas with very hot summers where some cool-season crops such as lettuce and spinach can benefit from shade in the heat of the day.
4 Irrigation: Some plants perform badly in dry conditions – celery, onions, strawberries etc (see our Plant Guides for full details). Areas of your garden that are slightly lower will retain more moisture or you may need to plan to provide irrigation to get consistent growth.
5 Pollination: Certain plants need to be near others in order to pollinate well and ‘set fruit’ (ie produce the edible portion). The main one you need to consider is sweet corn which should be grown in blocks to ensure that it produces full cobs – see our article on sweetcorn for details.
6 Accessibility: What plants do you want to be able to regularly harvest? Herbs, salad, tomatoes etc..? These should all be placed as near to your kitchen as possible. Not only will you then be more likely to use them but it will help you to keep on top of the weeds and remove slugs regularly.
7 Succession Planting: If you are short of space or want a crop throughout the season, consider using succession planting and intercropping – see my article on getting more crops from an area and our video on using the Garden Planner to organise Succession Planting.
8 Don’t Overcrowd: Finally, tempting though it is, be very careful not to overcrowd plants as you add in the remaining ones to your plan. This is the number 1 mistake made by new gardeners and it’s easy to see why – plants look so small as seedlings and we all hate pulling up the result of our hard work to thin them out! Our Garden Planner can help with this and show just how much you can get into your space.
An Art or a Science?
Gardening is both an art and a science and it’s that tension that is at the root of the confusion for many new gardeners. There are scientific principles that need to be followed – overcrowding plants or growing in poor-quality soil will set you up for failure. In subsequent years the principles of crop rotation will add more constraints. However, that still allows for a lot of different possibilities and the art is in placing plants in a way that makes best use of your space without breaking any of the rules.
It’s worth remembering that these aren’t a hard and fast set of rules. The art is in using these guiding principles to design something that’s uniquely your garden and, with experience, that becomes a very satisfying and enjoyable process.
“I love beautiful gardens and want to have one, but I am not a gardener” is a quote I often hear. Maybe it is just lack of confidence, but there are people out there who have neither the inclination nor the aptitude to garden.
These non-gardeners adore a fabulous outdoor space, but they don’t want to obsess about the black spot and buddleias.I find these people hard to fathom – I would be loath to “finish” my garden and would far rather be titivating and transforming it for ever and a day. But they want it done and dusted.
The Non-Gardeners’ Garden
I enjoy working with non-gardening gardeners; paring down the design so that there are no frills, just straightforward, gutsy elements.Simple, clear, unfettered, but glamorous spaces have a strong appeal and often rely on a highly individual feel.
They need character to hold the interest as opposed to successions of blooms, perfumes and other ephemeral things. This individual feel may take the lead from a point of interest in the architecture or surrounding landscape.For instance, you might be blessed with dramatic slopes, as with one garden I am working on that sits, teetering, by the edge of a small disused stone quarry.
Alternatively you may, as many people do, have a house and surroundings that look mediocre and nothing out of the ordinary. In this case you need to import or create the drama.
Definition and Proportion
If you are lucky enough to look on to countryside, making the most of the view may well be the making of the garden.Our rear garden, when we arrived, was a wire-fenced paddock, with no access from the house. It was an amorphous, rather bumpy space that you didn’t look twice at.
I lifted the level by burying unwanted spoil from building work and defined it on both of the two short sides with a series of panels of yew hedges.Then I put in an invisible, stock-proof barrier, a ha-ha (a retaining wall made of horizontally stacked telegraph poles one-metre high that can only be seen from the meadow side) across its long boundary and it became a well-proportioned space.
The ha-ha now provides slightly elevated panoramic views over grazing livestock in the adjacent meadow. A large tree with a seat in the foreground sharpens the focus and contrasts with the lazier, more distant view. In short, it’s got wow factor.
If this sounds too complicated, consider removing a section of boundary hedge on to a neighbouring field and put a sitting area in the gap. A friend of mine tried this and it works brilliantly.
Hedges and Trees
Many people inherit overgrown, mammoth coniferous hedges. Removing them can create new opportunities. A city garden I worked on had a boundary blocked in by a thick, greedy Leyland hedge.
We felled the screen and exposed the native belt of trees. False gates made the mini woodland come into the garden and has transformed this small property.If you’re worried about privacy or concealing eyesores, screening can usually be achieved in a charismatic way with pleached trees, allées and leaner hedges.
Shaping spaces can be done with a range of elements that don’t require extensive or difficult maintenance. Fences and walls can be wonderful but expensive. Alternatively try hedges, allées of trees, specimen trees arranged in strong configurations or changes of levels. They are not difficult to maintain.
Box hedging has soared in popularity, because it creates real definition and holds together blowsy planting that would look a mess without it in its off season. It is often a key player in these type of gardens.
Good gardens are all about interesting, well-defined spaces. Spaces that have good proportions are easier to live with. Ill-defined shapes with no strong character can make you feel in limbo, and are not pleasant spaces to linger.
Defining a space that relates well to a part of the house you use most, such as a kitchen or living room, is a great starting point. Small town gardens with strongly shaped paved areas (directly off the kitchen) broken up with oversized, but kempt greenery in oversized pots can give great usable space.
A Dramatic Feature
Other key players might be a fabulous, oversized urn taking centre stage, a clutch of mammoth topiary, an intriguing door or gates, some amazing water or furniture. A friend of mine has made some giant-sized table and chairs which sit at the end of a vista! Unforgettable.
Top tips for non-gardeners
1 – The late David Hicks banished views of flowers from the house because of their ”off” period. This might be too extreme for many, but structural planting is far easier for non-gardeners.
2 – Paving is almost maintenance free. Be bold with it, design the proportions carefully and incorporate structural planting within the paving.
3 – It is relatively easy to find people to help mow and clip hedges; proper gardeners are more difficult to hunt out.
4 – Any specimen plants in bottomless pots (rooting into soil below) from bay to quince trees, look architectural, grow bigger and better and won’t need watering after the first year or so.
5 – Water is wonderful for the wow factor. But the design is difficult to get right to ensure that it is low maintenance. If in doubt, call in the professionals.
6 – If you want flower beds, don’t have hundreds of different plants, but keep to bigger blocks of performers with a long season, Rosa ‘Mutabilis’, Hebe topiaria, Geranium ‘Jolly Bee’, Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’, Erigeron karvinskianus.
This is a repost the original article can be found here: Original Article
What to do in the Garden in November !
As winter approaches, take advantage of the cool days and the slower pace of gardening to prepare your plants for winter. November is in the midst of the dormant period so it’s the perfect time to keep up your garden maintenance and prepare your garden for the future frosts.
Sowing and Planting
Bulbs should preferably be planted earlier in autumn, but there is still time this November for tulips, daffodils and crocuses. These bulbs can be planted through to the end of the month if the weather is mild before the soil loses the heat from the summer months. You can always plant bulbs in pots indoors to add some spring colour to your home, just make sure you chose indoor cultivating bulbs.
Winter bedding plants such as pansies, violas and wallflowers can still be planted if you are experiencing mild weather. Make sure you plant winter bedding plants on a sunny day, in rich, moist soil. Adding grit is especially important for soil drainage in case you experience frequent showers this winter.
It’s also time to be planting new roses, trees and shrubs in well-prepared soil. Make sure you trim any long shoots on bush roses and standard roses to reduce wind rock which can loosen roots and snap off stems in winter storms.
It’s time to look into buying seeds, order a collection of seed catalogues and browse the internet so you can begin to plan what you would like to grow next year.
Pruning,Dividing & Covering
November is your last chance to prepare your soil before winter sets in. Soil can easily be damaged; make sure you dig up any unwanted plants and turn over your soil while it still contains some summer heat.Protect any bare patches of soil with mulch, compost, leaf mould or even plastic sheeting. This will make the soil easy to plant or sow into next spring.
Perennials should be divided and pruned to soil level now to ensure they return next spring as healthy as ever. Work from the middle outwards, pruning back quite harshly, especially if the plants are looking over-crowded. All annuals should have been removed, as they have nothing else to offer, replace these with winter bedding plants to keep the colour in your garden this winter.
Leaves are a commodity in any garden, perfect for adding to both mulch and compost once your leaf pile has transformed into mould. Firstly, separate your leaves and keep them in a garden container, bag or create a heap in a quiet corner of your garden. The bacteria that breaks the leaves down to mould needs oxygen to work, so make sure you puncture any bags you collect your leaves in.
Raise any patio containers by adding bricks or feet underneath, this will protect your plants and soil from becoming waterlogged during winter showers. If you are expecting an especially harsh winter, it’s best to insulate any outside plant containers with bubble wrap to protect them from frost.
November is the perfect time to make bonfires. Where allowed, create bonfires out of any garden waste that can’t be added to compost. Check around your garden for any sign of plant disease, a bonfire is the perfect way to dispose of any infected plant parts and reduce chances of the disease spreading.
Don’t become complacent if you’ve been fortunate enough to have mild weather so far; it only takes one night of frost to damage or even kill off most garden plants. Move them into a sheltered, well insulated place such as a green house or conservatory to make sure they survive this winter. If you don’t have room to keep your plants indoors make sure you cover anything vulnerable to the weather with plastic sheeting or garden fleece.
If you’re keen to keep wildlife in your garden this winter, there are plenty of things you can do to encourage insects, birds and other creatures to roam around.Keep up your bird feed and fresh water this winter, it’ll encourage birds in the coming months, and you’ll see a whole new flock next spring.
As you tidy your garden, you’ll find that you uncover many pests hiding beneath plants. Encouraging hungry birds into your garden can ensure slugs and snails are a thing of the past. Not all wildlife should be encouraged into your garden; unfortunately little garden pests are hardier than they may look. Keep an eye out for pests like spider mites and scale, and take care of them before they become a problem.
Fruit & Vegetables
Most vegetables won’t grow very well if they are planted between November and February because the short days don’t provide enough sunlight. All root vegetables should have been dug up by now, if you haven’t harvested carrots, turnips, potatoes and other similar vegetables they need to be dug up as soon as possible.Don’t worry too much about your vegetable patch looking bare; fill your plot with hardy broad beans, onions, garlic and shallots.
Make sure you protect new crops and sowings for winter by covering them with frames or cloches. Continue to harvest and store your fruit, when apples and pears are ready they should be picked, and stored in a cool, dry, place to reach their peak of flavour.Between now and March is the time for winter pruning of apples and pears that are not ready to be harvested.
You should also be cutting back any berry canes to soil level so they grow back strong and healthy next year. Order any new fruit trees and bushes now, and plant them out when directed. Check that your fruit ties are still in place as fruit trees and canes can easily be damaged due to wind rock. Tidy your fruit garden and remove any debris to be added to your compost pile.
Gardens can be really fulfilling and rewarding places where you can lose yourself in doing something proven to be relaxing and stress relieving. Although it may seem easy if you want to be the true gardener you’ll have to put some effort in your skills, equipment and knowledge about how to do it properly. You may think this is too much for a hobby, but the results can be colourful and tasty encircling your home with beautiful smells of fresh flowers and herbs.
Make your own design
Before starting to buy necessary things like pots and seedlings, take a good look at your garden and picture its ideal version. Make a plan to design it accounting for the sunlight exposure and the shape of your garden. Include the types of plants you want to grow and what kind of conditions they require. Planning everything, in the beginning, will save you time and money, not to mention prevent any disappointment you might feel if something is not done right.
If you want to do some extensive work, ask for a professional opinion and cost estimation and don’t forget to check if you need any special permits for the remodelling of your garden.
Plant your own fruits
Many people don’t know this, but growing fruits is not reserved only for the orchards in the country. Nowadays you can buy seedlings from nursery gardens of almost anything, and that includes apple, peach, and other types of fruit trees always thought too complicated to grow in the garden. You can also add currant or blueberry bushes since they proved to be perfect for home gardens. Instructions on how to plant and grow fruits are available online, or you can ask your seller at the nursery garden for any advice about the care and watering.
The important thing to remember here is to be realistic and choose the species guaranteed to grow successfully in the climate and soil where you live. This way you can enjoy some lovely, domestic fruits and maybe expand to some more.
Vegetables from your garden
Imagine waking up in the morning and going to your garden to pick cucumbers and tomatoes for the salad, engulf in the smells of fresh vegetables and greenery. That’s an image to stay with you for a long time, indeed. Although it may seem complicated and requiring a lot of work, the vegetables mostly grow for a season and depending on the space you can grow enough to freeze for the winter, and even give your family and friends some.
Some use specially designed wooden or stone boxes for planting and so separating one type of vegetable from the other. Some like to design their gardens to look more natural and keep everything in the rows and close to each other. What you need to remember is that vegetables require work and regular watering, so it might be a good idea to have the retractable hose reels at hand and outer water source to keep it from withering.
Play with colours
It’s unimaginable to have a garden without colourful and fragrant flowers. They will not only bring joy to you but will also steal a smile or two from your neighbours. There are more than hundreds of flowers you can choose to grow, varying in colour, shape, smell and preferences. Some enjoy a lot of sun, and some will grow better in the shade. You can use them to improve your garden design and interrupt the uniformity of greenery, and also to attract natural pollinators of other plants you are growing and nurturing.
Accessories and embellishments
If you want to achieve that natural and rustic look, use stones and grass to highlight it. But if you are more into modern design, try combining metal with the glass. Wind chimes and mirrors can give that carefree and spiritual vibe to your garden, depicting it as the place to enjoy peace and serenity. While adding some bird feeders will bring you cheerful songs in the spring and summer. You can use pots for some plants, for example, to decorate the sitting area and entrance to the house.
You can even go as far as to create your own ornaments with making leaf castings or painting the pots. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard and pay attention to styles. The best thing about this is that you can change the way your garden looks as soon as the next year, just in time to grow new and favourite plants.
Studies showed that gardening will boost your energy and improve your mood, but not any of it possible if you don’t roll up your sleeves and have some dirt on your hands. Of all the physical work, this one may be the best since the results are healthy and enchanting.
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