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
The single biggest improvement you can make is to plant more rich-green evergreens with high-gloss leaves. These shine out like a beacon in winter light and radiate warmth just when we gardeners need it most. You can use them informally by planting evergreen shrubs, or you can topiarise yew and box. Tightly-clipped evergreens, such as yew and box, will add formal structure as well as warmth. They look particularly stylish in town gardens.
Box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) can be clipped into any shape due to its small leaves. Spirals, cones, balls and squares are more traditional. But I have a handsome cockerel and a hen! The traditional time to clip box is early June, after the frosts have ceased. If the shape needs more honing, give it a second light trim in late August. Yew is clipped in August and is a much larger plant suitable for hedges or larger single specimens
Both are best grown in the ground and both will benefit from a controlled release fertiliser used in the growing season – between April and September. You can containerise box. But it will need regular watering and a fortnightly nitrogen-rich feed to keep the foliage a rich green.
Some evergreens will also provide winter fragrant flower as well as good leaf and the best of all is Sarcococca confusa. This oriental, small shrub has rich-green pointed leaves and ivory white flowers which are little more than collections of stamens. But they belt out a powerful scent which will fragrance a wide area so use it close to gates, doorways and paths. This shrub is also very happy in a container.
There are lots of skimmias that you could use too, but the star performer is Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ -a small laurel-like shrub which produces sweetly fragrant cream flowers in spring. Skimmias are tremendous garden value, because they produce their buds in the previous summer. ‘Kew Green’ has triangular heads consisting of hundreds of lime-green buds suffused in rhubarb pink. These are every bit as decorative as the flowers and they give a long season of interest before the flowers open. Some female skimmias also berry well and the best is S. japonica ‘Nymans’.
If you need a larger winter-flowering evergreen for the edge of a garden, forms of Viburnum tinus are ideal. They have the added advantage of being able to grow happily in deep shade. Although the clusters of flowers aren’t fragrant the combination of pink bud against white flower is delicately pretty in winter light. ‘Eve Price’ is the most compact and colourful – the dark, almost-red buds frame pink flowers. ‘Gwenllian’ is larger (up to 10 ft or 3 metres) with paler blush-white flowers.
You can also explore hollies, eleagnus, aucubas, choisya, osmanthus and photinia. But opt rich-green leaved varieties rather than the golden variegated ones if you want to get the ‘winter warmer’ effect.
Even though it’s wintertime I am still on the lookout to improve things in the garden and as usual at little or no cost. I visited a local garden centre and bought some supplies and saw four plants I need of care and attention so I parted with a small sum and took Home a Coprosma ‘Lemon and Lime’,two Olearia Moondances and a Erica lusitanica Sheffield Park.
I know it’s not really the time to plant but I love to put my gardening skills and knowledge to the test and hopefully they will brighten up a drab unappealing part of the garden.
They’re all evergreen so I’m hoping they’ll flourish on the sunny side of the garden. Once I’d got them home I positioned the where I wanted them got out the fork and trowel and dug the holes.
The wintery sun was out by then and once I’d added some fish,blood and bone and some fresh compost and watered them in the job was done.
Another year has come and nearly gone and I find myself contemplating a more or less satisfying year. 2017 has been the year I succumbed to the gardening bug and seemed to be buy plants regularly and brightening up our garden. Unfortunately naturism took a back seat but hopefully this will return in 2018.
February was fairly mild and on some days it was even warm enough to venture out into the garden to fill up the bird feeders clothes free.
March saw renovations in the garden and removal of all the chicken wire keeping all the wildlife out of the garden installed by the previous tenants who had dogs.
April saw more planting and buying once more from the value for money supermarkets such as Morrisons and Aldi’s rather than the more expensive garden centres.
During May I added portable greenhouse and new water Butt which help greatly with the water bill. Thankfully the whole kit was just £19.99 and it has the option to hook up several alongside.
June saw all my bulbs growing and coming into bloom. Lilies and the hanging basket being the pick. The weather was also getting hotter to so it was good to get more time to get naked in the garden and get all those difficult jobs done without getting to hot and without having the restriction of clothing.
July we finally managed to visit the club again after months of having to work. I’d been over in April to fix the back box roof but this was the first time we could relax and de stress.
August we went to Cornwall and we had a great time at Carbeil Naturist campsite. It was great camping naked under the stars and also visiting the local Naturist beach. Donning clothes we ventured out to visit Tintagel,the lost gardens of Heligon as well as Looe,Polperro and xxxxxxx
September proved to be eventful with a visit to the Pink Floyd exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum in London taking place as well as many naked gardening days during the “Autumn slumber “ where I had around 10 days off. It helped to get the garden looking its best and I managed to tidy up the lawn edges and generally spruce things up. The Black Magic sunflowers I planted turned out to be the highlight this year and needless to say I’ll be growing some more next year.
In October I had some more days off where I managed to treat the lawn with evergreen 4in 1 scarifying it afterwards and once I’d finished the final cut and weed & feed it look near perfect. Then it was time to stop cutting the grass which is very hard for me to do. I was once a groundsman who likes neatly cut grass so leaving it unkempt isn’t easy. Maybe I’ll give it just a tidy soon on the highest cut setting.
November meant more days off and Stratford which we visited in mid November.We had a good trip and visited all but one of Shakespheres connected landmarks,visited Charlecote Park as well as the Butterfly farm in Stratford Read More
So here we are in December and it’s been all work and little play so it’s time to wish everyone who is or isn’t reading a very Merry Christmas 🎄
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!
“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.
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