Plottings: Your Garden Now

Is your garden bird-ready?

Birds are lovely to have in the garden, but in Autumn and early Winter they need to eat a lot so as to maximise body weight for the coldest months.  They need plenty of berries, haws, hips and seeds, which you can grow ... have you done enough to help them through?

Butterflies, drought and late summer colour

Who doesn't want a late summer garden filled with drifts of colour and butterflies? Even better if it won't need any watering.  Read Liz's ultimate A-list of must-have plants.

Perfect peonies

With their huge, romantic blooms peonies are a desirable plant and, given that they live for up to 50 years, are really a long term investment for your garden. A common misconception is that they're difficult to grow - they're not!

Plants for early colour

Late Winter-to-early Spring is an exciting time in the garden, with plenty of shoots and buds forming. If you plan for early flowers and fragrance too, those first sorties to clear away Winter’s debris will be all the more magical.

Heavenly hellebores

From December onwards you will see the white-flowering Christmas Rose (hellebore niger - so named because of its black roots) on sale. It is a lovely Christmas houseplant, and outdoors does much better in pots than directly into the ground. Planted with skimmias for example, in terracotta pots lining a pathway or around your front door, they will look stunning all through the darkest, wintriest days.

How, why and when to use mulch

Mulching is good for your plants and dramatically reduces the need to weed! Mulch is also great at locking in moisture, providing nutrients, and protecting the roots of plants from winter cold.

Cyclamen indoors and out

The first cyclamen of the season arrive in August, and by September we will have plenty of different ones in stock. We are often asked about hardiness and the easiest way to know if a cyclamen is hardy is simply, the bigger and showier the flowers, the less likely it is to be suitable for outdoors all year round.

Kids in the garden

Parents often struggle to find time to garden, especially in the school holidays - too busy entertaining the kids! But children can enjoy doing something useful, outdoors, creative and fun – why not get THEM to do the gardening? Older children may be bribed with pocket money, but young ones will usually do it for free, albeit with plenty of supervision and not necessarily perfect results.

Gardening without water

Do you dream of relaxing in your garden rather than working in it all the time? Why not plant a Mediterranean-style garden so that next year you can rest the hose and cans, relax and enjoy.

You will need well-drained soil and sunshine for this to work well. You could add grit sand to improve drainage if your soil is too heavy.

Plant buying tips

With so much colour and choice, plant centres are full temptation in May. Here are some tips on how to buy plants that will perform well in your garden in the long term.

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