August is a great time to take stock of your borders and containers. Right now, they should be in full swing; a riot of colour! But in a couple of months they will begin to fade and so it’s worth planning ahead now. Make sure that you have some plants waiting in the wings if you want to keep your display looking fresh and colourful.
Here are some top tips for extending your display well into autumn.
Have you spotted any butterflies lately? If your garden is a haven for them then why not take part in the Big Butterfly Count? This annual event runs from Friday 17 July and Sunday 9 August this year, so you still have plenty of time to get involved.
Winter scented plants will lift your spirits at any time of year. When the long, warm days of summer are a distant memory, the delicious scent of fragrant flowers is a welcome tonic.
Many winter flowering shrubs are perfume powerhouses, and their fragrances can be enjoyed from all around the garden. Their blooms have such heady scents to attract pollinators, which is no mean feat, given that there are relatively few pollinators around in winter. It works, though! On a sunny day, the sight of early emerging bees homing in on scented flowers is a wonderful sight. Continue reading “Winter scented shrubs”
Ask any gardener what’s on their list of must-have tools and chances are they’d say a trowel, fork and secateurs. Good gloves and stout boots also often get a mention but there’s something else I’d add to the gardening essentials – a notebook.
Keep a journal or notes on your garden. It’s one of the best ways to plan ahead and remember exactly what you’ve done.
Combine it with a camera and you can keep track of all those gardening jobs and flashes of inspiration. This helps you improve your plot every season and keep a detailed history of its development. Continue reading “Taking notes in the garden”
Wintergreens, or evergreen perennials, are a valuable group of perennial plants that add texture, shape and colour to our borders during the dark days of winter, long after the flower-filled days of summer are over. These plants have so much more to offer to our gardens than their flowers because they don’t die back in winter like herbaceous perennials.
‘Wintergreens’ are not necessarily green, despite what their name suggests. Think glaucous blues, silvery greys, sumptuous deep purples, uplifting yellows, gentle tracings of pale variegation, and glowing red-edged foliage. The palette is surprisingly varied, so winter borders need never be dull. Continue reading “Growing wintergreen perennials”