Taking notes in the garden

hat and books on garden table
Add a notebook to your garden toolkit for more effective planning
Image source: Shutterstock

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.
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Growing wintergreen perennials

Heuchera Obsidian
Illustrated by the deep purple Heuchera Obsidian, not all wintergreens are green
Image source: Chris Hill

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.
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How to choose and plant roses

pink and red rose bushes
A quintessential English garden wouldn’t be complete without roses
Image source: Viktoria Kuzemnko

For summer spectacle and scent it’s hard to beat the rose, and few gardeners feel their plot is complete without at least one.

The colour range is vast and with everything from rampant ramblers to dainty patio roses, there’s something to suit every size of garden.

While they may be the stars of summer, between November and March is the best time to plant. Bare root roses are not only cheaper than potted plants, they also establish more easily. Continue reading “How to choose and plant roses”

What to grow in the winter garden

red and orange bushes dogwood
Enjoy colour in the garden year round with Cornus.
Image source: Van Meuwen

More than any other season, it’s winter that sorts true gardeners from mere dabblers. Putting on a good show when flowers are plentiful is easy, while the stripped back nature of winter soon exposes any weakness in design.
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Forcing spring bulbs for winter colour

pink purple yellow hyacinths on windowsill
Forcing flowers brings the colours of spring into your home early.
Source: Shutterstock

The window of opportunity for planting bulbs to flower for Christmas and New Year may be closing, but there’s still time to plant beautiful displays that will bring colour and fragrance into your home during the cold, dark days of January and February.

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