Useful tips for choosing the right plants

FOR AN EASY MAINTENANCE GARDEN

If all you want to do is sit and relax in your new garden, then choosing the right plants is an important part of the planning!

Having the right plants is an integral part of ensuring your time in the garden is spent relaxing with that well earned ‘glass of wine’. Compact, flowering shrubs are very useful as are colourful evergreen grasses, alpines, Heathers, ground cover plants and small compact growing trees. In addition to this, weed control can be as equally important. Use weed control fabric covered with gravel or bark mulch to limit weed growth. This will also help with keeping moisture in the soil which will help during prolonged dry spells.

Perhaps even consider the odd large pot on the patio, planted with seasonal bedding to give that extra bit of colour.

Compact low maintenance shrubs to consider:

  • Hebe (smaller leaf varieties are best)
  • Cistus
  • Spiraea Goldflame, Goldmound, Anthony Waterer
  • Skimmia japonica Rubella & Kew Green
  • Viburnum davidii
  • Viburnum tinus Eve Price
  • Euonymus fortunei varieties
  • Daphne
  • Choisya Aztec Pearl & Sundance

These are just a few of plants you could include within a low maintenance garden design. If you would like us to suggest a scheme for a low maintenance garden then please contact us and we’ll only be too happy to assist!

FOR ALL YEAR ROUND COLOUR

Lets be honest, we all love flowers in the garden. Flowers are the life blood of any garden and they provide a wonderful environment for wildlife.

As well as flowers being the gardeners colours of choice, equally, plants which have decorative foliage, stems & bark can be ‘show stoppers’ in any garden. Although this type of garden will require more thought and planning, the rewards are plentiful and rewarding.

If this is the type of garden you ultimately want to achieve then prepare yourself to learn more about plants and what they do in certain times of the year. The ultimate would be to hire a professional to do all the planning for you (and we can certainly help with that). However, if you want to be involved with the garden then perhaps take the time to look around at what is in flower at certain times of the year. Whether its visiting a friends house, walking the dog, shopping, or walking off the Sunday roast it will pay to have a look around and see what’s flowering!

If you would like us to help with planning your garden, please contact us and we’ll be only too happy to help!

FOR ATTRACTING WILDLIFE

We perhaps look at gardens rather selfishly and consider them an extension of our home. A private area ‘just for us’. Gardens are so much more than that.

In an ever increasing demand for housing, gardens are becoming an essential part of our everyday lives. They provide an area to relax in, to entertain in, to play in and to be proud of.

One thing that we perhaps don’t consider enough is ‘what about nature’?

Wildlife is as the word says, ‘life in the wild’.

So as we continue to pave over the countryside, perhaps we have a duty and responsibility to include wildlife in our gardens. Whether it’s a stately home or a window box in a high rise block, we can all help in creating a wildlife haven for insects and animals to enjoy.

Providing flowers for our bees and butterflies is a great way to start. Adding safe havens for birds, hedgehogs, frogs, insects can also really help and ultimately make the garden into a home for all.

A simple way to start would be to include plants into your garden that attract bees and butterflies. Try planting:

  • Buddleia
  • Hebe
  • Lavander

or adding bird boxes, piles of logs, insect hotels. If you have a large garden why not consider leaving an area to grow naturally? Leave the grass a bit longer, let the flowers grow and seed.

EDIBLE PLANTS & FRUIT PRODUCERS

So, now we have catered for wildlife, why not add a few fruiting plants to your garden so that you can enjoy the taste of the garden too!

You don’t need a lot of room to do this, all you need is a pot or corner of the garden to start producing your own food.

There are plenty of dwarf fruiting trees to chose from or perhaps consider soft fruit plants like Strawberries, Tomatoes or Raspberries. Salad plants are quick and easy to grow and take up little room.

There is a great sense of satisfaction when you pick that first fruit and taste it!

Call in and see us at the nursery, we’ll be glad to offer advise and recommend the best varieties to choose.

FOR A SOUTH FACING GARDEN

Congratulations! If you have a south facing garden then your tan must be better than mine!

If your garden is predominantly south facing then chances are you’re going to get a fair bit of sun, especially during the hottest part of the year. It also means you can use plants in the garden that thrive in these types of environments. Although we have winter months that can last from October to April, South facing gardens tend to flourish earlier due to the best amount of sunlight over the course of the year.

Lots of sun means of course lots more flowers which is not only great aesthetically but its also very good for wildlife. The only real negative to south facing gardens is the potential to dry up more quickly. With this in mind, you can easily overcome this by selecting plants that will tolerate drought.

Look towards the Mediterranean for drought-tolerant plants which include:

  • Lavanders
  • Rosemary
  • Agapanthus
  • Thyme
  • Phlomis fruticosa
  • Euphorbia

You could also use the following plants to add some structure:

  • Phormium
  • Cordyline
  • Palms
  • Agave
  • Yucca

Why not use grasses to add some structure to mixed borders:

  • Miscanthus Morning Light
  • Stipa Tenuissiam
  • Stipa Gigantea
  • Festuca Intense Blue

FOR PROVIDING SHADE

Plants can perform many functions in the garden. One of these important functions is to provide shade.

If your lucky enough to have a south facing garden then at some point in the day, a cool shady spot to retire into would be welcoming!

Trees can be an excellent supplier of shade to the garden. For small to medium gardens, trees will need to be selected carefully to avoid planting species that get too high.

Good trees for smaller to medium gardens:

  • Betula jaquemontii
  • Alnus incana Aurea
  • Sorbus aria Lutecens
  • Prunus autumnalis rosea
  • Catalpa bignonioides Aurea
  • Betula Dalecarlica
  • Acer negundo Flamingo
  • Gleditsia Sunburst
  • Pyrus Chanticleer

Larger shrubs and Bamboo can also provide good shade from either sunlight or from strong winds.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

We have lots of advice on getting the best out of your garden with the right planting, so if you have any questions or require further information then please use the following link to contact us. We will be happy to help!