Supporting Wildlife in a small Garden

Working with small spaces is always challenging whether you are furnishing a room or laying out a garden.  When you cannot fit in everything that you would love to have, it is time to prioritise and that is especially tough when your small garden has to serve both family and wildlife.  An internet search for wildlife gardening quickly yields...

Garden conifers – not just for Christmas

If asked to name a conifer tree in December most people might say “Christmas Tree” and many would know that the traditional conifer decorated indoors is a Norway Spruce.  But there are very many shapes, colours and sizes of conifer tree that are rather better suited to growing in our gardens than Christmas trees or Leyland Cypress hedges.Removing side...

The good, the bad and the Ivy

In my previous blog post I included “a controlled amount of ivy” in my suggestions for a native mixed hedge.  So this time I thought that I would talk more about this evergreen climber that appears in pretty much every garden, usually uninvited.As households try to reduce both fossil fuel consumption and energy bills, research has found that a...

Holiday Gardens

Late summer is a time when UK gardens can start to flag, particularly if the lawn is looking a bit crisp after a hot dry spell.  By the way, there is no need water an established lawn in summer to keep it alive; green shoots will soon appear when the rain returns.  But yellowing grass and fading flower power...

Choosing trees for a small garden

Trees can add instant height, structure and several seasons of interest to a garden but choosing a tree for a small garden takes careful consideration.  July is not the best month for planting if you can avoid it because the soil is dry and temperatures higher and these add to the stress of the plant when the roots are...

Climbing Combinations

Most gardens contain a smattering of climbing plants decorating house walls or reducing the impact of metres of wooden fencing. But there are plenty of imaginative ways to use climbers to provide more colour for a longer time if you use plants in combination. In this blog I explore a few different ways of getting more colour and joy...

Garden styles for Modern houses

You do not have to live in an architectural award winning house, or even a new build to enjoy ultra-modern architecture. Many older houses are extended to create an open plan living space with bi-fold doors to the garden.  This effectively means creating a garden alongside a 21st Century sleek metal and glass façade where previously you were looking...

Hedge your bets

There have been plenty of horror stories about monster Leyland Cypress hedges but what are the other choices of hedging plant for a domestic garden? I should point out here that Leylandii can be used perfectly well as long as the hedge is trimmed regularly (annually) from the start.  However there are many alternatives to consider on aesthetic, wildlife...

The Winter Garden

Even though autumn held out well into November this year with some fabulous leaf colour in the sunny days we saw between the rain, December is indisputably Winter.  And whilst that means less colour in the garden, there should still be plenty of interest albeit a bit more green and with more reliance on structure and texture.It is easy...

Gardening with ornamental grasses

As the midsummer blaze of flowers in our borders starts to fade, a whole group of plants is coming into its own to take us through autumn and winter with colour and texture: the ornamental Grasses.  The range of grasses and grass-like plants on offer has increased hugely in recent years and the first step to choosing and using...