Drought tolerant planting

I have seen quite a few articles in the last few months promoting the idea of UK gardeners changing their borders to include more “drought tolerant plants”.  Although it may seem intuitively as if ‘drought’ goes with ‘global warming’, the reality is not that simple especially in gardening terms.  Whilst the UK may see higher temperatures in summer, the...

Colourful Evergreens

As April is probably the peak plant buying and planting month for many gardeners, I thought that I would give a shout out for a category of garden-worthy plants sometimes overlooked in our quest for flower power – evergreen shrubs.  That label certainly sounds more ‘worthy’ than exciting but, of course, evergreen does not have to mean green. There...

Spring means Daffodils

It seems appropriate to write about Daffodils in March, not just because they are the emblematic flower of St David’s day on March 1st but because we have been enjoying their display through February and will continue right to the end of April.  What other spring bulb is so reliable in giving flowers for such a long period?  Granted...

Grass beyond the Lawn

I often recommend using ornamental grasses in a mixed border along with the more traditional cottage garden perennials for interest right through the winter.  There are many different grasses and grass-like plants to choose from and not all suit every situation so this blog looks at the questions you should ask to make the right choice. The main plant families...

Art in the Garden

This blog is a little different from most of my previous posts as I am not strictly writing about gardening but about a whole other aspect of garden enjoyment: Art, and primarily sculpture, in the garden. I should make it clear right at the start that I am no expert here, but I am a gardener interested in anything...

Climbing plants for cover

I am regularly asked for plant suggestions to break up the bulk of a fence or wall, soften the outlook and give colour without spilling out over the lawn or occupying all the space in a border.  That is quite an ask of a plant! The coloured leaves of climber Actinidia kolomikta But happily there is an answer: Climbers.  Plants that can...

Late summer perennials

First things first, what exactly is a perennial?  In the horticultural context it is any plant that lives for more than two years.  In common gardening parlance we use the term for a non-woody plant where the above ground stems die off in autumn but the roots and crown survive the winter to produce new stems, leaves and flowers...

Trees for privacy in the garden

Summer holidays mark a few weeks when we all spend more time outside and especially in the garden.  But few of us live with no near neighbours and a common challenge is to create a garden with a sense of privacy without overwhelming and darkening what might already be a small space. Clearly in most situations a fence or hedge...

The rise of Succulents

Alongside cacti, succulent plants are enjoying an increase in popularity at the moment.  They are primarily used as houseplants or summer patio display but there are a hardy few that will thrive outside in the UK all year round.  There is an attraction to their adaptation to ‘feast and famine’ especially if you are inclined to be erratic in...

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...