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Pruning in Spring

Many ornamental shrubs are pruned in Spring but there are two different reasons for doing so and it helps to understand how different plants grow before you reach for the sharp tools. Shrubs that flower in winter such as Witch Hazel or early spring like Forsythia need to be pruned just after flowering if you […]

Getting the best from your garden soil

Gardeners across Kent and Sussex enjoy a particularly varied range of soils and you often have only to travel a few miles to find a total change under your wellies.  This is basically because of the equally varied geology underpinning our gardens from the chalk of the North and South Downs to the sandstone of […]

Grow Your Own – Exotic Kiwi fruit

Have you seen Kiwi fruit growing over a sunny pergola whilst on holiday in Italy? Or bought them from the exotic fruit counter in a supermarket? Well how about growing your own right here in South East England? Many people have read that kiwi fruit are tricky to grow and needed warmth and a long […]

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Botanical Names – friend or foe?

Latin (more properly called botanical) names can seem like a nightmare invented to put off the new gardener but I encourage you to reconsider and develop a little knowledge about how plants are named.   The practical use is that botanical names identify an individual variety of any given plant uniquely across the world, no matter […]

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Exactly what do plant roots do?

Plants need roots and although some plants absorb water and nutrients from the air or host plants, most have their roots firmly embedded in the soil and here we look at what their functions.  Firstly roots (hopefully) anchor the plant securely in the soil against buffeting by winds and passing animals.  Secondly, plants take in […]

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Welcome to Gardening by Design.

Welcome to the new Gardening by Design website and the first ever post on my gardening Edu-blog. Over the coming weeks & months I will post articles helping you to understand a wide range of gardening topics from design to practical skills and growing fruit and vegetables suited to the season so you can apply […]