Seven years ago, when we moved in, our garden looked very different. It was surrounded by huge and out of control conifers and it took us two years just to clear. We literally had to ’empty’ the garden, level it and then add the borders back in. There have been a few plants that remained, but the majority are pretty much only four to five years old.
I would say that the structural plants are now finally becoming established, and over the last couple of years the garden has started to fill out. Over the next couple of weeks I shall be focussing on adding three new additions to my main borders, so I thought I would share with you what is on my shopping list, along with some top tips on how to look after them.
Definitely one of my summer favourites and I have rather a few this year – surely you can never have too many?! Although you must be careful with them and frosts, they are long lived and require very little work. They also have the advantage of blooming from June until the first frost. I recently did a blog on growing and caring for them which you can read here. I definitely recommend giving them a go.
These have just been pinched out and I hope to pop them in the garden late May.
I shall be adding to my collection, just because I love them so much. They are such a colourful shrub that last for ages. I particularly love them as they work so well with Roses. I have a lot of Hydrangea Annabelles at the back of my border but I’m going to add Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ to add a contrast to the white colour the Annabelles bring. The paniculata has a gorgeous acid green colour that then turns to pure ivory, before being washed with rich pink – what’s not to love?
I’ve found hydrangeas work best in semi-shaded parts where they are not overly exposed to wind. When planting them, don’t forget to work plenty of organic matter into the soil prior to planting and sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi into the base of the planting hole, before firming in and watering until well until established.
This is my first year of growing these and I’m so excited as it’s one of my favourites and one I frequently use in bouquets and arrangements. I will obviously report back but upon doing some research I’ve discovered they do not like it too dry, and they thrive in sun or partial shade. All being well, they should flower from June through to September. I’m going to try growing these in my raised cut flower bed as an experiment but all being well, I would love to add them to my borders.
My top tips
If like me you are filling some gaps, don’t forget to give your flowers and plants the best possible start by mulching and feeding.
Mulch: Now is the time to apply organic mulch around plants in spring when the soil is damp and has started to warm up. Adding mulch not only adds the nutrients but it helps keep the nutrients in and reduces weeds.
Feed: So, so important to feed your plants when they start to grow. Flowering is ‘high-energy’ for a plant and depletes its resources, so to help your plants maintain peak flower production it’s a good idea to feed during the growing season. I use an organic liquid feed, to the surrounding soil. Don’t forget to always water first before applying feed.
And other jobs I’m getting on with
You may start to notice that your bulbs such as tulips and narcissus are coming to an end .Now is the time to start deadheading but remember it’s important to leave the browning foliage until every leaf has died down, to allow all the energy to return to the bulb. I personally don’t lift any of the bulbs in my garden, I leave them in the ground and just cover them with some mulch.
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk