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Vertical Gardening Ideas For Small Spaces

Vertical gardening is nothing more than using vertical space to grow vegetables or plants. Traditionally, gardeners have done similar things with climbing plants like squashes and beans. However, modern vertical gardening includes non-climbing plants. Vertical gardening saves space, makes harvesting easier and is generally easier to maintain. Although this method of gardening also has its limitations such as needing strong support systems and moisture issues, this method is also much more forgiving and if used correctly, can produce bountiful harvests. Below we have listed a range of vertical gardening tricks and methods you can follow to begin your vertical gardening journey…

Fabric Pockets

Designed for vertical gardening, fabric pockets are suited to this style of gardening and will suit almost all vegetable growing. Usually sold online or in homeware stores, these inexpensive pockets can be found virtually anywhere during the spring and summer months. Simply secure them onto the chosen surface using the appropriate wall mounting screws. Be sure to line the individual pouches with some hard substrate such as gravel before adding compost. Now, get creative with the look!...

Hanging Pots

The simplest and most obvious form of vertical gardening is hanging or balcony pots. However, what most people overlook is the drainage and location of the pots. To provide a bountiful harvest, you need to ensure your pots have adequate drainage holes and are placed in a brightly lit area. You must also ensure your pots are securely fastened as any nasty gales can become disastrous, especially in the UK.

 

Plastic Bottle Planters

Time to pull up the sleeves and get creative! This eco-friendly vertical gardening method is perfect for those who are environmentally aware. Although they may not look as appealing as plant pots, reusing plastic bottles is a great method of upcycling whilst reducing household waste. To turn your bottles into planters, you’ll need to attempt some DIY, by cutting out a section for the plants, drainage holes and introducing some support with string or wiring.

Wooden Pallet Planters

If you have been a member of the gardening community for some time now, you will have noticed the love for reusing pallets – they are like gold dust! This environmentally friendly method is yet again a great method for reducing household waste and saving money. You can often source various sized pallets from distribution or furniture companies for free; all you will need to do is a plan for the transportation to your garden. Herbs or succulents look especially effective in these DIY planters.

Chicken Wire Planter

By simply cutting a triangular shape from the chicken wire, you can begin to form a cone shape planter. By stapling or tacking this onto pallet wood, or a wooden beam, you can complete your planter by introducing moisture-holding substrates such as moss and soil. Hanging plants and fruit such as ivy or strawberries will thrive in this make-shift planter.

Jam Jar Planters

Jam Jars are the perfect herb planters – keeping the herbs sheltered and safe. By reusing your glass jars, once again you will be reducing the amount of household waste produced, whilst saving some precious pennies. We would advise using this method in a sheltered environment only; to avoid water collecting in the jars. Using metal wire to cup and attach the jars to a wall or structure can provide an artsy fun effect too!

Tin Can Planters

Tin cans, like jam jars, are the perfect cheap solution to DIY vertical gardening. Again, we suggest using tin cans for herbs and smaller plants. Ensure you drill some holes at the base for proper drainage to avoid rot. A mere two holes on either side assisted by some garden wire will support your tin cans efficiently.

Piping Planter

As you may have seen, using piping as planters is a popular method of vertical gardening in the DIY gardening community. Industrial piping is cheap, efficient, and spacious – plus there is a variety of sizes and parts to suit your space. By cutting holes in some PVC pipes, you can create glorious vertical or horizontal planters. Some have even gone as far as creating a ‘spiralled staircase’ design. Our personal favourite is the ‘floating’ piped planters made with chains and piping. If you opt for the piping method, ensure to introduce proper drainage. The perfect plants for piping gardens are cabbage, lettuce, beans, and strawberries.

Chest of Drawers Planter

By far our favourite method of vertical gardening is the upcycling of an old chest of drawers! This can create a real feature piece to the garden whilst providing several layers of space for planting. To save further space, you can even just stack and attach the drawers themselves. We suggest planting a mixture of flowers and herbs such as Dwarf Dahlias, Ivy, Pansies, Begonias and Geraniums. Adding a pop of colour to the drawers such as yellow, pink, or blue will help attract insects too.

We hope you found some of these ideas helpful for your vertical gardening journey – and remember, the best vegetables to plant in vertical planters are herbs, succulents, salad greens (lettuce or cabbage), courgette or cucumbers, beans, strawberries, tomatoes, and ferns.

Feel free to share your vertical planters with us on our socials!

Good luck!

Blog post by Lucy Canoel

The Art Of Houseplant Propagation

During the lockdown, houseplants sales increased substantially – in fact, according to ‘Patch’, an online plant retailer, their sales increased around five hundred per cent during the lockdown. However, buying fully established house plants can cost a pretty penny. Propagation is a way to increase your plant collection for free, plus it’s super simple. Below we have put together some general advice that will assist your new journey into the art of house plant propagation.

So, you’ve probably heard the term before, but just so we’re all clear – propagation means to grow a new plant from a small piece (or cutting) of another. This is different to growing plants from seed, or ‘splitting’. But remember, not all plants are suitable for propagation.

Choose your plant

Choosing beginner-friendly plants will allow you more wiggle room for mistakes, so choose wisely! We recommend the popular ‘Golden Pothos – or Golden Ivy’, ‘Swiss Cheese Plants – Monstera Deliciosa’, Spider Plants or Succulents for beginners, as these are super simple to propagate. Choosing any plant from the Pothos variety, such as the mentioned Golden Ivy, Marbled Queen or Satins, will provide you with a new plant in a much shorter time frame than others due to their quick growth rates.



Cutting

When cutting your plants, make sure your equipment is cleaned after every plant. This diminishes any chance of cross-contamination of diseases or pests between plants. Making sure you have sharp scissors is also essential as blunt scissors can result in damage to the plant.

Where you cut the plant is vital. Again, this depends on the plant type. Some species will form ‘offsets’ to the sides of their main form – these are essentially ‘babies’ from the mother plant. Plantlets are also referred to as ‘babies’ as they also grow from the mother plant. Stem and cane cuttings, however, are just that – cuttings from the mother plant. Leaf cuttings are like stem cuttings, but of course from the leaf itself. When you have performed stem, cane, or leaf cuttings, it's best to leave a gap in between cutting to planting.

Pothos plants require the cane to be cut to propagate – about an inch below the ‘nodes’. Whereas Spider plants are propagated from their plantlets and Succulents from their leaves.



Rooting Methods

Some cuttings may need the help of ‘Root Hormone’ to help stimulate root growth. Root hormone can come in a range of forms – powdered, gel or liquid. It is best to do a quick google search beforehand. Pothos, Succulents and Spider plants usually do not require this. After cutting and applying the hormone, you will need to choose your rooting method – water, LECA clay pebbles, Perlite or soil. Who knew there were so many choices?! Choosing your rooting method depends on which plant you have chosen to propagate – Pothos and Spider plants will do well in water, whereas Succulents tend to thrive better against soil and moss.
Top Tip – Play with the different rooting methods and define one which works for you!

Neglect

cuttings will need more care and attention than your fully established houseplants. This could mean changing the water every few days or adjusting the placement if it is a cloudy or sunny week. Completing neglecting your plants will increase your chances of propagation failure, so keep on top of it!
Image not our own.
Timing

Plants, unless kept warm and artificially lit all year round, will assume a ‘hibernating’ state or ‘dormant' in the winter. Therefore, we do not recommend propagating in the winter. The best time to propagate is during the spring and summer months, where feeds, watering and light are at their highest. This will make for strong propagation. Propagating is a waiting game, so be patient.

Placement

Generally, cuttings like to be placed in a warm and indirect brightly lit spot where photosynthesis can take place. Placing them in a dark pot will prevent the roots from growing. Whereas placing the cuttings in a spot too sunny may result in yellow or brown leaves. We recommend also using clear containers, such as glass jars, for your cuttings.

Top Tip – We recommend setting up a ‘propagation station’ where you can keep an eye on your cuttings all at once. You can buy some cheap ladder shelving online for a more ‘aesthetic’ look!

Growth

After around two to three weeks, you should see some white roots emerge. For Succulents and cacti’s, this tends to take a little longer. As a rule, you should wait until roots are at least an inch long or three quarters the size of the leaf cuttings, before attempting to pot. If your cutting has failed to grow any new roots, we recommend restarting the process with a new cutting. If your cutting has more than one node, you may be able to trim the cutting until it is below a new node and restart the process.

So, let’s get propagating! We would love to see your ‘propagation station’…

Following this guide, we hope you successfully propagate your plants. It’s a great hobby and money saver! We will be releasing a new post every other week or so, so make sure to follow our blog!

You can tag us on our socials – Don’t be shy!

House Plant Care Tips

House Plant Care Tips...

Are you a new plant parent or have you just recently realized your plants may need a little more TLC than you originally thought? Well, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a little (but detailed) care guide on general house plants below. This guide will not only help you keep your plants alive but hopefully help them thrive!…

Please keep in mind that each plant has its own specific needs and you should really keep this as just a general guide, ensuring to research your specific plant’s needs.

LIGHTING

As a rule, most house plants require bright filtered light. The further back from your window, the lower the light levels. However, it is important to remember direct sunlight through the glass can cause scorching and browning of the leaves. Plants such as cacti’s and succulents will thrive indirect light. However, most house plants enjoy bright but indirect light. Some plants can also thrive in low light conditions – such as ZZ plants, dragon trees and sansevierias.
During the winter light levels fall and this is where repositioning your plants to a brighter spot closer to the windows can be beneficial; just make sure it is not too cold by the window. If your home is as dark as mine, you can always invest in some artificial lighting…


Top tip – To ensure all your leaves get their share of light, simply turn your plants every few days.

HUMIDITY

Most houseplants thrive in warm rooms and even temperatures all year round. During winter, move plants to rooms that are not overheated during the day, but maintain the required minimum temperatures. Avoid placing plants near open fires, radiators, in draughts, or on windowsills on frosty nights.
Tropical plants require a humid atmosphere. Certain areas of your home will be naturally more humid than others, for instance, bathrooms and kitchens. How quickly the compost dries out is a good measure of how dry the air is. So, it is best to make use of these areas for your more humidity-loving plants – Alocasia, Philodendron, ferns.

For areas that are not so humid, invest in a humidifier or regularly mist your plants. However, it is important to note that some plants do not like misting as this can cause mould and fungi. Misting is best done with tepid water in the morning. Rainwater or water that has been boiled is best as it will not leave white deposits over your plant's leaves. Better yet, place on a tray of damp gravel or expanded clay granules – or anything soluble. Grouping plants together will also help to create a humid micro-climate around their leaves.


Top tip – If you are worried about the temperature and humidity of your house, invest in a digital Thermo Hygrometer; you can find them for as little as ten pounds on amazon.

FEEDING

A few signs to know that your plant needs a feed is pale leaves, slow growth and lower leaves falling off. Plant food is generally made up of nitrogen and phosphates with other trace elements which are generally present in most compound fertilizer’s.
Knowing when to feed your plant is important. The spring and summer is the best time to feed your plants, however, some plants just cannot cope without a feed during winter. If your plant is in a very poor condition then it may be needing a feed. If not then feeding is only generally carried out over the growing season, i.e., spring and summer, about once to twice a month. You can use a liquid feed or slow-release fertilizer. If you have just re-potted your plant, then you have a couple of months before the food within the compost runs out. Only feed as much as is stated on the feed.


Top tip – If you’ve got a few plants on your hands, you can time your feeds to coincide with each other. There are some great reminder apps out there for house plant feeding too – such as ‘florish'.

WATERING

Watering correctly is the key to owning any houseplant. Overwatering can lead to the dreaded root rot and the slow killing of your plant, whereas watering too little can cause the plant to wilt. However, speak to any plant enthusiast and they would prefer a drought-ridden plant to a root rotten plant anyway!
Generally, popping your finger into the soil of the plant and seeing if the top two inches are dry is the best way to check it needs watering. If the compost sticks to your finger, you do not need to water; unless it is a plant that likes to keep relatively moist such as spider plants and ferns. To ensure your plant drains well and does not get root rot, use plant pots with drainage holes and a water tray/well. Watering from the bottom can also help prevent pests and improve root growth.

PRUNING AND TRAINING

Pinch back shoots of young plants when in active growth to encourage branching. Trailing plants usually benefit from this treatment. Ferns especially like being pruned down and often come springing back. Most leafy, mature foliage plants need no pruning.
Many houseplants, except for orchids and palms, can be renovated by cutting the old or damaged foliage back to base or by pruning to a healthy bud in spring. But make sure to not cut anything green off as this will cause browning. Water and feed well to aid recovery.


Top tip – Remember to use sharp pruning scissors and to sterilize in-between pruning each plant to avoid spreading disease or contamination.

PROBLEMS

One thing an experienced house plant parent will look for when searching for their new plant ‘children’ is pests and diseases. To check before purchasing can save a lot of hassle, time, and money. However, admittedly we can get carried away with a deal just too good to pass up and end up skipping the thorough inspection process! Make sure to check your houseplants for pests and diseases such as aphids, red spider mites and scale insects before introducing them to your existing plants.

One way to reduce the invasion of pests to your plants is to isolate your new plants from the other for the first 48 hours of purchase to avoid spreading pests or diseases. Whilst isolated, shower over your plant to remove any unwanted free riders and gently mist with houseplant pest killer or a mix of neem oil and water. Make sure to continuously check for common signs of pest such as spotting on the leaves, sticky substances on the leaves, mould, or dusty appearance.

Following this guide, we hope your house plants stay healthy & continue to grow! Feel free to tag us on Facebook or Instagram.

Top 10 Houseplants For Beginners

Top 10 Houseplants For Beginners...

The Houseplant market has recently seen a huge spike in sales. And it is no wonder as our time spent indoors has increased significantly during the pandemic. Purchasing houseplants is a brilliant and effective way of bringing the out-doors, in-doors. Houseplants are not only known for their air-purifying abilities and the aiding of mental health, but they can also help in really pulling a room together.

For those of you who are considering introducing houseplants into your homes but are unsure of your abilities to maintain healthy plants, we’ve put together a list of the top ten houseplants which require minimal care and provide maximum impact!…

SPIDER PLANTS

This popular species of house plant rose to the top of the popularity list due to its ability to survive extreme conditions – come droughts, overwatering and low or high-light areas, this hardy species will always bounce back. So, if you’re just starting out with house plants – start here! Spider plants are also fantastic air purifiers and without assistance, they will easily sprout spider ‘babies’ – which means more plants for you!

  • Ideally, they like moderate indirect light and moderate watering – mine always seem to be thirsty!
  • There are a few varieties out there – my favourites being ocean and bonnie.
  • They are non-toxic to pets.

DEVILS IVY – OR GOLDEN POTHOS

A part of the pathos family, this plant is not only beautiful with its glossy leaves speckled with yellow, white and light green, but it’s also very hardy. You can pretty much find this one in any supermarket. If treated kindly it will thrive and grow as long as you allow it! Plus, it is easily variegated so you can buy one plant and end up with many more. Choose to grow this on a coconut pole or leave to trail.

  • Generally, they tolerate indirect moderate light but do not like to be overwatered.
  • If you love this variety, make sure to check out the others such as Neon pathos and Marble Queen Pothos.
  • Toxic if consumed.

ALOE VERA

The humble Aloe Vera plant, found in any supermarket, is the perfect houseplant for a beginner. Aloe Vera tolerates most conditions and is a great medicinal plant to have as it acts as pain relief from scrapes and burns when applied topically. Plus, it is unique formation is somewhat impressive!

  • Aloes like being in a bright but indirect location with minimal regular watering.
  • Aloe Vera toxicity level is mild for pets.

SNAKE PLANT

Snake plant, or mother-in-law's tongue, is a must for any houseplant owner. In fact, this plant will grow almost anywhere in the home, tolerating low light areas and minimal watering. Snake plants are usually available in most garden centres and supermarkets. The structural style of the plant pairs perfectly with modern interiors.

  • Snake plants enjoy medium to low light and regular watering.
  • Toxic if consumed.

ZZ PLANT

The ZZ plant has risen in popularity recently and we can tell why! This plant is not only a stunning formation of stem and leaves but also thrives in most conditions. ZZ plants generally do not like to be overwatered and can tolerate low light areas – so perfect for the darker spaces! ZZ Plant. We do not own this image.

  • Water when the top two inches of soil is dry. They don’t mind low light but do not keep in a completely dark room.
  • Toxic if consumed.

AIR PLANTS

Air plants can add a magical touch to any room – I especially love the ‘Spanish moss’ variety. Although Air plants don’t require a substrate such as compost to survive, they do require regular soaking. However, this can be only thirty minutes of soaking a week to make them thrive. The rest of the time they are free to float! Air Plant.

  • Soak the plants weekly for best results.
  • Non-Toxic to plants and humans.

JADE PLANT

Jade plants are slow-growing minimal maintenance house plants – so they are perfect for beginner house plant owners! In fact, these plants are so independent they have been known to survive months without any attention! Although, that’s not something I recommend!

  • Water when the soil is dry and keep in moderate light.
  • Jade plants are toxic if consumed.

PEACE LILY

The peace lily is as peaceful as they sound! Peace lilies are brilliant air purifiers, thrive with minimal attention and look beautiful in any environment. I recently saw some fantastically sized peace lilies in B & Q – it took me all my strength not to buy one! Peace Lily. We do not own this image.

  • Place away from direct sunlight and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  • Mildly toxic if consumed.

DRACAENA

Also known as the ‘dragon tree’ is a perfect plant for those with busy lives. This plant will tolerate being slightly forgotten about!

  • We recommend low to moderate indirect light and water when the topsoil is dry.
  • Dracaena’s are toxic to pets.

FERNS

There are many species of tropical and subtropical ferns ideal for being house plants, however, I recommend ‘Birds nest’. Ferns like to be kept moist and warm with regular misting and low to moderate light. This makes them perfect for bathrooms and kitchens!

  • Mist regularly, keep the soil moist and place in low to moderate light.
  • Some ferns can be toxic and cause skin irritation.

We hope you’ve found the perfect house plant for the beginning of your houseplant collection… And believe me when I say collection! Once you start, you’ll find it hard to stop! We would love to see your houseplants – so please feel free to tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

Rock Gardens – Winter Garden Spotlight …

Rock Gardens can provide the ultimate winter pursuit for the truly addicted gardener.

Where and why did Rock Gardens first come about in this country?




Zen Gardens are perhaps the earliest examples of Rock Gardens Zen Gardens are perhaps the earliest examples of Rock Gardens ...

Using rocks as a decorative part of a garden can be traced back to early Chinese and Japanese Gardens where they were – and still are – used as symbolic elements of the whole.

However, this is a Winter Garden Spotlight about Rock Gardens in the UK so in terms of history we would be better off starting with the Great Plant Explorers of the 1800’s who first started bringing exotic Alpine Plants from overseas back to the UK.

This ‘rocked’ the British gardening world and started an insatiable desire to successfully grow these amazing new plants in the UK climate.

Then, in 1919, Reginald Farrer published his book, The English Rock Garden in which he focused on ways in which to create large scale naturalistic settings to cultivate the new Alpine Plants that were so popular.

And so the popularity of Rock Gardening was established in the UK …


many of these original Rock Gardens are still going strong today

Alpine Rock Gardens Kew Gardens Alpine Rock Gardens at Kew Gardens have been established for years ...

And today there are a massive variety of styles to be found across the world. Below is a broad general overview of the most popular …

English Rock Gardens …

Sandstone Rock Garden - Winterbourne The Sandstone Rock Gardens at Winterbourne look great ...

The characteristics here are based around making the garden look natural as close to that you’d find in the original mountain habitats of the plants concerned.

In this way the guidance in Farrer’s book has stood the test of time with the focus being on the plants themselves carefully planted between carefully placed rocks.

The type of plants used are mainly Perennials and Dwarf Conifers although other ideas are explored all the time.

American Style …

The first American rock gardeners were heavily influenced by Farrer but relaxed the rules slightly.

They were also working with different rock meaning their creations turned out differently. And the sheer size of the USA meant that variations on the theme turned up locally across the various different states.

And eventually the Americans got their very own ‘rock god’ in the form of Lincoln Foster who wrote, Rock Gardening: A Guide to Growing Alpines and Other Wildflowers in the American Garden in 1968.

For more information you can also visit The American Rock Garden Society, (NARGS).

A large variety of perennial plants are used A large variety of perennial plants are used ...

Walled Gardens …

This is a more modern variation on the theme but still well worth having a look at.

They fall into two basic categories – Mortared Walls and Dry Stone Walls.

Plants may be planted in old mortared walls where patches of the mortar have fallen off or from the top of the wall with draping plants cascading downwards.

Dry stone walls offer many more opportunities and are considered by many to me the superior option.

Scree and Gravel Gardens …

This is far easier to construct than your classic English or American Rock Gardens and perhaps the closest imitation to the classic Zen Gardens from China and Japan.

Winding pathways can often be seen running through these and rocks themselves are often still used at isolated intervals or arranged in clusters.

The range of plants in Scree/Gravel Gardens is much broader as well in general.

Thinking Outside the box …

There are many great examples of the weird and wonderful side of rock gardening and some great examples can be seen on the dedicated website – Rock Star Plants.

The latest and best ideas for plants to use can be seen at Jeepers Creepers.

Galaxy Garden - Garden Spotlight October ...

Galaxy Garden - Gravitational Pull ...


The Galaxy Garden was a winner of a Gold Award from The RHS Judges at Tatton Park this year. The inspiration for this stunning example of off-the-wall landscaping comes from Davis Vaughan who have quite a reputation for their unique take on landscape design in a variety of settings.

Don't get dragged in - you may never get out ...



The Galaxy Garden by Davis Vaughan The Galaxy Garden by Davis Vaughan ...

Leon Davis and Brendan Vaughan have won a Gold Award from The RHS in 2012 and 2013 for their unusual themed landscape designs.

This year they delivered the fantastic Galaxy Garden which is inspired by thoughts of black holes, in particular the gravitational pull associated with these that draws matter from outside, in.

The black hole itself is represented by the conical steel and timber construction that forms the centre-piece of the design.

This structure penetrates a vertical grass wall which is symbolic of the Event Horizon - the point at which matter cannot escape the gravitational pull ...

There is an air of foreboding associated with the design and the way it seems to be swallowing all the vegetation and plantings, (such as the 'Blue Lilly' and 'Otto Luyken'), around it and this works to explosive effect.

The vertical grass wall represents the Event Horizon The vertical grass wall represents the Event Horizon ...

Davis Vaughan are located in The North West of England and do landscape design and Build for clients both big and small largely across Manchester, Chester and Lancashire.


Leon Davis studied Fine Art for a degree and initially worked in Creative Industries before taking a career change and applying his skills to devastating effect in the Landscaping Industry.


His partner, Brendan Vaughan originally trained and forged a career in Engineering but then moved his talents and applied engineering disciplines to the principles of both commercial and domestic landscaping.


Both partners consult and design to clients on an individual basis as well as their combined efforts for Davis Vaughan.




Attention to detail is a feature of their designs Attention to detail is a feature of their designs ...

Choosing the Healthiest Foods to Grow in Your Garden

tomato plant in containerGrowing your own fruit and vegetables needn't be just a dream and when you get it right there's nothing better. If you have access to a balcony, a patio or are lucky enough to have space for a raised bed, you already have everything you need to start growing your own.

Start by Growing the Healthiest Foods


Knowing what to grow first or what to concentrate your efforts on from the outset means you'll be getting the benefits sooner.

Fresh fruit and vegetables in general are good for your overall well-being and specifically:

Good for a healthy heart
A strong immune system
Reducing risks of cancers
Boosting essential vitamins

Of course individual vegetables and fruits have their own benefits. Beetroots and carrots, containing red-pigments, are especially associated with reducing the risks associated with some cancers.

Video - Growing Vegetables

If you have room in the garden this video gives some great information on what to grow, soil types and much more. Click the button below to play now...



For some great ideas on growing your own and selecting the ideal fruit and vegetables Click here >>

How to Give Your Garden a Winter Boost of Colour

The garden and patio areas of most UK gardens can be a pretty miserable place around winter time but don't worry - help is at hand with a quick fix burst of colour.

Beautiful Garden Shrubs for Winter Colour


If you can stretch your budget a little, now that the holiday period is behind us, there are often shrubs that are often hidden away in the bargain corner of your local garden centre.

Plants and shrubs you should consider for their winter flowers and colourful foliage include:

Corkscrew Hazel - This plant can grow quite large but is relatively slow growing and is great for a beginner's choice (Height 500 cm, Spread 500cm).

Corkscrew Hazel shrub

Glossy Abelia - This shrub has dark green foliage, pale pink summer/autumn flowers, and is available as an evergreen (Height 400 cm, Spread 400cm).

Glossy Abelia Shrub

Heavenly Bamboo - Buy this plant for its all-year-round leaf colour; bright green then turning a purple/red hue (Height 150 cm, Spread 100cm).

Heavenly Bamboo Shrub

Siberian Dogwood - Beautifully colourful winter foliage and lovely white flowers in spring/summer (Height 250 cm, Spread 250cm).

Siberian Dogwood Shrub

Sundance Mexican Orange Blossom - This is a low-maintenance shrub with lovely light coloured leaves and a distinctively fragrant aroma (Height 250 cm, Spread 250cm).

Orange Blossom Shrub

Winter Jasmine - Has pretty yellow flowers in February carrying on into spring and is relatively easy to grow (Height 250 cm, Spread 250cm).

Winter Jasmine Shrub

Apart from traditional evergreens, you'll need to get a little inspiration to cut through the bleak greyness that is often the traditional English garden in depths of winter. Seek out at least a couple of the winter shrub recommendations to brighten up your garden.

Resources:

Extensive Plant Finder - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector

General Shrub Information - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrubsand there are some great value plants.

Discover What Plants to Grow from Summer to Winter

New Plant Hardiness Rating SystemKnowing the hardiness of a plant is not always as clear as it should be when considering what to grow at different times of the year. To achieve all year round colour requires careful planning if your plant buying is to pay off and for your displays not to fall victim to searing heat or early frosts.

To help with identifying what plants will perform under what conditions the RHS has introduced an enhanced hardiness rating system. The system is designed to help gardeners make more of an informed decision when it comes to deciding on the right plant for the right conditions.

The old plant hardiness rating system has been around since the 1960's so was due a revamp. The new system introduces a more detailed 7 rating system from the old 4 step and will encompass thousands of plants from 2013 onwards.

The new system has been developed over the past couple of years with the help of many industry experts. Ratings run from H1 - H7 with the H7 category being the most hardy of plants being able to withstand colder temperatures.

For more information of the new hardiness rating system for 2013 and download the PDF... Read more

 

 

Gardening Secrets to Boost Your Health and Lifestyle

Your hear about people talking to their plants, and maybe that's one step too far, but the facts are that gardening can really help boost your well-being. Over the years there have been many studies about the benefits of gardening but a recent study has revealed some really interesting facts.

Individuals, families and children in particular can certainly reap the rewards from getting involved in a garden project. Children were seen to get real improvements in their school work, gained in confidence and became much more receptive to learning new things.

The costs of gardening were also measured over the last ten years compared other outdoor activities. Gardening costs rose by a reasonable 17% compared to the most expensive which rose a staggering 184%.

Discover the real benefits gardening can bring you...

Quality gardening news, tips and ideas

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