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Gardenwise | Gardening Scentsibly – choosing the best perfumed plants

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I’m often asked about scented plants. They can pack a powerful emotional punch, reminding you of your mother’s favourite flowers or the blooms from your granny’s garden, so it’s not surprising they’re high on the wish list of lots of my clients.

Gardenwise | Can You Do the Can-Can?

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Do you think of watering as a chore or a chance to potter about mindfully, checking on your plants? I suppose it can be either, depending on what other tasks you have to juggle at the time, but I’d like to suggest that increasing your use of the humble watering can will help nudge it towards the latter.

Gardenwise | Bouquet in a Bowl – When Flowers are Good Enough to Eat!

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If you are growing fruit and vegetables this is likely to be a bountiful time of year for you – and I wish I had the space, time and diligence needed myself to run a kitchen garden. Unfortunately, I don’t – but there are still things in the garden that are good enough to eat, and lots of us are likely to have these without even realising.

Gardenwise | Pergolas

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Do you know what a pergola is? I only ask because I’ve noticed a good bit of confusion around this, especially recently, as people are looking to create outdoor rooms while there are still restrictions on meeting inside – lots of people are asking for pergolas when what they actually need is a veranda, loggia or even an awning. It’s perfectly okay not to have the distinctions at your fingertips – my job as a designer is to help you figure out what’s going to work and the technical terms are beside the point as long as we get where we need to. But a pergola can be a really good addition to your garden so let’s explore some of the things it can do.

Gardenwise | Born to be Wild

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The glorious clouds of cow parsley along the roadside verges this month have got me thinking about wildflowers. They can be fleeting, but en masse they are certainly beautiful. If you’d like to recreate this wild look in your garden, a wildflower meadow area could be the way to go.

Gardenwise | Could Porcelain be the Perfect Paving?

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Choosing the right paving is one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you’re renovating your garden or planning a new one. It’s probably the biggest investment you’ll make in terms of cost – not just the cost of buying your paving but of laying it correctly too. Natural flagstone paving and brick or block paving all have their place – but the suggestion I’m making increasingly often to my clients recently is to consider outdoor porcelain paving.

Gardenwise | Baby You’re a Firework!

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Every May I always wish I had planted alliums several months ago. These round heads of purple and mauve are super for plugging the ‘May Gap’ – those few weeks in May when the garden can seem very green but lacking in colour, because the bright pops of colour from spring bulbs are over, and the summer flowering perennials haven’t really got into their stride yet. Each plant produces lots of tiny flowers exploding from the centre to produce a perfect sphere and this is why they are often likened to fireworks. Taller ones will soar over the heads of smaller plants in the border, further adding to this effect.

Gardenwise | How to Grow a Pizza Garden - for Beginners!

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If you’ve ever considered growing edibles but don’t know where to begin, the Pizza Garden could very well be for you. I’m not suggesting you grow your own wheat, obviously, that would just be silly when you can buy a perfectly good pizza base in your local supermarket, but if you fancy trying fresh home grown produce, pizza topping produce could be the way to go.

Gardenwise | Hold the Half-Hardies!

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I have noticed a lot of confusion, amongst new gardeners especially, about the plants you buy for summer colour for your pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. For several weeks, tempting displays of colourful summer flowers have been visible outside all manner of retail outlets, from petrol stations to supermarkets, and it’s perfectly reasonable to think that if they are for sale, it’s safe to plant them out in the garden – but plant them too soon and you could kill them, and here’s why.

Gardenwise | Please welcome….AGM Award Winners

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This week, I thought we might look at some perennials that hold the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, just in time for summer. AGM holders, you might remember from last week’s column, are tested thoroughly by the RHS before the gong is bestowed upon them, so when shelling out for these plants you can be sure that you are giving your garden the best possible chance of reliable, healthy blooms.

 

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