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The Spring Garden

The temperature is at last beginning to rise, the birds are singing enthusiastically and the weeds are beginning to grow.  These are all signs that we should be working away in the garden so we can sit in the garden and enjoy the benefits later in the year.

The lawn will require a bit of tender care after a long wet and cold winter. It’s not too late to treat it with moss killer and weed and feed. Make sure that you apply the granules evenly and according to the manufactures instructions. Apply when the grass is damp and when the forecast for rain is imminent. Weeds will wilt and moss will become black, your grass will green up and put on a growth spurt. This can be carried out by your landscape gardener if you have a large area of lawn.

Your lawn mower will deserve a service, and the blade being sharpened. Your local mower service centre will do this for you if you do not feel confident to carry this out yourself. Ask your landscape gardener for a recommendation if you have not used a local service before.

The fist cut of the season should be on the highest setting, followed by using a spring rake to rake all the old moss and other thatch out of the grass. This allows the grass room to grow and allows air and water to get to the roots. This scarifying improves the condition of the grass over a long period of time.

The borders will need weeding, feeding and mulching. Whilst weeding look at your plants, inspect for disease and pests. Remove aphids by hand and then watch and continue remove as the weather warms. Slowly aphid predators will move in, removing the need for you to do this.

Once you have removed all the weeds in the bed, do you want to move or reduce the size of any of your perennials? When you dig them up to reduce or move ensure that you do as little damage to the roots as possible by digging up a good sized root ball.  If you need to reduce the size of the plant ensure that you use a very clean knife to cut back. Replant immediately, sun and wind can dry out delicate roots very quickly doing permanent damage. Always water and feed after any planting/replanting. Put the part you have cut away into a pot with compost and water well. Then give to  a gardening friend, your friend will always remember that plant came from you.

Mulching is very beneficial, it will reduce weed growth, reduce evaporation which will reduce the need to water and if you use an organic material it will improve soil condition. Once you have finished all the work in one area, water  and feed well and use old compost, bark or stones to cover the soil to the depth of at least  10cm. Weeds will not be completely eliminated, but they  will be visible sooner  and easy to remove. If you have a big area that needs revamping or developing contact your local landscape gardener for advice and a quote to carry out the work for you.

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Your autumn garden

Many people ask me lots of questions about gardening as I go about my daily work, I thought it might be a good idea to provide you some gardening tips that you can read in the comfort of indoors with a cuppa in your hand. So I shall write regularly with seasonal tips and ideas.

If you have a question please feel free to email me and ask, I will answer and post the most interesting in my next blog. It might take me a little while to answer, but I will answer.

Jobs for the October garden

Ornamental garden

  • Cutback and divide herbaceous summer perennials.
  • Plant spring bulbs except for tulips
  • Plant prepared Hyacinths for Christmas flowering
  • Scarify, aerate and top-dress lawn.
  • Scrub birdbaths out to help maintain the heath of your feathered visitors.

Vegetable garden

  • Autumn fruiting raspberries need not be cut back, allow them to continue fruiting, then tie in.
  • Put up netting to prevent pigeons from damaging winter brassicas.
  • Plat autumn onion sets.

Your garden in October

This time of year is a good time to assess your garden and decide if you would like to make any changes. Because of the warmth left in the soil newly planted or moved plants will establish well before winter sets in.

If you are not confident in your design abilities, take a photograph of your garden, print it off. Then put tracing paper over the photograph and draw your design. You can throw the tracing paper away as many times as you like until you are happy with the results.

If you feel that major changes are requires consider consulting your local Landscape contractor. Your chosen contractor will level off ground, lay paths, build walls and steps or build raised beds effectively and efficiently. Leaving you to stand back and enjoy the finished results. Don’t forget to take ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs.

Tree and large shrub planting.

If you would like to incorporate later elements into your garden, now is a very good time to plant. Ensure that you use a stake when planting trees Strong winter winds might tip it over if not staked in.  If your tree or shrub has been grown in a pot remember to ‘ruffle’ the roots with your fingers before planting, easing the roots out of the round shape they have got used to growing into. This will encourage the roots to grow out not carry on growing round and round.  Dig your hole to just a little bigger the pot .ensure you have the depth correct, the earth should not be any higher that the level in the pot.  Once planted tread around the base of the plant or tree to ensure they are really firmed in. Water really well and continue to water very well a couple of times a week if the weather is dry. Stop watering once the leaves fall off or the weather cools if the plant is evergreen.

Lawns

Whether your lawn is your pride and joy or the pace the family play and relax it will benefit from some TLC at this time of year. Take the time to scarify, this means to remove the thatch or dead grass that has wound its way around the base of the growing grass. If you have a small patch of grass using a sprung rake will get this out. This is hard work, so if you have a large area I would suggest that you hire or buy a scarifier. However you remove the thatch you will be surprised how much the waste is produced. This will not be wasted if you put it on your compost heap.

Purchase an autumn weed and feed and apply this to the lawn according to the instructions on the packaging. After a while you will see weeds start to dies off, the grass will be slightly greener.

If you have any bald patches in your lawn, this is also a good time to sow grass seed. Rough up the soil in the thin area; apply the grass seed at the density suggested on the packet. Sprinkle on a little compost and leave to germinate. If the weather is dry keep moist by watering.

You may decide that a new lawn is required, so talk to your landscaping contractor to price up laying one for you.

Spring bulbs

All bulbs need to be planted in well-drained soil. They will sulk and rot if you do not. Before planting bulbs incorporate lots of organic matter into the soil.

If planting in drifts take handfuls of bulbs and throw them on to the ground where they are to be planted. Then plant them where they fall, this provide the most natural effect. Plant crocus bulbs three to four inches deep and water well after planting. Plant daffodil bulbs at least four inches deep and water in well after planting.

If planting in a lawn you will need to use an auger or something that will ‘drill’ the hole for the bulb remember wherever you plant the soil should be well drained.

Now is the time to plant spring bulbs except for tulips. Drifts of snowdrops and crocus, for example if you wold like white crocus try ‘Joan of Arc’ or for something bigger and bolder try ‘ruby giant’ (lovely purples). All of these look outstanding at the very beginning of spring for the very best effect plant them in drifts.

Wild British daffodils,(Narcissus pseudonarcissus) look stunning planted through the edges of a lawn or through a rockery. Larger scented narcissus are very good planted in pots or boarders close to the house and garage, use verities like ‘Narcissus Puebelo’ or any of the Narcissus jonquilla verities. They all smell wonderful, and a joy to see in the spring.

Enjoy your garden this September; there are still wonderful colours to be enjoyed. Encourage the wild life, start feeding the birds, put up a bug house and keep the birdbath filled.

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Designing the patio right for you

Patios can extend the indoor space of the home; they are a threshold between inside and outside. They are a very important space in any garden so it’s important that clients consider how their patio design helps maximize the potential of the space outside. Your garden does add to the value of your home, so it’s worth getting it right. I support clients to design their garden within the budget they have.

When I plan garden designs for my clients I help them to explore the look and feel they want for their garden. I help to confirm that they have considered all the functions they want from the area. The design encompasses elements like drainage and any new services needed such as electrical supplies etc.

I will find out form clients what they want to use their patio for dinning out and entertaining, or lounging about in the sunshine etc. What furniture or items do they already have that need to fit into the design, or what do they plan to add, tables, chairs, loungers, bbq, outdoor cooker, fire pit or fireplaces or heater or they may just want to enjoy an open clear space. Does it need to be flexible; does it need to combine space for the children, water play/sandpits, toddler toys, or space for pets? Do they want integral planting within it or individual planters to enable movement and change throughout the seasons? Do they want their patio covered, open or perhaps with a pagoda, with or without climbing plants. We will consider any lighting requirements, for safety, effect and functionality.

Supporting clients to plan their design is a really enjoyable part of my job; I then get the opportunity to ensure the finished work is just want the client wanted.

 

 

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Does your garden make a difference to the price of your property?

Can your garden actually make a difference to the price of your property? The answer is yes but don’t take my word for it, after all I am a landscaper…take a look at some articles. This telegraph articles says :

“From al fresco kitchens to stylish sheds, we’re keener than ever on gardens. And rightly so, because a well-maintained garden can add a chunky 20 per cent to your property value – a whopping £60,000 based on the current average UK price.”

This article from Moneywise  gives some great tips on patios and decking,  large scale projects and kerb appeal and again talk s about the value added to a property.

People certainly have become more interested in their gardens and the retailers have supported this with this offering hot tubs, beautiful ranges of furniture, ornaments, water features, barbecues though to full outdoor ovens, porcelain  patios etc.

Todays gardens can look great and still be low maintenance, people are even choosing artificial grass.  There are quality fence panels and even plastic fence panes that again significantly reduce maintenance and last for 10+ years. Homeowners are also employing landscape garden designers more often.

Well cut grass, a patio area with some lanterns and nice garden furniture all tick the boxes. A nice, well-kept garden can add 20% to the value of your home. The easier it looks to maintain also contributes to the desirability. Just a landscaped border can make a significant different to your garden.

A 2013 survey conducted by the Home Retail Group indicated that Britain invests £80billion in its own backyards, with the average garden having had £1790 worth of investment. The study quoted ‘two fifths of Britons refusing to choose or consider a home unless it has a sufficient garden. In fact, one in seven homeowners claim their garden has added more value to their home than they had ever invested’.

Your garden compliments your house. By working with a skilled landscaper and designer, (like me) you can ensure you get a design that is right for your needs and your budget. It does not have to cost a fortune to have a lovely garden. Remember first impression count, so when you go to sell you house this will not be money wasted, whilst you also got to enjoy your garden for the time you lived there.

Give me a call if you would like to have a coffee and a chat about your garden design and how to improve the price of your home.

T: 023 80730 475

M: 0744 622 9453

E: john@goldleaflandscapes.co.uk

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Tips for your Garden!

Here is a video with some garden tips!

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Why patio design is important

 

A good garden and patio design should follow the wishes and needs of the homeowners. The authentic natural look is very popular and is often the target of many designers.

The garden is a cozy place of calm and relax with a micro climate that affects particularly well the human health. As an example we give the Japanese garden art which rests on the four-element theory. If you considered it seriously, one comes to the conclusion that the garden actually combines all four basic elements –  air, earth, water and fire in him. A fire pit symbolizes the element of fire, the small or large ponds that are modern lately, are bringing the element of water in the garden. In addition, it is the perfect retreat, where you can soak up energy for body and soul. For these reasons, the design of the outdoor area is so important.

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