if you only do one thing this month

August 28, 2012

I hope this email finds you happy and relaxed after the summer break!  For those of you still feeling a little fraught, check out my first article; if you only do one thing this month, dig yourself happy! Next month I will be organising a special offer with design, planting and plants to be installed in October.  I have access to a huge and diverse range of perennials (ie, they flower every year) at a discount which I can pass onto you.  Watch this space mid-September.

dig yourself happy!

Have you ever thought that doing some gardening might make you happier on a ‘down day’? I can attest to this personally, but now I can supply evidence to convince you there is some science behind the statement!  Therese Eriksson from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has recently conducted studies on extremely stressed women and found gardening helped them to ‘put all that aside and try to find themselves again’. Horticultural Therapist Ruth Yeo from the gardening charity Thrive says, “Anyone can do it, plant herb seeds on a windowsill or grow salad in a window box.  It’s the power of contributing something then watching it grow that works”.  Bite-sized chunks are the trick in my book - don’t take on too much too soon. Call or email me if you need a hand with motivation to get things going!

what's new with my gardens?

Although my design projects have eased off until the Autumn, it’s now full-on with maintenance and refurbishment.  The rain has induced enormous growth this year, which means unprecedented pruning in some cases.  I shall be cutting back the Salix (Willows) by as much as half to keep them in shape over the Autumn/Winter period.  With smaller shrubs such as Lavandula (Lavender), Rosmarinus (Rosemary) and Hebe, a third should stop them becoming woody & leggy.  Don’t be sentimental about old shrubs... if they’re looking past their best, pull them out and replace with something more beautiful.  Take the stance that everything growing in your garden needs to ‘earn’ its place-there is no space for slackers. The other day I re-vamped 20 hanging baskets by pulling out the dead debris, cutting back the Petunia, Fuchsia, Verbena etc, pricked up the top layer of soil, fed them Tomorite and threw a few handfuls of fresh compost on the top.  I kid you not in three days these baskets looked like new. Don’t ever ever think because it has rained you don’t need to water your pots and baskets... just do it every day regardless! Some of the patios are looking extra green and slippery this year.  If yours is beyond the scope of a normal jet wash, drop me a line and I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who has a commercial Karcher that will do the job in a jiffy!

out and about

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Malvern, Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows this year - just too busy.  But instead decided to visit some music festivals in my camper van.  Take a look at my latest blog... its not for the faint-hearted! One event I did attend was at Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire. I haven’t blogged about this event as my pal Arabella Sock does such a good job of blogging about our trips, I feel inadequacy looming every time I even think about attempting it!  The day was exceptional not only because we were lunched and given freebies by our gorgeous hostess Ursula Chomeley but because we got to meet the eminent Nigel Colborn and his garden beforehand.  The sun shining was really just a bonus!

jobs for september

  • Cut your summer meadows... if you have them!
  • Give evergreen and deciduous hedges their final trim of the year.  Look to have the base of the      hedge one third wider at the bottom than the top to prevent snow damage.
  • Sprinkle hardy annual seeds everywhere... be a bit naughty and do some ‘guerrilla gardening’ with some      lovelies such as Poppies, Foxgloves, Borage, Love-in-the-Mist and      Calendula and watch them come up next year!
  • Keep containerised Camellias watered well, they are forming next year’s flower buds now.
  • Cut back your hardy perennials for fresh growth and new flowers in the autumn.
Prepare the flowerbeds with garden compost ready for new planting over the next couple of months; it is the best time to plant up shrubs, roses, plants...  I say it every year but some of you forget.  If in doubt, give me a shout!

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