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Perfect Plants

  • Get Set for Summer. 10 Drought Tolerant Plants that Love to Sizzle

    Get Set for Summer. 10 Drought Tolerant Plants that Love to Sizzle

    It’s the Summer Solstice this Sunday, 21 June! It also happens to be Fathers’ Day…  For garden-lovers the summer solstice means you get to spend the longest day in your favourite place. It's the day when the sun rises early and goes to bed late. It’s also a great excuse for a party; a celebration; a lie-in; a day-off; a trip to the beach; a day on the garden lounger … anything that makes you feel happy.
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  • Four easy steps to make a herb basket

    Grow your own herbs for a divine culinary feast 

    It’s barbecue season! Grow herbs to add zing to your outdoor dining experience – it’s easy! Just pop some edible plants in pots or in the ground now and you will have herbs lasting all summer-long.  Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver offers a great chicken recipe for the barbecue and there are more enticing recipes using fresh herbs here.
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  • What's your poison? Garden plants with a punch

    What’s the worst thing in the garden? Would you immediately think 'poison'? Many garden-lovers would say “prickles and thorns” (think Berberis) because gardening amongst these things can be a pain – literally. But of course these thorny beasts are brilliant for keeping animals (and burglars) away from certain areas.

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  • Roses - DID YOU KNOW these ten facts?

    Roses – the bloom of the moment

    It’s the last week of May and time for roses to do something very special. The buds are bursting into colour and throughout June they will bloom their socks off. The warm air will be filled with scented delight - a smell evocative of a quintessential summer.
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  • How can history be a new idea in a garden?

    Did you know that the iconic Sussex Trug

    hails from Herstmonceux?

     

    Traditional trug made in Herstmonceux, East Sussex

    And did you know that this picturesque village is also home to Perfect Plants Ltd? 

    Why should you be interested? 

     
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  • The Chelsea Flower Show - 10 reasons why you should visit

    Last week’s blog topic of miniature gardens leads nicely onwards to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (19-23 May).  Undeniably wonderful, stimulating, inspirational (and any other positive adjectives that you care to plant in front), Chelsea is the place to be next week.The M&G Garden at Chelsea by Jo Thompson garden designer

    Why? Because the little patches of land that are transformed during these few days of floriferous frivolity at Chelsea are diminutive garden wonders. They have been engineered and preened in order to create a tiny portion of paradise. Just like miniature gardens, but bigger. They are ‘Honey, I shrunk the garden’ type of spaces. Let’s face it, if you have seen the Artisan Gardens at Chelsea you will appreciate that they do not represent the average suburban garden. Which is why designing them is such an accomplishment. Continue reading

  • The Miniature World of Gardens

    With RHS Chelsea just around the corner (19-23 May), the entire topic of gardens is being ameliorated into the position of centre stage. It’s all about structure, landscaping, planting, colours, scent, water and above all else, enjoyment. Hurrah, that’s just as it should be. It’s the time of year when we all become even more enthusiastic about everything ‘planty’ and we take home a desire to improve our own little patch of paradise, if only in miniature.
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  • It's time for Hanging Baskets!

    Hanging basket petunias Tumbling petunias make a great hanging basket display

    It’s May – just about the perfect month for garden-lovers. There’s so much to look forward to, including RHS Chelsea (19-23 May), and a plethora of planty things to enjoy right now. The lawns, as you will no doubt have noticed, are growing with a vibrant spring energy, but after you have mowed, weeded, pruned back those spring-flowering shrubs after flowers have faded, tended to the vegetable garden and washed down the garden furniture, it’s time to create hanging baskets! Think of them as complete gardens displayed in cascading splendour rather than just a few plants bunged into a basket.  Your creation needs structure, colour, feed, water and lots of imagination. Continue reading

  • On your toes, get set... GROW - tomatoes!

    If you want to grow tomatoes from seed,

    a word of advice… DON’T.

     

    It’s almost the end of April and tomatoes take quite a long time to grow. In fact they need at least four months from sowing to fruiting so even if arithmetic isn’t strong you will realise that it will be almost September before you are likely to enjoy any juicy red treasure. Does this mean you have missed the boat? No, definitely not! Buy your tomatoes as small plants and you will be laughing all the way to the larder.

    Tomatoes are probably one of the easiest and most rewarding of fruits to grow. Yes, you know they are fruits, even though tomatoes can be used in the same way as vegetables. The greatest thing about them is the flavour. In fact, the many different flavours – they can really set your taste-buds jingling because they are all so amazingly different! How can this be? Continue reading

  • Fifty Shades of Green

    There are far more than fifty shades of green here at Perfect Plants - but also out in the garden, even before the major growing season has taken off. And although we don’t need any red carpets to be able to enjoy entertainment of a 'green' kind (we are talking film premieres here), sometimes it’s good to have a timely reminder about how lucky we are here in the UK to have such a diverse choice of plants.

    Green roof shedPhoto of Robin (1)

    We are blessed with a favourable temperate climate due to the influences of the sea. Of course this means that the weather sometimes changes rapidly but summer and winter are constantly moderated by the prevailing south westerly winds and the close proximity of water. The soil down here in the south east consists of limestone, chalk and sandstone and there’s greensand ridge which runs to and from the East Sussex coast around the Weald which was once a dense forest.

    We might pay little attention to the soil beneath our feet but walkers enjoying tracks such as the Greensand Way which follows the Greensand Ridge across Surrey and Kent to the edges of Romney Marsh and down almost to the Kent coast will appreciate that it’s free-draining and therefore not quite so  muddy as some of the routes that trample on heavy clay. The greensand ridge gets its name from the green mineral glauconite – and yes this really does look green. <!--more-->  Soil containing this rather special substance can include up to 30 different trace minerals including silica and magnesia and it gives a great boost to the health of plants – having a high potash content and providing a source of potassium for the garden.

    This accounts for the fact that the area was historically selected for hundreds of plant nurseries such as our own. There are still a lot of fruit growers – as the Garden of England is blessed with excellent growing conditions. It was Henry VIII who praised the quality of a particularly delicious bowl of juicy local cherries, contributing to the Garden of England title which included its fame for orchards and allotments together with scenery, village traditions and variety of wildlife.

    So enjoy the season as spring shoots into view and soak up the sight of more than fifty shade of green – bearing in mind that March is generally expected to be one of the dryest months of the entire year and there’s absolutely no excuse for not venturing outside.

    What’s growing in and around the nurseries right now? Almost everything you can think of, from native wildflowers such as cowslips and primulas; alpines such as saxifrage, annuals including geranium, pelargonium, aubrieta and senetti; perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees and of course vegetables. There’s nothing dormant about this season, life is bursting forth with the vigour of a hungry lion. 
    Primroses
    PrimulaLady in Red fern

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