Ornamental grasses, why are they the swaying stars of the autumn border
Every season brings its own garden wonders and, apart from the awe-inspiring colour of leaves, ornamental grasses are the stars of early autumn. Grass seed heads and flower heads look beautiful for months. They are more durable than most flowers and certainly delight the senses for a longer period of time than the beautiful show of autumn foliage. But did you realise that there are several different categories of ornamental grasses? Each grows into a form that is distinctly different from others. Some are more suitable for gardens than others, especially small spaces.Read more
In autumn, many things in the garden can be tidied away, cut back and neatened. Or can they - does thismean it's all over for the year? Do we need to see bare soil and pruned back stems?
A few decades ago, this was the aspiration but now it's just not the thing to do. Garden minibeasts and birds love to scratch around and feast upon the stems and seeds that autumn brings. There's so much happening outdoors in October and beyond. It would be a shame to miss it. There is sometimes even an Indian summer which can be one of the best times of year. We Brits are often prepared to let the glory of autumn slip away without even a glance.
We know the phrase and we always hope that the autumn season will bring one. But what on earth is an Indian summer and why do people crave to get one? Firstly, there's all that beautiful light that results from autumn sunshine. It creatures wonderful colours as well as warmth. But where did the expression originate?Read more
Anyone with a kitchen garden or allotment should be enjoying a harvest glut in September. Apples are ripe for plucking, courgettes are still coming, onions are ready for drying, tomatoes are ripening on the vine and potatoes are inviting you to dig for their delicious treasure. There are still runner beans hiding amongst the climbing green foliage, autumn-fruiting raspberries and tayberries are luscious, blackberries taste beautiful and beetroot is bursting from the soil. But how do you cope with a glut of wonderful produce?
The best time to plant a spring flowering display of bulbs is during September and October, when the summer is gently fading away. There's just one simple rule to follow: plant bountiful bulbs! These spherical powerhouses will easily establish themselves in your warm soil, ready to burst into new life as soon as the season dictates. It's a great way to help you think about the spring, rather than dwelling on the winter months that are lurking.
The right plant in the right place is the thing to do. Choose appropriate plants for a dry garden as it's possible for them to survive without extra water. And use plants to soak up water in flood and waterlogged zones.Read more
There are many ways to try keeping cool during hot, dry and sunny weather. Some are obvious and others, less so. Garden umbrellas are probably the first line of defence. Put up several before the sun rises, and not only will the shade provide a mini-refuge, but the air flow around the umbrella will create a little breeze too. You don't need a fancy stand, some garden parasols, such as the Eazy Shade from Cave Innovations, come with multi-function clips and clamps so that they can attach to chairs and tables.Read more
A hot, dry summer provides ideal conditions for many things. Some plants love the weather, including cacti; succulents; alpines; ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantea; Agarves; Bougainvillea; Portulaca; Oleander; poppy; lavender and most silvery or furry-leafed plants. But other things thrive in the heat too - including FLIES and other insects. What can you do about this problem?Read more
'My garden has no colour or flowers during mid to late summer'. Is this you? If so, you might want to plug your summer flowering gap. It's easier than you might think. Here's 12 suggestions to help you fill the garden with colour:Read more
When the sun's shining and the air is warm, we are all drawn naturally to water. Most people can't resist dipping fingers into a cool pond and the sound of trickling and sprinkling attract people like a magnet. There's a practical side to adding a pond to a garden too. Water, particularly if it's moving, cools the air around it. Tempted to add a pond to your garden? DO IT, it's probably a lot easier than you think!