A Colour Wheel
The image below gives basic knowledge of how colours work together. It helps when selecting plants to understand how their flower and leaf colours will work with each other in your garden ad it's surroundings.
A cheap way to add colour and interest to your garden at all times of the year. They take up very little space and can be added amongst existing planting easily. Keep your choices simple avoiding the more exotic options and they will generally look after themselves for years.
Climate change and globalisation have impacted the planet and our gardens. To reduce your impact buy UK grown plants from local nurseries. This reduces your carbon footprint and removes the risk of importing harmful insects and disease into the UK on imported plants. Plant labels are useful. If the label says plant in shade with moist soil, don't plant it in sun on sandy soil. It will probably die.
When buying garden materials from paving to compost, consider its impact on the environment and the people who produced it. Composts with peat in are very bad for the environment. Cheap paving that's unethically sourced has often been quarried at great risk and damage to local environments abroad. Make sure the products you select have been responsibly and ethically sourced by the manufacturer and supplier.
Compost heaps are the best way to reuse your garden clippings and vegetable kitchen waste. Make your heaps at least 1 cubic metre and you will have the perfect border mulch for your garden every spring at no extra cost to you or the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
Fertilisers, Pesticides and Weedkillers
In recent years scientists have discovered chemical fertilisers and controls for pests and diseases are bad for the soil and affect insect populations indiscriminately. They vastly reduce the numbers of wild plants and insects as well as the birds and mammals who feed upon them. Bees, vital in fertilising our food crops are becoming worryingly sick and reduced in numbers. Chemicals aren't the answer. Use natural composts and manure and grow plants in conditions they'll thrive in to produce well balanced eco-systems that look after themselves and improve over time.
Hedges are an excellent way to create interesting boundaries and backdrops to your border planting. Far cheaper than fencing, better for the environment and for wildlife. It's best planted from bare root between November to March. Hedge clipping starts in April/May and again in August/ September. Fast growing hedges may need clipping every 6 weeks between April and September depending on weather. .
Select plants that are suited to their position and they will have little or no need for additional watering. If watering is needed on occasions then it's claimed that irrigation systems use 10 per cent less water than a garden hose, so may be worth considering.
Leaf shapes and Textures
Be careful of low and no maintenance claims for gardening plants and products. Certain plants and some products can reduce garden maintenance, but no maintenance is a myth. Block paved drives full of weeds are a prime example. Providing maintenance little and often at the correct time is the most effective way to keep time spent on it at as low as possible.
Perennial planting provide a garden with much of it's seasonal interest and colour. Although most of them will last for many years, they do need some maintenance from time to time to keep them looking their best. If you want to encourage and help local wildlife try to use a variety of flower forms, whilst avoiding double flower forms that insects can not make use of.
Trees and shrubs are pruned to remove weak, diseased or damaged material. This encourages healthy growth with more flowers and fruit. It also improves the natural habit and size of a plant or can create more stylised shapes such as topiary or hedging. Many deciduous shrubs are best rejuvenated or pruned over the winter months or early spring. If evergreens are to be pruned its best left until May
Embrace them! The UK's seasons create gardens which change their colours and appearance dramatically from month to month. The trick is choosing plants that provide interest throughout the year. Be selective when you tidy perennials that have finished flowering, the seed heads of many provide shelter and food for wildlife and interesting silhouettes for you throughout winter.
Shrubs provide much of a gardens year round shape and structure and need careful selection as a result. They can be evergreen or deciduous large or small. As they retain their woody frame though-out the year even if they loose their leaves their presence is always felt. They can be the highlight of a border; with interesting leaf form, stem colour or flowering display, but they can also provide a more functional service as groundcover or screening. Don't choose shrubs (or any plants) because they look pretty at the nursery, think about their ultimate size, use and purpose in your garden for happy results.
Every garden should have a tree. Smaller trees or large shrubs can be found to do the job if your garden is small. Its not just for the wildlife, greener spaces and particularly trees are proven to improve our mental health and sense of well-being.
Contact details for JV Gardens Mob. 07904 877541 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.jvgardens.com
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