Gardening rant

Well this weekend has been beautiful and we know many of you have spent the weekend gardening. If, however, you are daunted by the word gardening and think of it as hard work then step this way to our little summer gardening rant…

“Gardening” is for everyone. The benefits of gardening are proven – need we say more about physical exercise, fresh air, relaxing impact on the body etc. To what level you do gardening is entirely up to you. Our aim, is to help you make the most of your garden and to help you create a garden you can enjoy. Our customers range from experts who could give Monty Don a run for his money to young non-gardeners who claim to kill everything they touch, but want their garden to look pretty.

The secret to getting the garden you want is to ensure you don’t plant anything ‘beyond’ your required level of input. For example, there are certain plants that beyond the first few weeks of planting require very little attention. Such garden staples (as we like to call them) include slow growing conifers, the evergreen shrub euonymus, perennials such as aquilegia and ornamental grasses.

We understand that there is a lot of ‘jargon’ used in the world of horticulture so we want to help the non-experts understand and get the best from their garden. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not be afraid to ask a member of our plant team for advice. They LOVE gardening and many of them have either years of practical or technical training. It is their job to help you and there is no such thing as a stupid question. For this article, we will focus on the jargon of annuals as this can be a common cause of disappointment to beginner gardeners.

The term annual refers to plants that will only flower for one year/flowering season. These plants are usually brought to add a little dash of ‘wow’ to flower beds, pots and hanging baskets. But sadly most annuals will die off in the winter and will need to be replaced the following year. So if you’ve tried growing something like a marigold, lobelia or petunia and it died in the winter, it’s not you – it’s the plant!

Some gardeners don’t like to buy plants for such a limited flowering period but the truth is that annual plants are so “showy” that few can resist them. However, if you want to plant once and have repeat flowering year after year then you need to look at herbaceous perennials. Perennials look like they have died off in the winter but don’t dig them up as the following spring they will start to emerge and once again re-flower the following summer – year after year.

Feeling inspired? Pop down to one of our garden centres this week and get some inspiration, who knows maybe next weekend you’ll be doing some gardening.