Monday May 21 , 2018

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

A Garden for all Seasons

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A garden is not just for summer it’s for 12 months of the year!

winteryew2Some people often think that as soon as the leaves fall and the dark nights come everything stops in the garden.  Well, they couldn’t be more wrong – while, for most of the year your garden is an entertaining space,  a playground for children or a showcase for your favourite plants – it’s also there for 12 months of the year and since I’m sure you’ll be able to see it from more than one window of your home, it's also a winter vista, so why not make the most of it?

Personal style
We all have a preferred way we like our home and gardens to look and that identity is very personal, it isn’t right or wrong, it is our choice.  Some people like to have their garden pristine with lawn edges sharp, any sign of dead or decaying plants quickly removed;perennials that are beginning to die down and over winter underground are swiftly cut back.  This results in a very neat and tidy garden for winter which more often than not just leaves the evergreen plants or shrubs and any deciduous trees or shrubs as the only structure in the garden.

winterseedheads2Other people will remove anything that is dead, diseased or damaged and remove any fallen leaves but leave  perennials with seed heads throughout the winter.  This does have its advantages with seed heads swaying in the breeze and glistening on a frosty morning providing something different to look at over the winter.  Of course, the other benefit is to the insects as this will provide them with places to overwinter.

Regardless of your style the autumn and winter are a great time to ask yourself:

  • Are there any gaps in the planting?
  • Can I see colour in the borders?
  • Do I have something to look at?
  • Can I still see wildlife in my garden?
  • What month do I lose the plant interest and what month does it start again?

Planning ahead
These questions are really helpful  to prolong the interest in your garden through the winter – but can also be considered in other months too.  A photo diary can help too – take photos throughout the year to see if there are any places that have bare patches, are less interesting or even are too full.  This helps you plan but a few things you can do to make sure your garden does its job for the full 12 months are:

  • Consider buying some shrubs that have winter interest whether that is for striking coloured bark  of Dogwoods (e.g. Cornus kesslerignii, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’) or you could consider Christmas Box or Witch Hazel (e.g. Sarcococca confusa, Hamamelis mollis)  both have flowers and a lovely winter fragrance that fills the air on a cold and frost day!
  • Plan ahead - buy and plant spring flowering bulbs and either plant in specific places or for a more natural look simply mix them up, throw them in the air and plant them where they fall.
  • Don’t forget your containers!  Nip out to the local garden centre or nursery and buy some seasonal plants to provide immediate interest, you can plant bulbs in there or add them to your current containers which will offer you something different to look at in spring.

Go ahead, enjoy your winter garden.  If you need any help or advice please do contact Nicki at Blue Daisy.

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Nicki Jackson is Blue Daisy's garden designer & owner. A former HR consultant Nicki still finds the time to run Blue Daisy, design gardens and planting plans, write a blog, keep our gardening clients happy and offer IIP advice and outplacement support through Blue Daisy Consultancy.

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