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Top Ten Don’ts in Gardening

Kew 295

Top Ten Don’ts in Gardening

  1. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, have fun and enjoy.
  2. Don’t buy expensive, exotic plants that you saw on holiday because they are better grown in hot countries or conditions (like the orchids above).
  3. Don’t set your sights on having a manicured bowling green type lawn unless you are a dedicated bowls player willing to act like a full-time groundsman.
  4. Don’t make your life too difficult. Put high maintenance plants where you can reach them and paths and stepping stones where they can give you good access.
  5. Don’t forget to keep everything looking tidy, trim lawn edges and put pots and tools out of sight (it’s what a garden shed is for as well as resting in).
  6. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

  7. Don’t skimp of the quality of your main tools like your spade, trowel, watering can and fork but avoid wasting cash on gadgets and gizmos.
  8. Don’t forget this year nationally frost will kill more annuals by early planting than insects will kill by eating.
  9. Don’t ignore your plants need for sunlight, water, food and a growing medium.
  10. Don’t judge your garden against the glossy pictures in gardening magazines (they will have been touched up) or from flower shows where prize exhibits will have been selected from 100’s or 1000’s of plants.
  11. Don’t let anyone put you off, garden the way you want, enjoy the results and share your enthusiasm.

Caution: Japanese Garden

Credits
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden by pablo_marx CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Caution: Japanese Garden by ~dgies CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Getting Biodiversity in your Garden

Wild meadow

Wild Areas

  • Leave an area in your garden to grow wild. Let it do as it wishes and follow the seasons.
  • Log piles and rotting brash provide protection, food and habitats.
  • If you have a wild flower meadow grow native plants and grasses.

Native is Best

  • Flowers and plants native to your area feed indigenous populations of birds, insects and fungi.
  • None native plants can take over or undermine local plants.
  • Double flowers and over-bred plants often take up space but offer no food value for wild life.

Variety and Diversity

  • The wider the range of plant families and flowers the better for wild life.
  • Look after the soil to help diverse plants to thrive. It will also help fungus and bacteria which is a good place to start achieving biodiversity.
  • Rotating crops breaks up disease and feeds the soil.

Balance the Elements

  • Create wind breaks or sheltered areas.
  • Ensure a supply of accessible water.
  • Provide some shade in hot areas of the garden.
  • Consider the tops of trees and the roots of plants as habitats. Again variety is a key.
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Red Matching Gardens

The fiery red Dahlias complement the brick work of the house in this open garden.
The colour is repeated at the end of the formal lake and the planting in the side borders also has some colour symmetry. (A shame about the scaffolding but what a place to grow a climber).

Talking of climbers, again the colour of the brick and the red roses lift the photograph. I like the very interesting grey gate tied up with garden string. If I try achieve this effect with old gates in my garden the results are woeful. (Must try harder)

Even the old light coloured stone at this Oxford college is set off a treat by the red  foreground. The green plays a significant part however as it is strongly complementary to the red and the leaves have scale and texture.

Gardeners Tips on Red in Gardening

  • Keep the design simple and use repetition to make a point.
  • Red tends to bring the foreground towards you.
  • Do not mix with pink or insipid colours as neither will benefit.
  • In a small garden use red plants for emphasis and with care or they overpower.
  • I prefer the hot reds of Crocosmia, Dahlia, Lobelia, Heliathemum ‘Supreme’ some Tulips and Peonies.
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Gardening Quotes

Alys Fowler ‘Gardening is something you do not some thing you buy.’

Vita Sackville West ‘ Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth but of love, taste and knowledge.’

Alan Coren ..’You and I be a-diggin’ and a-stretchin’ and a-sweatin’ as we work away with that most indispensable of gardening tools, the wallet.’

Chris Bayles of Rosemoor   ‘ A horticultural sweetshop.’

RHS on AGM  ‘ Some people in the trade are muddying the waters, because it is cheaper for them…’

Monty Don ‘It is the space between plants and objects that make a garden interesting’

Alan Titchmarsh ‘ In gardening circles Beth (Chatto) has become something of a legend in her own lifetime. It was she who turned peoples eye’s towards out-of-the-ordinary plants back in the 1960’s when she opened her Unusual Plant Nursery at Elmstead Market.’

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