Garden Mentor

Based in Chester, developing gardens in Cheshire, the Wirral or North Wales

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High Summer in August

Posted By on Aug 1, 2018

After the dry period in early summer that caused some plant to die, many late summer perennials will be flowering less. Plants that enjoy the dry weather in late summer include Echinops ritro or Globe Thistle. They will grow to 1.5m tall and have soft thistle shaped leaves with tall stems bearing golf ball sized blue flowers. The need support but do well at the back of borders in full sun and well drained soils. Another blue plant is...

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High Summer in July

Posted By on Jul 5, 2018

July and August are dominated by flowering perennials to bring colour into your garden. Visit one of the flower shows or some of the gardens open in July to get ideas for planting schemes to try at home. A few shrubs are in flower at this time including the classic Lavender. They revel in gravelly dry soil so are ideal for dry gardens. If you have a wall that needs something to drape over the edge, grow the English Lavender with pale...

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Blooms for June

Posted By on Jun 1, 2018

There are many beautiful perennials flowering in June and it is difficult to choose which ones to have in the garden. I would love to have delphiniums but the slugs get them in my heavy soil. However, if you can keep the slugs off, they can pop up each year with tall spires of rich blue, pink or white flowers. In autumn many will flower again if you cut the dead flowering spikes off in summer. Another reliable perennial for damper...

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Spring is Here!

Posted By on May 1, 2018

After a long cold winter we can welcome a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials that flower in May. Laburnum x watereri is a smallish tree (4 to 8 metres tall) with long racemes of bright yellow flowers in late spring. Note that all parts of the tree are poisonous including the seeds so not one to plant where small children or animals are around. However the flowers are stunning and if you had time to train over an arch you could...

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Splash of Spring Colour

Posted By on Apr 1, 2018

Spring is well and truly underway and there is so much to choose from if you want to add new additions to your garden. Starting with the small perennials I suggest a bright yellow Allysum saxatilis and pink or mauve Aubretia to cascade over walls in sunny spots. Both perennials like a well drained soil. If you have a shadier place with a moist light soil then why not see if the delicate Dicentra Formosa likes your garden. It has...

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March Highlights

Posted By on Mar 1, 2018

By March, spring will be here, the bulbs will be out, some trees and shrubs will be growing and we will hope that there isn’t a cold snap to damage new growth. When I think of March it’s usually the colours of yellow and blue that predominate in our gardens. So here are some ideas for plants to brighten up your garden. Pale yellow Primroses and Primulas in multi-colours will continue to flower in sheltered spots, along with some blue...

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Signs of Spring

Posted By on Feb 1, 2018

At last spring is on the way with plants coming into growth with the lengthening daylight, even if there is frost and snow. There are plenty of plants to give colour and scent in February and March. Starting with small flowers, how about a drift of snowdrops, either the native single variety or for a change, buy some double snowdrops. As you can see from the photo, the double snowdrop flower is beautiful. Another flower for early...

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Winter Colour for January

Posted By on Jan 1, 2018

January is a time to wait for spring, with bulbs just peeping through. Time to look and appreciate the shapes and colours of evergreens in the garden. There are plants with dramatic shapes such as evergreen Phormiums or New Zealand Flax, with their long sword shaped leaves. They make a bold statement in any garden and come in a range of sizes and colours. Some have white and green leaves, others red, orange, plum and plain green. They...

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Christmas Cheer

Posted By on Dec 1, 2017

Winter is when you notice evergreen shrubs with a good shape or rich foliage, that at other times of the year blend into the background. When there is little around in our gardens, a neatly clipped Box hedge, or a rounded Yew shrub or a Skimmia with red berries really stand out. These shrubs can form the centrepiece of a winter corner of any garden. There is no point in having winter interest hidden away, put the plants where they can...

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Flaming November Colour

Posted By on Nov 1, 2017

With the flowers coming to an end for the year, it is time to appreciate the leaves changing colour to yellow, orange and red and berries on shrubs. In sheltered areas where Acers can thrive in cool damp soil, their leaf colour can be stunning in autumn. I have an Acer palmatum Orange Dream, in a pot. In spring the foliage is lime green but in autumn the leaves are edged with orange red than gradually deepen over the days. If you have...

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