Garden Mentor

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

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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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October Autumn Magic

Posted By on Oct 1, 2017

Assuming September’s weather is kind, there will still be plenty of colour in your garden provided you have some later flowering plants. So here are some ideas for the end of the season interest. Passion flowers or Passiflora caerulea are often flowering into October in mild situations with their glorious complex flowers that will bring a touch of the exotic into the garden. In warm summers such as this year, some of these will...

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Early Autumn

Posted By on Sep 1, 2017

2017 has been an odd year here in the North West. We had a mild dryish winter, not much spring rain and up to mid July, a dry summer. As a result, many of the later flowering plants have started flowering much earlier. I usually expect Japanese Anemones to flower in September and October but this year, they started in late July. However, there are some plants that will give autumn colour, so here are some recommendations. The dark...

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Summer Colour

Posted By on Aug 1, 2017

August usually bring the late flowering perennials such as Japanese Anemone. As we have had a mild winter and dry spring into early summer, some plants are flowering almost a month early. So I am going to suggest plants that usually flower in August but may be going over this year! Not many shrubs flower in late summer but one that will give white flowers is Eucryphia x nymansensis Nymansay. A bit of a mouthful to say, but if you have...

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High Summer in July

Posted By on Jul 8, 2017

There are so many flowering plants out in July that I am spoilt for choice. One that you may not know is a shrub, Abutilon Kentish Belle. This is a tender shrub growing to about 2m tall and as you can see from the photo, has hanging red and yellow flowers loved by bees. So if you have a sheltered corner that gets sun in summer on well drained yet moist soil then try it out. It can be grown in a pot and kept under glass in winter. It...

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