Garden Mentor

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


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Autumn Surprises


Posted By on Nov 1, 2018

November is an in between month between autumn and winter but often has late colour from leaves and especially berries. I love Acers and there are many that will suit small gardens. Their requirement is for a sheltered site, not in an exposed windswept location. They also need a moisture retentive and free draining soil so heavy clay will never suit them. They often grow under the canopy of taller trees and like semi shade or sun....

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Autumn Tints in October


Posted By on Oct 1, 2018

With one of the driest summer of recent years this has not been great for gardeners. If you do want to plant anything out, firstly dig a hole at least 50% deeper and wider than the pot. Incorporate a lot of well rotted manure into the base of the hole and all the back fill soil. This will act as a sponge to retain moisture in the dry soil. Make sure the plant has been standing in water for at least 2 hours to soak the compost and...

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Early Autumn – September


Posted By on Sep 1, 2018

Plants are in bloom earlier this year due to the dry weather which brings on flowering before the “normal” season. Colour this autumn comes from Rudbekia fulgida Goldsturm, a jolly yellow daisy like flower with a black centre which flowers for weeks if kept watered. They do best in a heavier soil that retains moisture and need to be split and replanted every few years to maintain their flowering. Another flowering perennial that is...

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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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