Garden Mentor

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


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September


Posted By on Sep 1, 2019

As summer turns into autumn, colour from flowers can continue well into September. Shrubs in flower include Fuschias, that are such good value with a long flowering period. Fuschia magellanica is one of the hardiest types with pink or white flowers. They will grow in sun or slight shade and provide an arching shrub about 1m in diameter. Abelia Grandiflora is an underrated shrub with lots of small white flowers with a lovely scent. It...

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Riotous Colour in August


Posted By on Aug 1, 2019

August is a riot of bright reds, oranges, yellow and cooler blues, with herbaceous plants taking centre stage whilst the flowering shrubs retire into the background. This year has been good for slugs and snails so some plants have suffered and can be reduced to sorry stems. Taller plants for the back of a border include Knipofia (Red Hot Poker) and the variety Bees Sunset has 90cm flower heads in orange, fading to yellow, in late...

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High Summer


Posted By on Jul 1, 2019

In July, the perennials take centre stage with so many different flowers to choose from. If you have a sunny border,plant it up for mid summer colour. For those with light well drained soil, plants such as Lychnis coronaria is an easy to grow flower with rosettes of silver grey leaves and in summer has 50cm stems of magenta pink or white flowers. They self seed easily. For something different, Limonium latifolium or Sea Lavender will...

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Early Summer


Posted By on Jun 1, 2019

Early summer is a delight with flowering shrubs aplenty and perennials looking at their best with fresh foliage before the garden starts to get a bit tired in mid summer. With dry winter and spring weather this year the plants are coming along earlier than last year. Shrubs are the backbone of the garden and many flower in June. Scented Philadelphus conronarius Aurea (golden yellow foliage) and Belle Etoile both have white scented...

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Glorious May


Posted By on May 1, 2019

May is my favourite month of the year as trees and shrubs are in leaf, the foliage is young and looking at its best and there are flowers everywhere. Trees with blossom in May include Crataegus laevigata Paul’s Scarlet, a Hawthorn. This is for larger spaces as it can get up to 8m tall and wide. In spring, the blossom is a rich deep pink and will cover the tree then you get red haws in autumn. Beware the sharp thorns though! Many...

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April Flowers


Posted By on Apr 1, 2019

April brings such a choice of beautiful fresh flowers and foliage that it is hard to choose which ones to suggest. Starting with a choice shrub, Viburnum plicatum, with white or pale rose flowers that look like a lacecap Hydrangea flower. They have flat lacecap saucer sized blooms and the leaves turn red in autumn. There are many varieties such as Summer Snowflake, Lanarth or Mariesii. All can become large up to 3m tall and wide if...

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Spring at Last


Posted By on Mar 1, 2019

I love spring as everything is coming to life and that lovely green colour is coming back to the bare branches. So what can you add to your garden to bring spring cheer? Why not try tiny Chionodoxa bulbs with rich blue, white and pink flowers? They do well in pots and in any well drained soil. With small yellow daffodils planted alongside, they will really cheer you up. Primula Gold Lace is an old fashioned primula with velvety brown...

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Winter Jewels in February


Posted By on Feb 1, 2019

This month I am going to concentrate on the small flowers that show their faces in what can be the hardest month of the year. Snowdrops can be seen from January onwards if the soil is warm but come into their own in February. Did you know that they have reinforced hard buds to force their way through frozen soil? If you want to see them in flower en-masse then head to a National Trust garden such as Dunham Massey, Attingham Park or...

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Heralding the New Year


Posted By on Jan 1, 2019

January is a difficult month to find colour in the garden so take time to appreciate the shape of plants and the colour from evergreens and tree bark. One January flowering plant, is Hellebore orientalis which is a winter flowering perennial with pink, plum, white and speckled flowers about 5cm in size. In time, a single plant can grow to produce dozens of flowers over winter, then the seeds can set to give you many more plants. They...

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Christmas Colour


Posted By on Dec 1, 2018

December is the quiet month of the year when much of the tidying up has been completed, the plants are mostly dormant and there are few flowers about. So make the most of form and colour on individual plants and enjoy what nature has to offer. I got some Teasel plants from a friend who warned me that they can seed everywhere, which they do but I only let a few grow. They get to 2m tall and have lovely seed heads which are especially...

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