Garden Mentor

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

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Dazzling December

Posted By on Dec 1, 2019

By December, the garden will be past its summer best but if you have planned carefully, you can create areas of colour that will cheer you up throughout winter. What you need is a few shrubs and under plant with some winter Hellebores and bulbs. Evergreen dome shaped shrubs that do not get too large include Skimmia. There are a number of varieties so if you want flowers then choose Skimmia japonica Rubella with red flower buds, or...

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Flaming November

Posted By on Nov 6, 2019

November tends to be a time for tidying up the garden ready for winter. I am pruning a lot so I find my shoulders get a good work out when helping clients in this month. Oranges and reds are the predominate colours from leaves on Acers, Cherries and Apple trees then there are berries. Cotoneaster shrubs come in many different varieties and species from large trees such as Cotoneaster Cornubia which forms an evergreen umbrella shape...

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Firey October Colour

Posted By on Oct 1, 2019

October is the ideal time to divide and split perennials and put in new plants. The soil will be warm from summer, damp from the rain enabling plants to root well and settle in over winter. It’s also a good time, early in the month, to turf lawns or seed new lawns. There are shrubs in flower in October including the Yucca. They have to be treated with caution as they have needle sharp tips to the sword like leaves – I cut each tip off...

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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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