Tag Archives: garden jobs

Jobs in the garden in February

If you are lacking scent in the garden plant a flowering shrub now – try Lonicera x purpusii or Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’. I love the scent of sarcococca by a front door as the scent assails you as you approach. It can be quite heady but at this time of year you just get a passing whiff!

garden design Lincolnshire

Cut back summer flowering clematis to about 18 inches of the ground to encourage them to come back into leaf and create a great display later in the year.

garden design rutland

If you didn’t put them in last Autumn, plant garlic, shallots and onions. They need a cold spell to get them moving so if the soil is unfrozen now is a good time to plant

If you’re lacking some structure or garden features now is the time to tackle it. February is a good month to dig a pond, add a bird bath or sun dial or create new paths. Avoid treading on wet soil as this compacts it and damages the structure. If you have to work on open soil, lay down planks to spread your weight – old scaffold boards work well for this.

garden design Oakham

Remember keep tidy – rake and clear leaves to keep pests down, especially slugs

 

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

If you have a project in mind and would like to have a chat please give me a call: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020

 

Why use a garden designer

What does a garden designer offer that you can’t work out yourself? Here’s my view on how I can help you create the garden you have always dreamed of. Whether it’s to relax in, to play in, to cook in or to entertain in, let me help you to create a beautiful garden.

garden design

You wouldn’t dream of trying to create an electrical diagram of your house without consulting a qualified electrician, so why do we think we can design our gardens better than a professional can. For many the mere thought of the costs of employing someone to redefine their outdoor space is a huge hurdle but it needn’t be as costly as you imagine. If you compare metre for metre it can be the least expensive room in your home. It can even save money in the long term by ensuring your money is spent in the best way and avoiding costly mistakes. Having a designer to draw up detailed plans can ensure any problems are smoothed out before any work begins and allows you to budget more accurately.

One of the key things a garden designer will do is to make you think about the way you use the space. You may need a lawn for the ubiquitous football goal now, but in 5 years the boys might have grown out of it and you can use the space for something else. A garden designer will understand all this and plan your garden accordingly so that what works for you now, will, with a few tweaks, continue to work in the future. They’re used to manipulating space and will understand the growth rates of individual trees and plants so that you plant the garden once and get it right

garden design Lincs

It’s important that you chose a designer who you can work with. Check out their credentials, look at examples of their work or ask them to take you to a recent garden. You’ll also need to think about how much time you’ll spend working in the garden so the garden you have designed matches your expectations.

garden design Oakham DSCN5773

It’s also important to be honest about what you can afford. A professional designer will aim to design within your budget but you are likely to get a very different garden in terms of materials used, features incorporated and bespoke craftsman designed pieces if you’re spending £10,000 as opposed to £5,000. And it’s not true that given a budget every designer will exceed it – most will want to give you the best garden you can afford so be honest and help them design to your budget.

I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 

 

 

Garden jobs in August

What jobs should I do in the garden this month?

The garden is currently filled with foliage and flowers and all manner of shades and hues so enjoy it before Autumn sets in. If you need a little garden inspiration now, and into the Autumn, start thinking ahead and plan for a Autumn filled with colour – Dahlias, grasses and Asters are my favourite Autumn plants and if you have space an Acer to give a splash of Autumn foliage colour too.

garden design Uppingham

Borders

Trim lavender once it has finished flowering. Hang to dry and then mix with dry rice to fill lavender bags later, or make lavender sugar. Layer fresh lavender flowers in jars between 3cm layers of caster sugar. Seal the jars and store to use later – it’s delicious in cakes. Remove flowers before using or crush with the sugar in a pestle and mortar.

 

Plant colchicums, cyclamens and crocus to naturalise in grass or under trees.

Propagating and general maintenance

Take cuttings of established box plants as you give them their final trim. Spread a compost mulch around fruit bushes, asparagus and rhubarb. Ensure the ground is moist first.

garden hits and tips

 

Prune rambler roses after flowering. Tie in new growth and remove some of the old stems near to the ground. Give hedges a final trim to get them into shape for the autumn. And trim silver leaved plants to shape now.

If you have bare patches of lawn these can be reseeded from the end of the month if the weather is cool. Collect ripe seeds from flowering plants for a display next year.

Vegetables

Lift and dry onions and shallots. Harvest sweet corn at lunch time and have a pan of boiling water already on the go. Put the cobs straight in and eat as soon as they are ready. They will be delicious as you catch them before any of their natural sugar turns to starch.

Encourage further cropping of beans and courgettes with regular picking.

garden design oundle

 

Look out for potato blight which has become a real problem in the last couple of years. Cut back all foliage at the first sign and wait 3 weeks before digging potatoes.

Complete summer pruning of trained fruit trees such as espaliers and cordons. Prune back to ground level summer fruited raspberry canes.

Start to sow seeds for autumn picking. Sow directly into the ground or in modules to plant out later. The following can all be grown well into Autumn and cropped as cut and come again. Protect with fleece if you want to continue cutting into winter. Sow, kale, Swiss chard, mustard spinach, chicory, lambs lettuce, lettuce and rocket now.

 

If you have a garden, interior or landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it.

If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

What to do in the garden in July

Garden Jobs for July

July can be one of the most beautiful months in the garden but to be honest whether it will be this year is anyone’s guess! You should begin to reap the rewards of your hard work in the vegetable plot so make sure you are cutting every day to keep new produce forming, remember to clip herbs too as this encourages them to keep growing – you are mimicking grazing animals in the wild remember.

garden design Uppingham

Your herbaceous borders might have peaked at the end of June last year but this year they are only just getting going. Remember to fill and gaps with pots of colourful late flowers – salvias, cannas and dahlia’s will all extend the season with Michaelmas daisies (Aster) will take you right through to Autumn and beyond.

Vegetable gardens

I think it will be the end of the month before you can even start to harvest garlic and shallots – hang to dry in a cool dry place for 2 weeks or more

Thin out direct sown seedlings including beetroot, raddish, lettuce etc

Sow swiss chard now to ensure you have crops well into winter

Sow swiss chard now to ensure you have crops well into winter

Plant out winter cabbages, spinach, beetroot, kale, broccoli and leeks. Repeat sow lettuce, salads, French and runner beans, carrots and beetroot for crops later in the season. Now is the ideal time to plan your autumn sowings of salad crops and herbs to get ahead.

Prune trained apple and pear trees in the middle of the month. Remember you are reducing the spread and enabling the tree to put all its energy into producing fruit for next year.

garden design Oakham

Borders

Continue to deadhead in your borders to encourage repeat flowering

Prune wisteria taking long stems back to 6“ of the main stem

garden design stamford

Cut back hardy geraniums to encourage fresh foliage and repeat flowering.  If you are going away for a couple of weeks over the summer just before you go is the ideal time for this. Cut the foliage right down to the base, they will look terrible while you are away but will have put on new foliage and be about to flower by the time you return!

General

If slugs are a problem, get a couple of chickens! Bantams do hardly any damage to your garden and provide you with fresh eggs. They won’t lay all year round like a more robust breed such as Long Island Red but they will keep pests at bay.garden design lincolnshire

Make sure you have a couple of nice places to sit and enjoy the garden – perhaps one seat positioned for sun (if only we had some) and one for shade. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy all the work you’ve put in but if you don’t make it easy with a well positioned seat you may miss it and only ever go into the garden to toil.

If you have a garden, interior or landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Gardening jobs in May

Oh the joy of Spring. It makes my heart leap when I hear the song thrush singing in our walnut tree and wake up to a bright sunny day. Unfortunately it is still punishingly cold but if it’s bright I can almost live with it.

garden design Oakham

We have been out  in the garden doing a really thorough Spring clean. It’s so important to get on top of things now as it will save lots of work later in the season so here are my thoughts on jobs to complete this month.

 

Borders

  • Do a final tidy through of borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants you left with foliage on last winter. Weed where soil is light and crumbly.
  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s.
  • Prune flowering shrubs which have finished flowering. Walled trained shrubs and climbers like Jasmin, Akebia, Garrya and Lonicera which have got a bit out of hand can also be pruned now.

garden design Uppingham

Maintenance

  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – add well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin if you have it. Add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle on the soil at the base.
  • Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Keep turning the compost heap and adding fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

DSCN7078 garden design stamford

Lawns

  • Your lawn should have had its first few cuts so you can start to set the blades a little lower – but go easy.
  • Renovate grass as neededDSCN4714 garden design rutland

Ponds

  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.
  • No is a good time to plant up your pond including establishing water hyacinths and Pistia stratoites (water lettuce)

garden design Lincs DSCN7645

Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.
  • Plant scented leaf pelargoniums (you will find some of my favourites at The Herb Nursery at Tistleton)
  • Plant out pot grown pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers once frosts have passed. You can also sow Sun flowers now.

garden design Oakham

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Gardening jobs for April

No one can really believe it can they? The weather feels like it has changed for the better, but has it really. I’m ever the optimist so here are a few of the jobs I’ll be tackling in the garden this month.garden design Rutland

Potatoes

  • I should have done this last month but I’m only just getting around to chitting my potatoes! Put them into egg boxes in a cool bright place ready to plant later this month.

Borders

  • I’ll be doing a final tidy through the borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants I left last winter and weeding where soil is light and crumbly.

    The rose border in a garden I designed in Lincolnshire

    The rose border in a garden I designed in Lincolnshire

  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s

Maintenance

  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – I’ll be adding well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin. I’m also just in time to add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle the bone meal on the soil at the base. Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Turn the compost heap and begin to add fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

Lawns

  • Your lawn should have had its first cut but remember to continue to set the blades quite high as you begin to get back on top of the lawn.
  • Renovate grass as needed – if like my lawn it is filled with moss you can use this to your advantage and rake it up to make decorations for the house. Wire bunches of moss and flowers (blossom, primroses, and newly emerging leaves) around a wire ring or heart. Keep them watered or spray every day and they will last for up to a week.
  • East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk

    Get your lawn ready for its first cut

Ponds

  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.
  • Designing garden ponds can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your garden

    Designing garden ponds can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your garden

Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

 I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Jobs in the garden

It’s a quiet time in the garden right now so make the most of it. Pour a cup of tea and settle down with a biscuit (or a plate of them!) and some seed catalogues.

DSCN5682

If you had gaps in the garden last year you could think about filling these with some annuals or Summer flowering bulbs so get choosing.

garden design Uppingham

Jobs you can carry out in the garden right now include:

If you are lacking scent in the garden plant a flowering shrub  – try Lonicera x purpusii or Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’. I love the scent of sarcococca planted by a front door. It can be quite heady but at this time of year you just get a passing whiff!

Cut back summer flowering clematis to about 18 inches off  the ground.

garden design Oakham

Plant garlic, shallots and onions. They need a cold spell to get them moving so if the soil is unfrozen now is a good time to plant.

garden design Oakham

Tidy up any fruit cages now and make sure the nets are tight and hole free. If you don’t net wall trained cherries or raspberries you’ll find the blackbirds eat more than you do! They seem to have a sixth sense for when they are just ripe and will strip a whole tree in a morning.

Remember keep tidy – rake and clear leaves to keep pests down, especially slugs.

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire, Nottingham and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

Garden jobs to do this month

It’s still a little cold but on a bright sunny day like yesterday it’s lovely to get out in the garden for an hour or so. At this time of year you want to have a number of small jobs which you can tackle on their own and then go back indoors for a cup of tea. My first task is to tackle the herb garden.

chelsea 2008 099 garden design Lincs

  Take advantage of the fact that your       herb plants aren’t sprawling all over the place right now take notice of where you have bare patches that you can fill with new herbs. Now’s your chance to work out where new plants could fit into your herb bed.

 

If you have some gaps to fill think carefully about what to fill them with. When deciding try to choose species to encourage beneficial insects, such as hoverflies, lacewings and bees, into your garden. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis) and thymes (Thymus species) are all popular with these useful creatures. Rosemary (rosmarinus) is a stunning plant in its own right. It can be used as a pot plant, hedge or shrub in a border. And bees flock to its pretty blue flowers for weeks on end.  


chelsea 2008 117

 

Consider adding features to an existing herb garden. February is a good month to dig a pond, add a bird bath or sun dial or create new paths. Avoid treading on wet soil as this compacts it and damages the structure. If you have to work on open soil, lay down planks to spread your weight – old scaffold boards work well for this.

 

If you’ve recently taken on a garden, and the soil is heavy clay, dig in plenty of grit now. Most herbs prefer well-drained soil, and many will be short-lived in water-logged growing conditions. And don’t forget to regularly add grit to give plants the drainage they need.

 

If you’re growing Herbs in containers they will need top-dressing as conditions warm up. This simply means removing the top 5-10cm (2-4in) of compost and topping up with a 50/50 mixture of well-rotted garden compost/worm compost and leaf mould or green waste compost. Finish off with a layer of horticultural grit, to improve appearance and retain moisture in dry spells. If you have none of the above material, then use a commercial soil-conditioner mixed 50/50 with fresh organic potting compost.

garden design Oundle

 

If the weather is mild, shoots of herbaceous herbs (those that die back over winter) may start emerging by the end of February. Improve the fertility by mulching with a layer of garden compost 2-5cm (1–2in) thick.

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden and interior design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

How to ensure the grass isn’t greener in your neighbour’s garden

A recent report in The Telegraph newspaper explained how experts were worried about the state of UK gardener’s lawns in the coming years. At this time of year there is not much you can do about your lawn. After all the rain we have had, made most lawns are too wet to even walk on them.

Here’s what The Telegraph had to say:

“Experts fear the British summer will be prone to extreme weather conditions in years to come, with periods of torrential rain and prolonged droughts becoming the norm.

As a result maintaining a classic lawn will get harder, prompting warnings that gardeners seeking the ‘bowling green’ look will have to make do with rougher grass instead.

Drier springs and wetter summers will also ensure plants in beds and borders will struggle to flourish.

The stark warning was been made by experts from the Met Office and the horticultural world during a recent Royal Horticultural Society conference.

Professor Richard Bisgrove, an expert in turf management and garden history, believes people will have to abandon the dream of having the perfect lawn”.

Richard was the lead plant lecturer on my garden design course at Reading University back in 1999 and he was a fantastic teacher. I learnt so much from him that I still apply to my garden business today. His lawn tips from The Telegraph are really useful:

“Instead gardeners should raise the height of their lawnmower blades in the summertime to ensure a healthy patch of grass.

The retired University of Reading lecturer said: “My own view is that climate change won’t affect gardens dramatically but the weather will.

“Nobody can tell one year to the next what we will have.

“In terms of grass I would say to a large extent the less effort you put into it the better.

“People should accept a slightly higher cut of grass, more daisies and buttercups.

“In general, intensive inputs into grass management are futile.

“If you are after the perfect lawn you have to cut it closely, at least once a week, burning fossil fuels, using more fuel.

“There are some people for whom the perfect bowling green lawn is the only thing they can live with so they will have to pay the price for it.

“Very short grass will go brown in just a short spell of dry weather so you have to irrigate, remove moss and weeds which all uses up more resources.

“Most people who now aim for the bowling green look are probably over the age of 75.

“Most younger people are willing to hack at it a bit when it bothers them then leave it at that.”

Professor Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, also believes gardeners will need to adapt to the change.

She said: “We should all be worried about climate change, we are taking the planet into unchartered territories through our own activities.

“We are taking our planet into a climate that we haven’t seen for a very, very long time, going back to before there were gardens in the UK.

“For us in the UK we will be buffered from most of the climate change because we live downstream from the Atlantic Ocean, that is why we have lovely gardens now.

“(The weather) will continue to be very variable and as gardeners we need to adapt to that.”

You can certainly say that again. Let’s see how we can all adapt to the variations in weather this year and hope it’s not the wettest drought we have ever experienced!

 

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

Garden jobs for November

Now that the clocks have gone back it gets harder and harder to think about doing jobs in the garden. Take advantage of bright sunny mornings and do just a few key tasks to keep on top of jobs.

General tidy up

While the soil is still warm and damp, move and plant shrubs and herbaceous plants

Pull out sweet peas and beans remembering to leave roots in the soil to add nitrogen

Make sure you sweep up leaves from the lawn and borders or they’ll provide perfect places for slugs and snails to overwinter. This has been a bumper year  for slugs keeping on top of garden hygiene is all important.

Prepare the greenhouse for winter, clean the glass, bubble wrap if necessary, ensure your heater is in good working order.

Prepare for next Spring

 

Plant bulbs now to give you an impressive display next spring.  If you want a natural look, throw handfuls of bulbs directly onto the lawn or soil and plant them where they fall. In borders opt for large clumps of bulbs – you’ll get a much better display. I always plant tulip bulbs in groups of 5 or more – you’ll find that if you plant them in clumps of 12 – 15 tulip bulbs then it will allow enough for you to pick a few for a vase in the house next Spring without it being obvious.

Think about planting a new ornamental tree – now is the time to pick what you want to come bare root  once the season has started, usually towards the end of November. I still have my eye on a Liquid amber to add interest next Autumn but as I’ve been concentrating on the house this year I still need to find a space for it.

 

Now is the ideal time to plant Japanese yellow onion sets and garlic. My favourite garlic supplier is The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight. www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk

 

I‘ve also added some glass cloches over herbs which I’d like to pick through the winter, grown in this way herbs like parsley will provide you with fresh stems throughout the winter.

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.