Top 10 November Gardening Jobs

November, the penultimate month of the year, is upon us. For most of us this truly is the start of the Christmas season, with the shopping and the mince pies, but what is there to do in the garden? There’s lots of tidying to do as well as preparing your plants for the winter frosts and stronger winds. Aside from these you also want to think about how to make your garden look it’s best during this season without spending too much time in the cold and wet. Now is a good time to plant Roses but make sure you tie back and stake them, along with any other plants that are vulnerable to high winds. You can also cut back existing roses to further protect them from the wind. If you have a pond (especially with fish in it) you want to keep the water oxygenated in the coming freezing temperatures. One thing you can do is to simply put a ball in the water. Now is the ideal time to plant any hedges in your garden and there are many varieties that can help any visiting bird life too, such as holly, providing berries for them to feast on. If you haven’t already done so, you’ve still got time to plant your bulbs such as Daffodils, Tulips and Allium. Then all you have to do is simply wait for the spring to see them bloom. If you have bird tables and feeders then you should clear away old food and disinfect them to prevent the spread of diseases through mould and droppings. Make sure you keep food and water topped up. Tidy any leaves, decaying plants and branches littering your garden, not forgetting your pond if you have one. Tidy your greenhouse if you haven’t already, removing any decaying plants and old compost to prevent the spread of disease and rodents. Also, make sure you give the windows a good clean to maximize light during the shorter days. To stop those pesky moths damaging your fruit trees you can put a grease band around the trunks. Non-hardy perennials, evergreens and shrubs will need a layer of mulch to preserve moisture and improve the fertility and health of the soil as well as insulating roots. You can use a variety of materials such as well rotted manure, leaf mould, straw and wood chippings. If the weather permits then you can mow your lawn one last time, then you can probably  store it away for the winter, making sure you clean it out from any dead grass. Thanks for reading, Monty and the team at Gardens2You...

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Indoor Garden Projects

Summer isn’t over yet, but we’ve recently taken the time to look at some pretty amazing indoor plants. Often, homes are not adorned with growing house plants, but bouquets of flowers instead. Does anybody own, or remember…a terrarium? If you do then great, but for those that don’t perhaps you have a distant memory of your great aunts house; inside it a large fish bowl, green in hue and wildly alive with miniature forest plants?                  Terrariums – It is such a richly decorative art that isn’t very widespread these days, but more people are taking this route when garnishing their homes and there are definitely some fantastic feats of imagination out there. There are two types of terrariums; closed, which is most suitable for forest/tropical plants because of the created humidity, and open, which is more suited to dry plants such as succulents. A popular feature of a terrarium is to have an object such as a model, toy or in the above case, a skull. History – Terrariums were first created in the 19th century by the botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, and purely by mistake; he was observing an insect in a closed glass recepticle, but little did he know that a plant had germinated inside it, thus giving life to the terrarium. It didn’t take long for them to become fashionable with the Victorians who named them wardian cases, looking like miniature greenhouses.       Upside down planters – You may or may not have seen these ingenious, space saving creations but…well, here they are. Most commonly used to grow herbs for your kitchen, you can hang them anywhere and even make them yourself if you’ve a talent for crafts. You can have these for a practical use by growing your own herb garden, or simply hang whatever suitable plant you want, even making it a spectacle to behold like the light fitting below.                  Unusual planters – A little less curious than the other two, but wondrous all the same, a great way of creating an unusual plant feature in your home can be achieved by simply re potting plants into different planters. Teacups, old tins, or any container really could play host  to your indoor beauties, and add an instant flare to your windowsill.                Well, that should give you something to think about. It certainly got our brains running wild with ideas.     Thanks for reading from Monty and the team at Gardens2you x...

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Encourage Nature into your Garden

Maintaining a healthy and beautiful garden may come easy to some of us and perhaps prove more difficult for others, but one thing we should all look to do is encourage a bit more nature into our gardens; biodiversity can go a long way, so get your gloves on, enlist any helpers and transform your outdoor space into a  habitat for garden visitors. Bees – Bees of all varieties are such an integral part of this world and they need our help. Bees pollinate our flowers and create delicious honey, but their population is dwindling with 20 known species that have become extinct. The main problem is the destruction of their natural habitats such as wildflower meadows which have seen a 97% decrease in the last 60 years; an astonishing figure, but that’s where you come in. Try planting some wildflower seeds and  some lavender to attract them. and if you have space, build a bee hotel buy using cardboard tubes and drilling holes in logs. At the moment there is the Great British Bee Count to aid in the conservation of our busy little friends so it’s down to you to help out as a larger picture of our bee population is desperately needed.   Butterflies & Insects – Not all insects are welcome in our gardens but for many birds they are a main food source. Who doesn’t want a beautiful array of birds in their garden? Exactly the same as bees, insects will be attracted to flowers so more pollinating flowers leads to more insects and to more birds. Plus, butterflies are an undeniable treat for those lazy days sat in your garden.   Hedgehogs – These snuffly little creatures are out and about but what attracts them into our gardens? Well, insects for one and if you’ve plenty of beetle bait like the above mentioned tips then that’s a step in the right direction. The big reason you want the hedgepig to pay you a visit though are those big slimy slugs! We hate them but they love them. It’s not all about the food though; resourceful as they are, a simple problem such as having access is all that will stop them. What you can do is maybe cut a small hole in the bottom of your fence or replace with a shrub or two so they can wander in any time they like. Also, if you’re looking to encourage them to hibernate then perhaps you could create a wild patch where you can have a compost heap or pile of logs for them to get busy with.   Birds – So, you’ve sorted the insect eating birds with...

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Top 10 April Gardening Jobs

April is here, spring is here and most importantly of all, better weather is here (hopefully). Beautiful spring flowers are beginning to bloom and the country is seemingly alive again. So it’s time to get out in the garden and make the most of those longer, lighter evenings and sunnier days. Continue to ready your garden for all of the beautiful summer months, because hard work is always rewarded and it’ll cut down on maintenance later in the year. Garden centres are always full of so many gorgeous plants at this time of year, so we’d recommend a trip to your nearest one ASAP. Below are our Top April Garden Jobs: 1) Beware of frost – As much as this isn’t a job, it is definitely still worth a mention. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly warmer weather. Frost is still a very real risk and it is advisable to hold back on planting any tender bedding until next month. 2) Dead heading – Remove all faded flowers from your daffodils, pansies & violas. Let your daffodils die back naturally so they put energy back into the bulbs 3) Weeding – Continue with the spring cleaning. Get on top of your hoeing and prevent weeds from spreading through your beds, otherwise you’ll leave yourself a nightmare job. The same goes for any stubborn weeds in your pathways, DON’T LET THEM WIN!!! 4) Mulch – Before the herbaceous growth really takes hold in your garden, get the mulch down, otherwise you’ll struggle to see what you’re doing. 5) Treat fences & sheds – When it is warm enough, treat sheds, fences and trellis with wood preservative; brushes and rollers are fine for most things, however a sprayer is well worth buying for tricky projects such as woven panels! 6) Repel slugs and snails – This is their favourite time of the year, with lots of fresh juicy shoots popping up. So be prepared to wage war on them, or they have to power to ruin a lot of hard work. Lay pet friendly slug pellets around your bedding to keep them at bay. 7) Birds care – Birds are beginning to build their nests now and so are looking for appropriate places to nest. Therefore, if you provide them with food and potentially a bird house, you’ll increase the likelihood of having a garden bustling with life. 8) Summer hanging baskets – If you are lucky enough to have a green house at your disposal, then you can begin to create your hanging baskets. 9) Lawns – Feed, mow and begin to give your lawns a little more attention. Now is the perfect time to sow new lawns and repair bare...

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5 easy ways to help protect your plants from a spring frost

The beautiful British spring is here! Plants are growing again and the weather should be warming up. However, from many years of experience, we are all now well aware that the British weather can not be trusted and the threat of frost is always very real. For many gardeners, spring offers one of the year’s greatest challenges: protecting tender young growth against the harsh cold snaps. In early spring, when the threat of frost is especially great, closely monitoring weather conditions via weather radio, TV, and/or websites for reports of expected cold spells is imperative. That way, when frost is predicted, you can prepare for it. Below are 5 easy ways you can help to protect your garden from frost and reduce its impact on your vulnerable plants. 1) Cover plants before night fall – If you’re going to cover your plants up, then ensure this job is done before dusk. If you wait until after night fall, then most of the heat stored in the ground will have been lost. It doesn’t really matter what you cover your plants with, just make sure that it extends down to the soil on each side and you’re good. In the morning, once the frost has thawed, remove the covers. 2) Water before a frost – It may sound crazy, but watering around plants the night before a spring frost can actually protect them from freezing. During the night, the wet soil will release moisture into the air, which will raise the temperature and keep plants warmer. 3) Protect potted plants – Once again, this revolves around watching the forecast and being proactive with your frost damage prevention. If a frost is predicted, then bring those planters INSIDE. The roots of potted plants are more susceptible to frost than those planted in the ground and therefore need even more attention. 4) Place plants in frost resistant areas – The positioning of your plants is more important than you’d think when attempting to combat frost. Aim to keep seedlings away from frost pockets, usually found at lower levels and if possible plant near walls or fences for extra protection. 5) Choose cold hardy plants – Some plants and vegetables are hardy characters and will thrive despite the occasional cold weather. Crocuses often push their way through snow to bloom, and a spring storm rarely gives narcissus, tulips, grape hyacinths, or pansies any worry. Experts at your local nursery or garden centre are great sources of information about appropriate hardy plants. Most likely, native plants, particularly native perennials, will be the best choices. Love Monty...

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Top 5 easy tips to help your garden recover after flooding

It’s wet, really wet, and it’s becoming a more and more regular occurrence in the UK. Unfortunately thousands of homes and gardens are affected by flood damage every year and in a lot of cases, there is very little that can be done about it. However, as distressing as the sight of your garden filling up with water is, the clear up job afterwards is actually quite straightforward. First of all, ensure that no harm has come people and pets, the garden can always wait until after everyone is safe and well. Most items in your garden can be replaced and in a lot of cases, the gardening community will pull together to share plants and lend a helping hand. Once you’re happy everything else is in order, then you can start on the garden recovery. 1) Immediately wash down and rinse plants – This should be done as soon as possible, especially if you’ve suffered a salt water flood. Rinse off any mud or salt spray covered foliage and remove any build up of storm waste at the base of your plants. This rinsing process removes the likelihood of disease spreading through wounds on the leaves and stems of your plants. Once the plants have been rinsed and cleaned, they can begin to recover. 2) Prune and remove damage – After clearing as much mud and salt from your plants as possible, it becomes easier to see what the actual damage is. This will make your decisions on where needs pruning easier. In order to be as efficient as possible in your clear up, deal with larger trees and shrubs first and work your way down to the smaller plants. Be cautious at first as your plants have already gone through a large amount of trauma. Over time it will become clearer which areas need pruning. 3) Clear debris and make compost – Whist clearing up, begin to create a flood compost pile out of the way in a hidden area of the garden. This way you’ll be able to throw the leaves, stems and debris with the mud brought in by storm waters to create your own nutrient full compost. This is a great way of taking some good from a bad situation. 4) Water plants – Now it might seem like the last thing you should be doing, especially because over saturated soil is bad for your plant and root health. However, trust us when we say that you need to flush all those pollutants away. The good from a thorough watering to clean mud and pollutants will outweigh the negatives effects of over saturation. 5) Look after pots and containers – In...

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