Blog Series, Gardening, Planting, Plants, Stuart

What to Plant in August

What to Plant in August – we’d call it the eternal question, but it’s just one month of the year. Summer’s still here, just about, so there’s more sun loving plants to get into the ground before autumn rears its head. And fruit and veg to get ready for harvest in a few months’ time (though the fruit is more like a year and a few months).

If allotments are more your bag than the garden, check out our August Allotment post, otherwise let’s crack on with this month’s flowers and veg!

Flowers

Climbing roses

A climbing rose bush

If you’ve got visions of a rose-covered arbour or a flower-filled trellis, climbing roses are the way to go. They’ll take a bit of time to fill the space, but planting them now will give them their best chance when next spring rolls around.  Climbers bear flowers off mature wood, which makes maintenance easier than with many other roses. With larger flowers, nearly all cultivars are likely to repeat flower so their popularity is ever on the rise.

Dig it into a hole twice the size of the pot it came in, fill it with compost, and plant it in at the same depth as the pot was – no sense in burying it further. If you don’t see flowers this year, get ready for a petal explosion next summer.

Winter cherry blossom

winter cherry blossom

Everyone knows the beauty of a cherry blossom tree, and its a yearly moment of magic when the spring blossom falls and fills the air with a pinky-white petal snow. Nowadays you can also get cherry blossoms which flower in winter, so if you’d like to add some colour to your winter garden that isn’t dogwood or holly, you can plant a winter flowering cherry blossom and enjoy those blooms at a second or even third time of year. Add mulch, plant in full sun, don’t compress the soil and don’t overwater –   follow those simple tips and you’ll be blooming in no time [when the cherry blossom wants to of course].

Tropical fruit

Hardy Kiwi

Hardy kiwi fruit - red skinned

Growing with red skin to differentiate them from plain old brown kiwis, hardy kiwis can take the cooler temperatures and still produce fruit before the year ends. Set your eyes on an autumn fruit salad (though quite possible next year’s salad) and follow this guide on planting containerised trees.

Grapes

big blue grapes

Grapes like a south-facing wall, and plant them at least 3ft deep to keep them happy. The hardier the variety you choose the better it’ll survive the upcoming winter, so a variety like Boskoop Glory is a great starter grape.

Pineapple Guava

pineapple guava, whatever that means. It doesn't look anything like a pineapple

It doesn’t look anything like a pineapple, but in much the same way that a milkshake doesn’t look anything like a strawberry, the Pineapple Guava name’s in the taste. This tree fruits in late summer and has a pretty blossom too, so you can enjoy pineapple, guava and strawberry flavours when harvest time rolls around. Grow in a greenhouse if your area gets cold a lot, otherwise you can plant in a pot or sunny spot and it’ll grow happily without mush fuss.

Vegetables

Radishes

long radishes, red with white tips

Great little salad additions, radishes are some of the fastest-growing vegetables around and good to plant if you’d like some strongly flavoured veg all the way up to October. Sow straight into the ground in rows, add some compost (it’s rare that you shouldn’t), and space them 2.5cm apart about 2cm deep. Don’t water them too much, and you should be ready to harvest in a month and a half.

Spring onion

A pile of spring onions

The irony of planting ‘spring’ onions in August isn’t lost on us, but there are hardy varieties that don’t need all those April showers to keep them springing. Drill them 1.5cm deep and 5cm apart when they’ve sprouted a bit in a seed tray, then enjoy tasty cooking flavours in a month or two’s time. They’re capable of overwintering too, so you can plant them a little later then they’ll spring up (it all makes sense now) at the beginning of next year.

Green and red salad

green and red lettuce in the ground

You can still grow lettuce in August, with baby leaves available quickly for an impatient but still delicious salad. Sow seeds in full sun, 2cm deep and 90cm apart – they can grow pretty big after all! And cover it with netting to keep the birds and pests away,  birds love a seed and caterpillars, slugs and snails love leafy veg.

Blog Series, Gardening, Planting, Stuart

What to Plant in July

New month, new(ish) plants – it’s time to continue our series of What to Plant. This month it’s July, it’s high summer, and that means getting in veg and flowers that live for being sun-drenched. Use the links below if you’d like to skip a section, or scroll on to find this month’s flora to plant!

If you’re working on an allotment, why not check out our July Allotment Jobs post from last year?

Flowers

A lot of the flowers this month are ones you might have seen already if you’ve been out on wooded or meadow walks. Or if you’ve sneaked a peek into your neighbours’ gardens, but we won’t judge. Foxgloves, forget-me-nots, delphiniums and more are on the planting cards, so we’ve pulled together their planting instructions to help your late summer and early autumn be one full of blooms.

Foxgloves

Colourful foxgloves

Foxgloves, also known as digitalis, are ideal for attracting pollinators with their colourful blooms and high-reaching stems. When they’re in bloom expect to see bees crawling right up inside the funnel-shaped flowers – great if you’re trying to snap a busy bee photo. Take care though – they’re pretty toxic, so keep the kids clear.

Plant them anywhere from full sun to full shade, depending on your individual variety’s requirements, in moist and well-drained soil. You might not get flowers in year one planting this late in the year, but if that’s the case year two will blow your socks off. And plant more in the second year to make year three a garden foxglove fiesta.

Delphiniums

Delphiniums all in a row

Pretty perennials in the buttercup family, delphiniums come in a variety of shades of blue, pink, purple and white. Their flowers spike up year after year, tall like foxgloves with pastel-green leaves to complement the flower colours. It’s another one where the prettiness comes with a price – it’ll cause discomfort if ingested and the sap can irritate the skin.

They can grow quite vigorously, so if you’re planting more than one place them one to three feet apart to give them space to flourish. Add lots of compost to keep their soil fertile, keep it moist, and put them in full sun or part shade. In autumn, when the foliage dies down, cut them right back to the ground.

Forget-me-nots

Forget-me-nots

While these can be planted at this time of year, they likely won’t flower until next April – but a lot of gardening is about planning ahead, so there’s nothing new there! Famously in the white-blue spectrum, forget-me-nots are great for cooler colours to supplement your usual spring blooms. The leaves will stay throughout the year though.

There are a couple of different varieties, split between pathside clumps and pondside perennials. If you’ve got a water variety, plant it as close as you can to a pond or submerged in shallow water. If it’s a flowerbed variety, sprinkle the seeds and cover with compost, keeping them warm as the year progresses. With any luck flowers will appear in year two.

Wallflowers

Also called erysimum, wallflowers are spring-flowering, sweet-scented semi-evergreens that are nice and low-maintenance, great for rock gardens and flowerbeds. They like full sun and well-drained soil, so plant this year for a fiery addition to your spring collection next year.

Vegetables

July’s the beginning of bountiful harvests, but that’s not what we’re here for. Pick the veg that looks ready to go, then replace it with these seeds and sprouts to prepare for an awesome autumn of vegetables.

Peas

Hurst Green Shaft Peas

Sow these in well-cultivated, fertile soil, or start them off in pots before planting out in full sun when they’ve grown a bit. Whichever method you choose, place the seeds 2.5cm deep and keep them 5cm apart, in rows between 30-60cm apart. Keep mice away from the seeds – they love a tasty pea!

Cabbage

Cabbage

Plant your spring cabbages (that’s when they’ll be ready) 30-40cm apart if you’ve got plenty of space to spare in your main vegetable patch. Or start them a little closer in a seed bed if you’re prepared to move them to the patch after a couple of months have passed and more space has opened up post-harvest.

If you’ve been growing winter cabbages, now’s the time to transplant and move them to their final growing positions.

Fennel

Herby fennel

A hardy perennial herb with a strong aroma and flavour, or it’s a Florence variety with a swollen bulb that can be used as a vegetable. The two types have very different growing instructions, so make sure you know which one you’ve got before you start growing.

If it’s the herby type, plant it where you’re going to keep it forever because it doesn’t cope well with being moved from its cosy soil. Either that or plant it in a pot, which you can move to your heart’s content. Put it somewhere sunny in well-draining soil and look forward to a harvest in 3-4 months.

If it’s the Florence variety, they’re similar in that they don’t like being disturbed once they’ve started growing so make your planting choices wisely. The seeds should go into well-prepared soil that’s nice and warm, and put them in rows barely under the soil surface and 30cm apart. Keep them moist, and harvest after 3-4 months. It’s the bulbs you’re after, though the leaves and seeds can be used in cooking too.

Last chance: beetroot

Beetroot bottom

We covered this one last month, and July is your last chance to get beetroot in the ground before it’ll be too cold when it comes to harvest them. If you don’t want to follow the link, plant three seeds at a time 10cm apart and 2.5cm deep in rows 30cm apart.

Animals, Blog Series, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gary, Wildlife

Garden Weeds

September is the time of the year where things start to cool down, the wind picks up and the days get shorter. This is the month to get started on your preparation for spring whilst enjoying your garden as much as you can before the frosts come in. 

General 

 

  • Net ponds – protect your pond before leaves begin to fall 
  • Clean out water butts – keep your irrigation in the best condition in preparation for autumn rains 
  • Clean ponds and water features of weeds – Remove duckweed, pondweed and algae from water features and ponds
  • Collect and bin brown apples and pears – reduce the spread of this fungi and protect your good crops 
  • Order bare-root fruit trees – to plant later in autumn or winter

Plants 

  • Divide herbaceous perennialsensure healthy, vigorous plants in the spring
  • Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs –  daffodils, crocus and hyacinths are a priority for the end of the month 
  • Sow hardy annuals –  cerinthes, ammi, scabiosa and cornflowers should be planted now  for flowers early next summer
  • Deadhead container plants –  encourage more blooms and keep your patio displays longer into the Autumn 

Wildlife 

  • Wash and disinfect bird feeders and tables – maintain good hygiene on your tables and you will see birds throughout the winter
  • Plant nectar-rich bulbs –  crocus, snake’s head fritillary, alliums and grape hyacinths can be planted now to feed next year’s hungry emerging bees
  • Start putting out fat balls – help those birds staying for the winter
  • Leave garden borders intact – don’t cut these back in autumn. Try to leave at least one border intact where seedheads can provide food for birds and fallen stems can create shelter for amphibians, insects and small mammals

 

Blog Series, Clocks, Decoration, Decorative Features, Garden Design, Gary, How To, Outdoor Living, Planters, Water Features

A well designed outdoor space can be just as satisfying as a new kitchen or cosy living room, but getting a complete look can be difficult when decorating outside. You can easily redesign a space with a few simple changes, without having to hard landscape or make changes to the structure of the garden. We’ve pulled together three classic garden designs to inspire you to recreate your space with minimal effort.

Moroccan Riad 

The Riad has been a feature of Moroccan architecture since the Roman era. Typically a Riad is a small tiled courtyard dotted with large plants with a pool of water or a fountain in the middle. It’s a space to relax and escape the trials of the day, and it’s an easy look to achieve in a few simple steps. 

  • Choose the right colours – the backbone of the Riad is vibrant, but cool colour combinations .White, blue and terracotta should form the backbone of your space, with some splashes of yellow and turquoise to tie the look together
  • Keep it symmetrical – these gardens are a mixture of a personal oasis and formal garden, keep it as symmetrical as you can to achieve an authentic, and impressive look
  • Make use of rugs – this is a space to relax and entertain in comfort. Traditionally, soft furnishings like rugs or cushions are dotted around the space to soften it.
  • Pick the right plants – space-filling plants that give off strong perfumed scents are the key to getting this kind of space right, lavender and rose bushes mixed in with olive trees and ornamental grasses would be a great selection for the authentic feel.
    Shop the look : 

We’ve put together a selection of accessories that we think would be the great jumping-off point to creating your own Riad garden. This combination of planter, water feature, rug, and chiminea all compliment each other well and could be enhanced with Moroccan style stool

 

Italian Riviera 

 

The tightly packed villages, stone facades and well-manicured gardens of the riviera were the inspiration for some of the finest artists of the renaissance and the ideals of the enlightenment still shine through in their design today. These gardens are refined, elegant and relaxing. They’re also deceptively easy to create: 

  • Make the air smell of citrus – Sicily and the Italian coast are known for their lemons and oranges as much as they are for their tranquillity. Plant a few lemon trees in containers to get the look and smell of a summer on the shores of the coast of Genoa 
  • Select tough plants –  this area of Italy is known for the muted green colours of its plants. Rosemary, Cistus, and myrtle are great options to plant in containers alongside olive trees and pink climbing roses to get that refined look 
  • Don’t overlook statues –  evoke Italy’s romantic and classical history by adding some statuary to the garden. A few well-placed statues amongst your plants really create the look of a formal garden on the grounds of a large manor
  • Build the space around a pergola – shaded areas and canopies are a staple of Mediterranean garden design. If you can why not fill the centre of your garden with a pergola wrapped in wisteria that brings that grand touch to your design 

Shop the look : 

Our version of this classic garden design brings together all the classic elements of statuary, large planters, citrus trees and ornate wall decoration together to create that classic cool style. We’ve chosen to shade our garden with a sail shade rather than a pergola to make this design achievable in any space. 

Spanish Garden

Spain is the number one holiday destination for the British, so why not bring that feel and style into your garden.  A Spanish garden is a place to eat, entertain and relax with friends. The look is simple to achieve and can be made to work year-round if done correctly: 

  • Plant to impress – flowering vines and climbing roses are must-haves for the authentic look. Train them to climb a wall, fence or pergola and you’re off to a great start. For added fragrance, plant jasmine, oranges and  scented heirloom roses to complete the effect
  • Create a shaded space – the siesta is an important part of any day, and if you can it should always be done in the garden. Put a small shaded area into your space with a pergola or sail shade, hook up a hammock, and you’re ready for your midday nap. 
  • Combine the old and the new –  Spain has one of the oldest cultures in Europe, and the old country villages that dot its countryside are familiar to anyone who has visited. Capture this traditional look by adding aged or distressed pieces into your garden. 
  • Make use of railings – small window boxes edged in cast-iron railings are a common sight

 

These are just a few ideas on simple ways to improve your outdoor space. If you like these designs and want to see more, check out our website to see the full range of products we have picked out. We’d love to see what you’ve done with your space on Instagram or Facebook

 


Images Courtesy of:

 

Ruth, S | Gill, L | Rosemary, B | Rachel, E | Diane, R | Trisha, S | MR Evans