The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the horticultural industry across the globe, and here in the UK, the biggest blow has been felt by the garden centres and nurseries who saw their supply chains shut down overnight. It also saw the closure of the Chelsea flower show and the cancellation of the Britain In Bloom competition. With all this going on you’d think it would be an empty year for plant lovers across the county, but not quite – one thing we’ve learned about gardeners this year is that they always find a way.
2020 has seen a coming together of gardeners across the country who have been using the internet to show off their outdoor spaces and wow everyone with their designs – here are some of our favourites.
Virtual Chelsea Flower Show
Despite going digital in 2020, fans of the flower show still got a busy schedule of things to look forward to this year with interviews and panels still happening virtually, but the most interesting part was the garden tours led by some of the biggest names in horticulture. It’s your chance to look round the gardens of Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don to get some inspiration from the greats.
Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual highlight from the Chelsea Flower Show:
The National Trust has also been opening its doors to digital visitors this year, so that even though you may have been in lockdown you can still experience the great gardens of British heritage. There isn’t a complete list of these beautiful panoramas available, but we’ve put together some of our favourites.
Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual tour of a National Trust site:
This mainstay of the gardeners coffee table has taken the opportunity to shine a light on some great garden design, This series of tours takes a deep dive into the history and design of the gardens it showcases. The whole list can be found here.
Around the World
There are great gardens all around the world, and a few of them are opening up their gardens to the internet, giving you the chance to see some of the world’s best gardens without leaving your living room.
Click one of the below to enjoy a virtual tour of a garden from around the world:
July is the first month of the year where you get a really bountiful harvest. Loads of fruit and veg are ready to harvest this month, and there’s even more ready to be planted. Here is our at a glance guide to your allotment this month.
Chillies and peppers
Mulch to conserve moisture
Feed tomatoes and peppers
Net against birds
Pinch out tomato shoots
Pests and Diseases
Aphids – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.
Carrot fly – a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.
Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil.
July is the height of summer, and usually the hottest month of the year, it’s a great time to sit and enjoy the work you’ve put in earlier in the year. July gardening is mostly about maintenance.
General Gardening Jobs
Top up bird baths, ponds and water features – June is one of the hottest months of the year so you need to check your birdbaths and ponds regularly to make sure they don’t go dry.
Trim conifers and other garden hedges – this is the time of year when growth can get a bit out of control, so now is the best time to trim in order to keep an even shape. Just make sure that you check the hedge for birds nests first.
Feed the lawn with specialist fertilizer – this is your last chance to fertilize your lawn in order to keep lush green growth alongside regular deep watering once a week.
Remove floating blanket weed from ponds – this weed can be bad for water oxygenation so needs to be removed, simply put a pole or stick into the water and twirl it to remove from the pond. Before composting, leave on the edge of the pond for a few hours so that any wildlife can get back to the pond
Think about which plants you would like for next spring – it might seem a bit early, but now is the time to get thinking about next year, and if you want to be ready for autumn planting it’s best to start ordering now.
Support climbing plants – continue to tie climbing plants to supports as they continue to grow this month.
Deadhead bedding plants – July gardening may involve removing dead and dying flowers from your border plants will tidy your garden and encourage new growth, giving you more colour for longer.
Take cuttings for indoor overwintering – taking cuttings from your tender plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials should be done this month to give you enough time to prepare them for overwintering and ready for next year.
Prune wisteria – remove the side shoots from the main branch to about 20cm from their base, this will encourage neater growth.
Put out food for hedgehogs – hoglets should be emerging from their birth nests this month so to give them a helping hand as they start to explore the world you can leave out water and meat-based dog or cat food (ideally chicken) on a plate or in a hedgehog feeder.
Plant low growing plants around ponds – this is the time of year where baby frogs should be emerging from ponds, and you can help them hide from predators or shelter from the sun by planting low growing plants or allowing the lawn to grow near the edge of your pond.
Sow wildlife-friendly biennials – planting flowers like foxgloves, forget-me-nots and hollyhock is a great way to attract pollinators to your garden. By sowing now you are ensuring a source of food that’ll last longer into the year, giving them a better chance to survive the winter.
Fast-growing climbing plants are a great tool for prettifying parts of your garden that you may not be so fond of. Within months, gardeners can see walls, fences, trellises, and pergolas transform into botanical displays.
All hardy, and with beautiful foliage and flowers, read on for our favourite fast growing climbers for your garden.
What is a Fast Growing Climbing Plant?
A fast growing climbing plant is a vine that will quickly envelop a large surface with their stems and foliage. With some varieties capable of growing over a dozen feet per year, climbers are a favourite amongst those with a passion for decor and gardening.
How Does a Climbing Plant Climb?
To avoid the sun, a climber will initially creep along the ground. However, once a climbing plant touches a new surface, chemical changes will prompt a new growing habit. From this point onwards, these vines will grow in an upwards direction.
Climbing genuses can have differing methods of climbing, such as:
Twining: Twining plants, such as a Clematis, will twist around surfaces via their stems or leaves.
Tendrilling: Tendrils deriving from the plant’s stem will wrap around a surface, mirroring a coil.
Clinging: Stems produce clusters of roots that cling to a variation of surfaces; examples include Hydrangeas.
Scrambling: Scrambling plants, such as vigorous Roses, have long, vine-like stems that require a degree of support in order to climb.
Characterised by their pendulous flowers, Wisterias are one of the most popular climbing genuses. Commonly called Chinese Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis is a particularly vigorous variety, which can exceed 40 feet in height. As such, this variety will happily reach the second story of a home, and can blanket a fence within a single growing season.
Visible during spring and early summer, a Chinese Wisteria’s flowers will give passers by a treat with their delightfully sweet scent. With this sensuous feature accompanied by swaying movement, these flowers will add a romantic touch to a wall-side border.
Chinese Wisteria is a non-fussy climber, where it will tolerate most well-drained soils, and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Drought tolerant, this climber will make a reliable addition to your outdoor space.
Chinese Wisteria is a long-living plant, and if you are meticulous about your garden’s planting schemes, you must put careful thought into new additions for the years to come. When flowering, Wisteria will become a focal point, so keep nearby shrubs well-pruned to avoid a busy look.
Forming drooping clusters of delicate white flowers, Wisteria senensis ’Alba’ is great for a particularly colourful garden, where its luminous white flowers will harmonise with every shade, whether warm or cool. If you are worried about your Wisteria clashing with other plants, this is the climbing plant for you.
White Passion Flower
Native to South America, the Passion Flower will flourish in tropical climates, yet withstand freezing winters. Due to this hardiness, they will make a resilient choice for your garden. If you want to swiftly cover areas of your garden with exotic blooms, why not opt for Passiflora ‘Snow Queen‘?
Snow Queen is a highly vigorous climber that will bear white flowers, adorned by green and purple stamens. The complex scent of these flowers encompasses a mix of sweet, earthy, and tropical notes, which will capture intrigue from friends and family.
Flowering from summer through to autumn, Snow Queen can quickly grow up to 20 feet long, and will make a beautiful addition to walls, trellises, and fences. This variety is particularly perfect for enhancing a Mediterranean garden, or adding tropical edge to a cottage garden.
Clematis ‘Pink Fantasy’
With an abundance of stellate flowers, each etched by darker stripes of purple across their petals, ‘Pink Fantasy’ will prove a pretty addition to your garden. Able to quickly reach 8 feet in length, this Clematis will form gorgeous cover for trellises and pergolas. Throughout early summer to early autumn, Pink Fantasy’s flowers will gradually mature from deep pink to near white. As such, you can enjoy a plethora of seasonal colour.
Clematis plants are esteemed for their generous flowering periods, which often last a full season. Therefore, if you are after a long-running display, Clematis is the genus for you.
Shade tolerant, this Clematis is a great option if your garden is north-facing. Despite being fast growing, this climber also requires relatively little maintenance (mostly deadheading and regular pruning to maintain neat growth).
A quickly growing climber, the Bluebell creeper is wonderful for embracing cooler tones in your garden. The nodding, campanulate-shaped flowers boast a vivid blue colour, which stands out against their dark foliage.
Present all summer long, these vibrant flowers will become your floral fairylights for archways and trellises. However, even when these flowers disappear, your outdoor space will benefit from pretty foliage all year round. The lance-shaped leaves of this climber create a gentle silhouette, yet are organised compactly to provide generous concealment; covering areas with greenery even in winter.
Due to its noteworthy qualities, the Bluebell Creeper has achieved the Award of Garden Merit; assuring you that you will be planting an easy to grow, hardy, disease and pest resistant, and beautiful climbing plant.