Basic pruning techniques

Climbers are usually grown as one-dimensional plants—that is, they are trained up and across a surface. They are pruned for the same reasons as other plants, but they may also need to be coaxed into growing toward and onto their supporting structure.

To some extent you can determine the amount of basic pruning you will need to do by choosing good-quality plants that have no obvious signs of pests and diseases, damage, or injury and that are growing well (although that is not easy to tell during the dormant season).

Continue reading “Basic pruning techniques”

Why prune?

For passionflowers (Granadilla), prune to control the plant and to encourage flowers. Avoid hard pruning, which may reduce flowering for the next year or two.

At its simplest, pruning is a means of manipulating a plant’s growth, shape, and productivity by cutting and training it to achieve what you want to happen. To prune plants well is not so much about knowing how and where to cut but about knowing what you are trying to achieve.

Continue reading “Why prune?”

Give new shrubs the best possible start

The hardy lilac, Syringa vulgaris, grows on most soils, including clay. However, good ground preparation prior to planting helps establishment and encourages a live display of flowers.

A shrub is a long-term garden plant. Its success in your garden depends on you. It is not only about where you plant it but also how you plant to ensure good root development and establishment, encouraging it to grow, develop, and thrive. You need to ensure that the growing conditions in your garden are as good as, or better than, those it enjoyed in the nursery.

Continue reading “Give new shrubs the best possible start”

Choosing the right shrubs

Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’ is a wonderful English rose that blooms in midsummer and again in late summer, providing dead-heading, often called summer pruning, is carried out after the first flush of flowers. Feeding and watering are also essential.

Few gardeners are lucky enough to have perfect growing conditions: deep, well-drained, fertile soil that never dries out, a sheltered, sunny situation, and a mild climate with plenty of regular rainfall. We look enviously at gardens that come close, jealously admiring how well our favourite shrubs grow there.

Continue reading “Choosing the right shrubs”

Butterfly and pollinator garden

We depend on butterflies and other pollinators to fertilize flowers and make possible the production of our vegetables and fruits, as well as the seeds for our garden flowers. Yet these beneficial insects are declining in number, largely because of a loss of habitat. With this garden, you can do your part to reverse that trend, and at the same time fill your landscape with fluttering, jewel-like colors. Who could refuse that combination?

Continue reading “Butterfly and pollinator garden”

Demystifying garden design

Elevated on a pedestal in the garden, this pink-themed container pops. The variety of texture and habit—from the arching Fireworks red fountain grass to the Superbena Sparkling Ruby—add interest and drama.

How do you choose the garden designs best suited to your yard? The answer, of course, depends on your personal style. The secret to creating a space in which you are comfortable is to make your yard an honest expression of who you are and what you like.

Continue reading “Demystifying garden design”

The healing (and beautiful) power of herbs

Wooden piece with allium, succulents, amaranthus, rattlesnake grass, mushrooms, boronia, pinecones, blueberries, rosemary, prickly pear fruit, nigella, baby apples, geranium foliage, lavender, calix of carnations, tendrils of grapevine.

The Herbal Recipe Keeper is a beautiful, keepsake item that allows users to record the ways in which they have used healing plants—whether as medicinal formulations or as essential oil blends. It features floral arrangements by Françoise Weeks—a leading floral designer who is known for her creativity and ingenuity. See some of the whimsical, seasonal arrangements certain to inspire you with the full healing power of herbs:

Continue reading “The healing (and beautiful) power of herbs”