Top 5 Plants for Summer 2018

A visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Bloom usually gives a good indication of what will be in vogue for the coming gardening season.

Hot colours such as yellows, reds and orange seem to be the theme for this year.

Here’s my five that I recommend for your garden this season.

Iris ‘Kent Pride’

This was my plant of Chelsea Flower Show 2018. I love Irises, I think their flower shape is just amazing to admire. This one has an almost rustic copper appearance and has a way of drinking in the sun, to really catch your eye.

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Iris ‘Kent Pride

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

Geum’s are all the rage at the moment, they come in a spectacular range of colours and can complement many of your gardening situations. At this stage ‘Totally Tangerine’ is a Chelsea classic but still a real show stopper. It’s the most amazing shade of orange, subtle but eye-catching.

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Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

Lupinus ‘Masterpiece’

Lupins were the obvious plant of Chelsea Flower Show 2018. They were the crowning jewel in almost every show garden. They are available in various shades of colour too were just astonishing. An old reliable with a new lease of life. Definitely, one to add to your garden.

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Lupinus ‘Masterpiece’

Aquilegia chrysantha

This was my plant of Bloom 2018. I just loved how it worked in this particular design. A real splash of colour. Similar to the Lupins, Aquilegas have gotten a new lease of life with stunning varieties out there.

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Aquilegia chrysantha

Salvia ‘Caradonna’

I love this. I love the deep rich purple of the slender spike-like flowers. Salvias have really come back with a bang and are available in a range of colours and flower shapes.

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Salvia ‘Caradonna’

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’

I had to include this one even though it isn’t a hot colour. The RHS’s ‘Plant of the Year’ is just spectacular. It has the most unusual of growing habits (almost trailing) and is just bursting with a profusion of white flowers. I can guarantee this will be seen throughout the gardening world in the coming season. Love it!!

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Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’

Plant Propagation: The 10 Essentials

To begin with, you are all very welcome back, I know it’s been a while but I have been busy with so many exciting projects. Some of which I will be sharing with you on my social media pages over the next few weeks and some are already up there. Check them out.

To kick things off again, I’m going to post a series of blogs on plant propagation over the next couple of weeks. Delving into a few of the different methods that can be used and discuss the steps in achieving success.

Plant propagation is one of the most rewarding elements of gardening. You can take a little seed and see it germinate and grow. The wonders of nature are just astonishing. It’s definitely one of my favourite elements of horticulture.

Here are my top ten essentials to achieve success in propagation. Have a read before you delve into the world of plant propagation. Enjoy!

1) Secateurs.

It’s worth your time and money to invest in a great pair of secateurs. As we will discuss further in the next blog post you want a clean-cut to reduce the likelihood of diseases occurring and a sharp smooth secateurs will provide that. The great thing is once you look after them they will last you a lifetime.

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2) Propagation Unit. 

A propagation unit that you can regulate the temperature and exposure to sunlight will see a vast improvement in the success rates and the time from sown to grown. Again a worthwhile investment and worth spending a little extra on.

3) Labels.

I’m an advocate of ensuring that everything is labelled correctly with a date. It can take up to six months for some of these propagation methods to see any results. I can hardly remember what happened yesterday never mind six months ago!

4) Growing Media.

Perlite, as well as vermiculite, will become your new best friend in propagation. It’s a great additive to add to your compost and as a topdressing during seed sown. Remember at this stage you will not need fertiliser in your compost, it will burn the new roots! Allow for a growing media that is free draining and allows for root development. Remember the new roots will be very tender.

5) Record Book.

Keep a record of everything from the time of year to the number propagated This will allow you to compare and contrast your success rates and the number you have grown. It will also act as your gardening diary as you will know the time of year you completed tasks the previous year. Again ensure everything is recorded correctly. I would also encourage  using Latin names as they provide more information on your plant

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6) Seed Trays & Pots.

Have the correct size of growing container to put your seed, cuttings and other propagated material into. Seed trays are very useful for not only propagating seeds but much more. Again we will discuss this point in further detail in our next blog posts.

7) Bags.

You will need both paper and plastic bags as certain material requires certain requirements when collected. I wouldn’t recommend reusing bags too often as they can be an environment for pest and diseases to thrive in.

8) Watering Can.

A fine nozzle watering can is an essential piece of equipment for propagating. The fine nozzle reduces the likelihood of compost been washed out of your trays and with it your seed!

9) Knife.

You will need two knives, a sharp penknife and a bread knife. The pen knife is suitable for taking softwood cuttings while the bread knife for dividing.

10) Permanent marker.

A fine tip permanent marker is ideal for writing on labels although not full proof it greatly reduces the writing being washed off. Just make sure it’s clear and easy to read.

In next week’s blog, we will be discussing the do’s and don’t’s of plant propagation and how to choose the correct material.
If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for reading my latest blog post.

Happy Gardening!

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Seven Winter Wonderful Plants

This blog is in connection to the YouTube tutorial Seven Winter Wonderful Plants’. Attached below are  the pictures and names of the plants that were discussed during the video.

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Carex buchananii

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Skimmia japonica 

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Calluna vulgaris

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Heuchera ‘Fire Chief’

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Cornus alba 

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Viburnum tinus

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Ilex alquifolium ‘Golden King’
Thanks once again for reading my blog and watching the tutorial. I hope you enjoyed and perhaps learnt something new, maybe even inspired you to do some garden.

Please feel free to leave some feedback or indeed suggestions on future blogs and tutorials. If you have any questions regarding the blog or the tutorial please feel free in contact.

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Seven Winter Wonderful Plants

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