Top 5 Easy Gardening Tips

Arcadia Blog - Top 5 Easy Gardening Tips Featured

As we welcome in 2018, we thought it would be nice to come up with 5 simple ideas to make life a little bit easier in the garden this year. Here are five genuine and simple tips to help ease the load on the green fingers!

#5 MAKE SHOVELLING EASY

Make shovelling a whole lot easier by spraying your shovel with a silicone or Teflon lubricant . A solid coating of this will make soil fly off much more efficiently. Ask your local DIY centre for the best product!

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#4 GROW LAVENDER

Lavender is not only a beautiful looking shrub, it smells divine, which adds an instant magic to any outdoor space. There's some great information about lavender on the RHS website by clicking here.

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#3 POT PREPARATION

We all know we've got to do it at some point! Make the spring planting a breeze by cleaning out and preparing your pots in advance - you know you'll thank yourself in a couple of months!

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#2 CONSIDERED WATERING

Sounds obvious but a careful and considered watering routine is an essential part of a good garden care. Most people consider it best practice to water early in the morning, giving more attention to the youngest plants, and avoid getting large amounts of water on the leaves.

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#1 YOUR FAVOURITE SPACE

Find your favourite corner of the garden and do everything you need to make it your own. Even when a garden is young and yet to mature, viewing the growth from an idyllic spot can be a rich and rewarding process. And after all, it's your space - enjoy it!

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Top 5 Autumn Shrubs

Arcadia Blog - Top 5 Summer Plants - Featured

LOOKING GOOD IN AUGUST

#1 HYDRANGEA LITTLE LIME

Small and perfectly formed, this stunning little Hydrangea has a translucent quality which lights up the border in August and September.

Much more compact in habit than its close relative Hydrangea Limelight, it is also great in a pot or container on the terrace, which is where mine lived for a year or two before being transplanted.

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#2 LEYCESTERIA FORMOSA

A handsome relative to our native honeysuckle, Leycesteria has trailing white and claret flowers in August through to October. The flowers are followed by dark purple black fruit in autumn, popular with wildlife and pheasants in particular – hence it’s common name ‘Pheasant Berry’.

Left unchecked this shrub can get very large and invasive but can be cut back hard every year (or every other year in my case) in order to control its size.

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#3 SAMBUCUS BLACK LACE

This beautiful shrub has intense purple black foliage which is finely cut, giving it an effect similar to that of a Japanese maple. Creamy pink flowers in spring contrast nicely with the dark leaves, which are followed by blackish red berries in August. These can be harvested for making elderberry wine and jam, or left on the plant to attract birds and other wildlife throughout autumn.

Full sun is needed for the best leaf colour and hard pruning every few years is necessary in my garden to prevent it becoming a tree! But the overall effect in the border is stunning.

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#4 CAMPSIS ‘MADAME GALEN’

This deciduous climber packs a real punch in August when out of a mass of bronze edged pinnate leaves burst the exotic burnt orange flowers.

The trumpet vine is great for scrambling over trellises and fences, and although it has a fairly short flowering period, its well worth the wait.

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#5 HEBE MRS WINDER

Although this plant looks great all year round and forms a fantastic evergreen structure within the bed, it comes into its own in August.

The dense, mound-like habit of glaucous leaves tinged with purple contrast with the lilac spires which last well into the autumn.

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Top 5 Autumn Plants

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HERBACEOUS

#1 VERBASCUM HELEN JOHNSON

This stunning mid-border perennial is at the height of its glory mid-August.

Its soft felted grey/green foliage contrasts beautifully with the bronze spires of delicate blooms.

Loves a free draining, sunny border.

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#2 VERBENA BONARIENSIS

Still looking amazing at the back of the border, Verbena bonariensis is a must have garden plant for attracting bees & butterflies.

The vivid purple umbellifer-like flower heads set on tall, leafless stems hang like a cloud above the rest of the border.

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#3 SEDUM PURPLE EMPEROR

A hugely underused perennial, the stunning foliage and flowers may take a few years to establish, but the wait is worth it! It is at its best in August when the pink/purple star like flowers appear over the rich purple foliage.

Loves a sunny spot, but is perfectly happy in a heavier soil too.

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#4 HELENIUM MOERHEIM BEAUTY

The bee’s favourite – the coppery tones of this handsome plant shine out across the lawn from the far border.

Easy to grow, requiring no staking or any attention from year to year it comes into its own in August and lasts well into October or November.

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#5 ECHIUM VULGARE

A recent re-introduction to my garden following a visit to the Echium stand at Chatsworth RHS Show, this exotic native biennial will self - seed freely from year to year within the border. It seems that I may have got over zealous with the weeding in spring and mistakenly removed the seedlings a couple of years ago.

Requiring a sunny spot, Echium will last well into September and will provide an essential food source for insects well into the autumn.

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