Preparing Your Garden For Summer

It’s safe to say I got a little too excited by announcing Spring was here in our March blog!  Snow is still falling in some parts of the country and as I write this, it’s just a mere 2 degrees. On the same day last year it was in the early 20’s. 

April is an exciting time in the garden; warmer soil and April showers bring ideal growing conditions for our plants. Whilst your perennials may not start flowering, you can most definitely see a daily change in your beds or pots. Shrubs getting taller and thicker with leaves and buds appearing on trees and wildlife returning.

April Gardening Tips:


Dead Heading

March and April see the bloom of shrubs and flowers such as Camellias and daffodils. In order to ensure a longer, fuller bloom next year make sure you start dead heading. Once you see the flowers start to turn, take your secateurs and carefully snip each one at the base of the flower/top of the stem. This will help focus the plants energy on the remaining healthy flowers and also help it to prepare for next year. This tip generally applies to most of your garden throughout the year. 

Sow Some Seeds

Hardy annuals simply are the annual flowers that are the most cold and frost resistant. Try Marigolds, Sweet Pea or Pansies. These plants will always do better being planted in beds and borders rather than pots. This is due to the amount of soil surrounding the roots. The more soil, the warmer the roots will be.

Lawn Care

Although I have mentioned lawn care in previous editions, it really is important to spend time caring for your lawn to help it to look it’s best and survive a long hot summer (British weather depending). Did you know that your lawn can lose up to 25% of its coverage each year! Remember to aerate, weed and top dress your lawn. When mowing, start at a high setting and gradually move down.

Flowers of the Month:

Peacock Orchid

 These perennials come in packets of bulbs and are common in garden centres. Expect to pay a couple of pounds for a pack of 20. These highly fragrant flowers grow up to 90cm tall and are great for providing height in your beds. Flowering from July to November, you get a decent return in terms of bloom time. Very easy to grow in well drained soil, fertilised soil. Get them planted in April for best results.


I look at sunflowers and see something fun! Great to grow with kids and get them into gardening. For best results, start in April and sow a few seeds every couple of weeks. These can take anywhere from 11-18 weeks to start appearing. By doing this, you will see a healthy batch that keep coming throughout the summer and autumn. There are many different types of sunflowers which range from 50cm to 3 meters. If you are going to have a family competition, try not to cheat and give yourself the taller variety!!


Job of the Month:

The team of Chris and Leon completed this small new build, garden design transformation in February this year. However, we needed to wait until last week for the planting to come into stock. 

The team split the levels and created a step using softwood sleepers. Constructed a pergola area and trellis screening area using treated timber and laid raj blend sandstone. We finished off the other areas using Cotswold self binding gravel. This is laid on top of a weed suppressive membrane and planted through. 

The planting here is a mixture of grasses, cotton lavender and achillea to provide height and alpines called Saxifraga which are creepers and will grow to be a bed of green with white flowers. We also planted up the sleeper beds with a mixture of summer bulbs such as Dalia’s and Peacock Orchids. 

Looking forward to popping back in a few months to see the garden come to life. 


March Your Garden into Spring: Top Tips & Ideas for a Fresh & Bright Garden

Well! What weather we’ve had to kick March off! Blue skies, birds singing, warmer weather, I’m going to say it… Spring is here! Our customers, teams and anyone I speak to seemed to have a smile on their face over the last week which is lovely to see. 

I’ve been a little preoccupied with internal decorating (which I do not particularly enjoy) the last few weeks but I’m definitely getting out in the garden this weekend to start the journey to a flourishing garden this year.

Although, I did pop to a garden centre briefly last Sunday and picked up a couple of Azaleas. For decades I’ve watched the first golf major of the year at Augusta National in the States, which is held in April. ‘The Masters’ is known for their Azaleas and if you’re a bit sad like us golfers, it’s something we all get excited about! So I thought I’d give them a go!

Planting: Pick of the Month – March

I have to kick off with the Azalea. You get many, many types of these beautiful shrub, but I’ve gone for a Azalea Japonica. Fairly inexpensive, a bushy evergreen that will grow to about 60-70cm in height and will have an large bloom of amazing red, pink, purple and white flowers, depending on the colour you’ve gone for. Happy in partial or full sunlight and best to plant in early spring or autumn. Flowers in Late March to May

Daphne is another beautiful evergreen shrub that tends to flower in February. I particularly like these as they provide some late winter colour and the smell of the flower is incredible. Preferably kept out of direct sunlight and planted in rich soil a Daphne will grow to approximately a 1m spread. These are also available in good garden centres now. I’m proud to say that this image is mine from home!

March Gardening Tips:

1: Seed sowing:

Towards the end of March, providing the frosts have disappeared and the temperatures are rising, you can start sowing hardy annual seeds such as Cornflower, Californian Poppies, Nigella and Nasturtium. 

2: Bulb Planting:

Get a head start by planting some summer bulbs indoors such as Gladioli, Agapanthus and Lilies in pots ready for transferring to your beds in a few weeks time. By doing this, your bulbs will have a stronger root system and the result being a longer, fuller bloom.

3: Start Mowing Your Lawn:

Hopefully you aerated and top dressed your lawn in February. But if not you can still  do this in early March. Start seeding the damaged areas and give it a mow on a high sweating for its first cut of the year.

4: Prune Evergreen Shrubs:

Pruning evergreens in the winter is not best practice as it has less foliage in which to help it survive. With the longer, lighter and warmer days, pruning now will help encourage new shoots to grow and maintain healthy roots. 

Project of the Month: Rowlands Castle, Hampshire

It’s safe to say that the team of Alex and Jack not only battled though the elements but also the tricky site conditions in a recent garden design project in Rowlands Castle. 

The garden, split on multiple levels required a set of oak steps to lead to the top level of the garden (26 in fact!). These were infilled with Cotswold self binding gravel to create a safe non slip step.

Alex and Jack also created an amazing Purbeck natural stone wall with what’s known in the trade as ‘double weathered’ pointing. These are tricky to get right and are very time consuming but well worth it in the end.

Finally, we laid Raj Blend Sandstone to compliment the walling and finished with stone grey easy joint. 

Enjoy and thanks for reading!