Large clump of unsupported Sedum spectabile flopping from centre – © GAP Photos/Julia Boulton
If there is one garden job that is often missed in the spring, but proves beneficial later on in the season, it’s providing support for vegetable crops, annuals and herbaceous perennials. Plants often flop outwards under the weight of their own flowers and fruit, or bend towards the light; and a few stakes and a bit of string help can prevent this from happening.
Although support can be installed later in the season as required, it is often a good idea to have the framework in place before plant growth really takes off in late spring. Now is a great time to start as you should be able to see where the new growth is, but still have the space to add support without damaging any foliage or roots. Better yet, if you are also planting, you can incorporate a support system at the same time.
When it comes to plant supports, they can be as fancy or simple as you like. Some bamboo canes and string will provide efficient support to climbing annuals such as sweet peas. A few wooden stakes drummed in around the base of a herbaceous perennial, with string laced between them will help the plant upright.
Also consider how you can use plants to decorate structures in your garden. Clematis look beautiful as they steadily climb their way up decorative obelisks. Archways and pergolas can be turned into cool, shady areas in the summer if covered by a sun-loving vine.
Here we have put together ideas for simple and effective plant supports to try now, so that you can spend the summer admiring your garden rather than rushing around in the heat supporting it.
While some years we may celebrate Easter
before it feels as though the spring has truly arrived, common themes to the celebrations include new life, colour and light. After dark and gloomy winters, the sight of fresh leaves on branches and flower buds in our gardens are a welcome sight.
If you are having family and friends round for Easter celebrations, why not lift everyone’s spirits with simple and decorative centrepieces that embrace what nature currently has on offer. Save egg shells and gather moss, cut spring flowers and the budding branches of deciduous trees and shrubs, and bring them all together for pretty and vibrant displays.
Formal garden with Tulipa ‘Pink Impression’, Tulipa ‘Pink Diamond’, Tulipa ‘Rosalie’, Tulipa ‘Violet Beauty’ and Narcissus ‘Bellsong’ – © Elke Borkowski/GAP Photos
This garden, started as a hobby with troublesome soil is now popular with visitors.
In the early nineties, Frank Thuyls and his friend started their garden project ‘Tuin zonder Naam’ in Liessel, The Netherlands. The sandy soil was a problem, so loads of horse manure given by nearby farmers was necessary to improve the poor soil. The garden was started as a hobby as they had a passion for flowers and nature. They created 10 garden rooms each with a theme, divided by hedges and perfectly clipped topiary.
Topiary in garden shaped from Buxus sempervirens – © Elke Borkowski/GAP Photos
Now the garden is well known and attracts many visitors every year, artists are exhibit their work in the garden, with different exhibitions several times a year. The different colour schemes in the garden are also repeated in the spring bulb planting. Visitors enter the garden by the first garden room known as the the pink garden, backed by beech hedges where in spring flowering pink tulips such as ‘Pink Diamond’, ‘Rosalie’ and ‘Pink Impression’ are feature.
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