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Summer Plants and Flowers

Some years you may be forgiven for thinking Summer is over before it’s begun, but summer sun might make another appearance and the best place to enjoy the Summer weather is in the back garden, where you can do what you want, with the kiddies running around having fun, and hubby suddenly becoming the chef as every meal is cooked on the BBQ.  Enjoying this time with good friends and family is simply perfect!

Whilst you may feel you have left it too late to get a garden full of colourful blooms, there is still time to make your garden or outdoor space beautiful. Here we have a few cost effective tips on how to start or you could try the Gardeners World website for further tips.

Planning

The way to a successful garden is to plan what you want before you go shopping, otherwise you will find yourself buying a host of plants and shrubs that don’t compliment each other or are too big or small for the space you want to plant them in.  Divide the garden in areas of shade and direct sunlight, and note down any height restrictions.  Perennial plants and shrubs last year on year with annual dying off after only a year, so be careful what you buy as you might be disappointed come the end of the season. As you would expect annual plants cost a lot less than the perennials.

Seeds and Seedlings

Planting seeds and potting out seedlings might seem the most cost effective way to propagate your garden, but if you do not plant at the right time and allow time for seedlings to develop your garden will be bare when you expect it to be full of blooms.

You will need some equipment but this does not have to be expensive.  Instead of buying seed boxes and cultivators why not use plastic cups or containers instead.  It is the environment they are kept in which really matters for the plant’s development.

Once your seedlings are developed and ready for planting outdoors you can invest in some decent plant pots as these can be used year on year.  You will also need good fertilizer to nurture the plants and provide the nutrients for further growth.

Growing plants from seeds is a fun way to do enjoy gardening, and if you have small children, can be a great learning activity.  What’s better than sitting back, relaxing in the garden, with blooms you have grown yourself.  Much of the equipment you end up buying will last for years to come, so can be considered a good investment.

Fully Grown

If you don’t fancy growing your own plants then look at buying them in bud or full grown.  This removes any perceived hassle or mess as all you need to do is buy them and then plant them, it’s really as simple as that.  However, this route to a beautiful garden will cost more as all the hard work has been done for you.

There are many different flowers, plants, shrubs, trees etc., for every corner of a garden, from hanging baskets by the door, to patio planters and window boxes and borders. Wild plants look absolutely beautiful in gardens along with old favourites such as marigolds, petunias, geraniums, roses, lavender and many more.

Most garden centres will have a sale area where you might find some fabulous bargains; plants that look a little sad may only need a few days TLC to perk them up!

Equipment

The kind of equipment you need depends on what you want to achieve.  If you want to fill your garden with developed plants and shrubs then all you need is some good fertilizer.  There are various types of fertilizer available so seek advice from a member of staff if you are not sure what you need.

If you are going to make your own hanging baskets or fill planters and pots there you might need slow moister release fertilizer which holds onto the water and slowly releases it over a few days, reducing the amount you need to water.

A watering can is essential.  Buy a small one if you have a small garden or hanging baskets, as you will struggle to lift a larger one up to water effectively.  Buy a bigger watering can if you have a bigger area to water.

Top Tip – some plants need less water than others, so get a good mix otherwise you will spend all your evening watering the garden instead of sitting back and enjoying it.

Where to Buy

Many retailers sell plants nowadays from your local supermarket such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, or ASDA to your small local convenience store.   Hardware shops like B&Q and Homebase usually have a good selection of plants, flowers and shrubs.

Personally you can’t beat a garden centre such as Wyevale or Blooms or even you smaller local one but if you’re looking to make savings why not try one of our Garden Bargains promo codes or a Gardening Express vouchers. Try to find a place that grows the plants from seeds so at least you know they are given tender loving care instead of coming from mass produced chemically enhanced locations, often overseas. Small local businesses need our help so why not give them your business.  Building up a good relationship with a local supplier is a great idea!

Trail & Error

Not everyone can be a Percy Thrower or Alan Titchmarsh from the word go – you might not get everything right the first year. There are bound to be things you are happy with, and some which don’t work so well.  What you learn this year, you can put into practice for the next year.  As you become more experienced you will understand what grows best in what location, where the soil needs a bit of a boost etc. Gardening should be fun and something the whole family can get involved in especially on a lovely sunny day.  There is nothing better than sitting back of an evening surveying your beautiful garden, enjoy!

Edited By: Anna Wilson

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