Questions about the effect of woodchips on soil arise with every generation of new gardeners. People know that woodchips in compost need a lot of nitrogen to break down, so they wonder if woodchip mulch could steal nitrogen from the soil underneath? Likewise, the sap-juices of most trees, released when the tree is freshly chipped… Continue reading Do Woodchips Make Soil Acidic, or Take Nitrogen from the Soil?
Colour from bark, leaves and some flowers will light up your winter garden
Right now is an ideal time to try, when the soil is nice and damp and not-frozen.
More people have taken the plunge into gardening with a floral shirt and a medium pickaxe thanks to John Lord than any other famous plantsman in Ireland’s Ratoath Gardens There is at least an introductory paragraph of reasons why John Lord’s YouTube films are the best before I get to my reason, so let’s ask… Continue reading Why John Lord’s Gardening Films Are The Best
We adore colour here at Ashridge. Find us a plant lover who doesn’t. So we’re excited to get on board with Pantone’s Colour of the Year, the energetic-sounding Viva Magenta. Pantone describes its 2023 hero as ‘A shade rooted in nature… brave and fearless.’ Closer examination reveals a rich, saturated wine – or claret if… Continue reading Wine in the garden
The new year is a perfect time to reflect on your garden and look to the future. Make changes and be inspired to try something different. Winter is also a great time to look at how we garden. What will be your New Year Resolutions for 2023? Here are some ideas. Plant a tree…or two… Continue reading New Year’s Resolutions in the Garden
Requiring only a sharp saw or secateurs and the courage of your convictions, coppicing is a straightforward and satisfying winter job. This short burst of activity will both warm the body and enhance the garden, with the added benefit of perhaps providing a fresh crop of bean poles or even some of next year’s firewood.… Continue reading Pruning Jobs to do now: Coppicing
Why Silver Foliage is a Winning Formula in Your Garden There’s nothing second rate about silver in the garden, whatever the season. In winter that sparkly foliage chimes spectacularly with frost and sub-zero temperatures, creating scenes of dazzling dynamism. In summer, bright sunlight glances off silver leaves, cooling and providing a shimmering foil to the… Continue reading Silver Leaved Plants
The long days of summer have finally arrived. But now the last spring bulbs have faded away and with a month or so before later summer stalwarts such as rudbeckia, echinacea and salvias begin to flower, how can we enjoy colour and beauty in our early summer borders? Quintessential Cottage Emily Bronte Cottage borders really… Continue reading Planting Combinations for June
It’s been the driest April on record in the UK and the weather continues to represent drought conditions, and my London garden is looking pretty parched. The water butt at the far end, which collects rainwater from the shed roof, is empty, so I’ve been lugging watering cans up to my raised veg beds every… Continue reading Drought-proof Gardening