Planting a seasonal garden?

(4 Posts)
tryhard Mon 22-Aug-16 08:34:59

I'd like to be able to have flowers come up in season in my garden, so snowdrops, daffs, bluebells, tulips etc but how on earth do you achieve this in a flower bed? When do you buy and plant the seeds?

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 08:43:25

Here's what I do: work out what conditions you have (aspect, type of soil). Then take a bit of paper, put the months down the side. Then choose a colour scheme and list the things that flower in those colours in each month of the year that are suitable for your aspect and conditions. (This requires a bit of research online or in books, and it's useful to steal ideas from other peoples' gardens around you as well). Making sure that you have a balance of deciduous woody things and evergreen things that will stay over winter and bulbs and hardy perennials which will often vanish underground, is important.

The one thing not to do is just to go to the garden centre and buy loads of stuff that just happens to look nice in the pot!

In terms of planting: daffs and snowdrops go in late Sept/Oct. tulips in November, trees and tough evergreen shrubs after leaf fall in the dormant season, perennials, smaller shrubs, and particularly grasses are often best left til the soil has warmed a bit in spring.

tryhard Mon 22-Aug-16 15:19:42

Ok brill thank you smile I've got clay-type soil. Where is it best to get seeds and bulbs? I have just been going to the garden centre and buying things that look good in a pot 😱

shovetheholly Mon 22-Aug-16 15:25:48

Bulbs- a cheap place is J Parker's. Google them!

Plants: lots of online retailers here, but Secret Gardening Club are really good. Have a look around you at local nurseries - these tend to be better than garden centres and less full of cheap tat that isn't growing!

Seeds: if you are starting out, growing from seed can be one of the trickier parts of gardening. It may be less discouraging to start with some medium-sized plants. An exception might be easy sow annuals, which are sown next spring direct where they are to grow.

Best thing to buy, though, first of all is some kind of gardening course to save you from making expensive mistakes. Alan Titchmarsh's 'How to Be A Gardener' on DVD is good, though I can't stand the man himself. smile One of the first things you may need to do is to improve the soil with loads of organic matter over the winter, so that it's nice and ready for spring.

Look for your big plants for structure - decide on these first and then you can work out how to fill in the smaller things. Also, if you want trees or anything like that, we are starting to inch towards the season for purchasing those.

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