Clematis are one of the most beautiful, versatile and, subsequently, popular additions to the British garden. Due to their ability to grow vertically on walls and trellis, in containers, or horizontally entwining with other plants and shrubs, it is no surprise that, once you have this cultivar established, you should want to maintain and ensure its growth for years to come. Growing Clematis in the garden is fairly easy. But pruning Clematis tends to instill fear in the stoutest of gardeners. This fear is unwarranted, since pruning clematis simply breaks down to a question of when your Clematis blooms.
We prune Clematis vines to encourage new growth, which results in more flowers. No matter which pruning category your clematis plants fall into, flowering will diminish on all clematis vines without pruning. Left unpruned the new growth is confined to the tops or ends of the vines and that is where your flowers will be.
A flower garden can be a peaceful and beautiful refuge from the rest of the world. Sitting in the midst of fragrant flowers while reading a book or strolling along paths lined with flowers in cheerful colors can help you to wind down after a busy, stressful day. With some planning and work, a lovely flower garden can be yours to enjoy.
Planning Flower Garden Designs
Creating beautiful flower garden designs takes much planning and consideration. You will need to consider the types of flowers and combinations of colors you desire for the garden. In your flower garden you will also need to think about the placement of borders and shrubs as well as seating and ornaments. It is a good idea to choose an overall style for the flower garden and stick with it. When you begin your flower garden designs project, you should make a scale drawing of the design to help visualize your concepts.
Winter has its ups and downs, whilst we’re treated with festive cheer and an excuse to eat all the food we can stomach, we must also suffer cold weather and darkened days. The flower garden too can produce a surprising number of blooms during the winter months, with everything from jasmine to aconites around to provide a splash of colour during the colder months. But, while the sun may be dimmed, winter gardens have never been brighter and here are ten reasons why:
1. Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’
Otherwise known as Red-barked Dogwood, no pun intended, this cultivar has been granted the esteemed honour of Award of Garden Merit, based on its beauty and hardiness despite a very low level of maintenance. Deciduous garden shrubs and more rarely small trees with four-petaled flowers in early spring. Grown in full sun it will yield bright red bark and need only be trimmed once every spring to provide best results.
There are several types of Ivy – German Ivy, Swedish Ivy, Ground Ivy etc. Here we are dealing with the ‘True’ Ivies plants which are all varieties of Hedera. These Ivies thoroughly deserve their good reputation as decorative plants, and have long been a basic feature of Pot Groups. As climbers they can quickly clothe bare surroundings, provided you choose a vigorous Hedera helix variety.The stems bear aerial roots which cling to wallpaper, woodwork etc. The larger leaved, slower growing Canary Island Ivy does not possess these clinging aerial roots, so adequate support is necessary.
Ivies are not only climbers. They are just as useful as trailers in hanging baskets or as ground cover plants between larger plants, and it is here that the smaller bushy varieties come into their own. Examples of suitable types are Eva, Glacier and Needlepoint Ivy.
Grasses in your garden have four good seasons of interest: in spring, when the bright new shoots start emerging, in summer, when they are at their peak and flower in your garden , in autumn, when many turn yellow and reddish, and in winter, because they should be left standing, so that their shapes add interest until being cut down at the end of the season.
Festuca – The genus contains about 300 perennial grasses, which produce attractive tufts of foliage. They are ideal for placing at the front of borders or among rock garden plants. Festuca glauca, blue or grey fescue, is one of the most popular grasses. It is an evergreen species, which makes tufts of steely-blue leaves that are still evident in winter garden. The summer flowers are an added bonus. It can also be grown in containers. Festuca prefers moderately fertile, dry, well-drained soil in full sun.
Acacias are useful garden shrubs where space is not a problem, but they have never been popular house plants. The spreading branches bear feathery leaves or spiny false leaves known as phylloclades, and in winter or spring the characteristic yellow flower-heads appear.
These are clusters of small powder-puffs which are much more popular in flower arrangements than in house plant collections. Keep the plant under control by cutting back straggly and unwanted growth once flowering has finished, and keep it robust by feeding and watering regularly during the growing season. If you can, place the pot outside in a sheltered spot in garden once summer arrives. Bring plant back indoors in fall.