BlogBlog
Winter gardening activities

Winter gardening activities

Now the season has turned from autumn to winter and the temperature has fallen, doesn’t mean that work in the garden stops. Enthusiastic gardeners everywhere will be continuing to maintain their garden or grounds, in the following areas:

  • Weeds - just because it’s winter doesn’t prevent the weeds from growing. Carry on with your weeding programme by keeping borders free from weeds.
  • Seasonal pruning - don’t forget to prune and cut back plants and ..... <continued>
Winter bedding plants

Winter bedding plants

Your garden doesn’t have to look devoid of colour in the winter. From September through to November it is possible to plant winter bedding flowers in beds, borders, containers or hanging baskets. This will help keep your garden looking colourful as the other plants die out.

These are some of our favourites:

  • Pansies - seen in gardens everywhere. Winter flowering pansies, if planted out early autumn, will provide blooms right through winter and into ..... <continued>
How to recycle Autumn leaves

How to recycle Autumn leaves

Falling leaves in autumn shouldn’t be seen as a problem but an opportunity. In the forest they are nature’s way of organically fertilising the forest floor and preventing weeds from growing, however in the garden they can be considered a gardener’s nuisance.

Autumn leaves must be raked and cleared away as soon as is possible. Leaving leaves for long periods on your lawn can cause damage. Leaves are easier to rake, vacuum or blow, if they are dry. Collected leaves can be turned into leaf mould or added to ..... <continued>

Gardening jobs for Autumn

Gardening jobs for Autumn

September is traditionally known as the harvest month. Now is the perfect time for gardeners to reap the rewards of their hard summer labour by picking and storing fruit and vegetables. But it’s not just the kitchen garden which requires attention, in order to keep all areas of our garden well maintained, throughout autumn and beyond, here are some other jobs for you to consider.

Now the weather is cooling it is a good time to divide herbaceous perennials. Ideally this should be done every few years to aid the plant’s growth and ..... <continued>

Rudbeckia: colourful coneflower

Rudbeckia: colourful coneflower

The Rudbeckia, also known as Black-eyed Susan or Coneflower, brings colour to any garden. Annual, biennial and herbaceous perennial Rudbeckias can be planted in mixed borders or pots, and makes a good cut flower.

Rudbeckias prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade. Plant them in fertile, hummus rich soils so they can retain moisture in spring and summer time. To keep the soil moisture retentive, you can also apply some mulch around the plants in spring. Remember to water Rudbeckias during the dry spells, as this will prolong the flowering period. Do also apply a balanced ..... <continued>

Long Flowering Potentilla

The Long Flowering Potentilla

The Potentilla is a very interesting plant. The genus contains a number of varieties which means plants can be grown annually, as an herbaceous perennial or deciduous shrub. The Potentilla thrives in any soil type and tolerates both sun and shade. You can even plant it on slopes or banks, or in coastal or gravel gardens. Likewise it is a very good plant for your containers.

Also called Cinquefoils, Potentillas are available in a range of colours and are particularly valued for having a very long flowering period, which lasts from ..... <continued>

How To Grow Cosmos

How To Grow Cosmos

Cosmos is one of the easiest plants to grow. A native of Mexico, Central and Southern America, the plant grows well in any soil as long as it is well draining. Once Cosmos becomes established it needs little water and no fertilizer.

Cosmos is very long flowering and the butterflies love the plant’s nectar. To give your Cosmos plants a long flowering season, it is best to sow seeds indoors in March to April, alternatively you can plant them outside in May to June. They are versatile plants, as they can be grown in ..... <continued>

Gardening Jobs For Summer

Gardening Jobs For Summer

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your garden, but for it to stay looking amazing you will need to keep on top of a few things.

Some jobs for you to consider:

JUNE

  • Mow lawns once a week and water the newly sown or turfed lawns during the dry spells.
  • Don’t forget to water and feed the plants in your containers and hanging ..... <continued>
The Versatile Campanula

The Versatile Campanula

Campanula also known as Bellflower has over 500 species. It has managed to spread and adapt in many countries around the Northern Hemisphere.

This species include annuals, biennials and perennials. Their preferred growing conditions are different as well. Small, compact species originated from alpines and the bigger ones are found in grasslands and woodlands. Therefore when planting these plants in your garden try to provide their preferred growing conditions in order for them to thrive.

Campanula carpatica is a low-growing variety and ..... <continued>

How to grow Agapanthus plants

How to grow Agapanthus plants

Agapanthus is an excellent plant to grow in containers. Even though they like moisture retentive soils, they seem to produce more flowers when provided with a restricted root growth area.

This perennial originated from Southern Africa where it is known as African lily or Lily of the Nile. There are two types of Agapanthus, deciduous and evergreen varieties. The evergreen species originated from areas with year-round rainfall. If you have these plants in your garden you must water them regularly during dry weather spells to ensure they flower next year, but make sure they do not become water logged. It is also good practice to place some straw, fleece or ..... <continued>

The Hardy Geranium

The Hardy Geranium

If you are looking for long flowering ground cover or something to cascade down your pots and retaining walls, try planting some hardy geraniums, also known as cranesbills.

This deciduous perennial can grow in any soil as long as it is well drained. Most prefer to be planted in a sunny or partially shaded area, although some geranium varieties can even tolerate full shade. For example Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ is ideal in dry shade and containers; Geranium ‘Patricia’ likes partial shade, has vivid magenta flowers and a dark purple centre, Geranium phaeum ‘Raven’ thrives well in damp shade, grows to 60cm in height ..... <continued>

Primula - a native spring plant

Primula - a native spring plant

One of our favourite spring plants is Primula vulgaris. It has the most beautiful lemony-yellow flowers that can brighten anyone’s day. It is a native plant and if you are lucky, you might see it when out walking in woodland areas.

The Primula family is very big. There are over 500 species available for us to see and explore. Primula, in Latin, implies that the plant is the first to flower in spring. Their natural habitats are woodlands, alpine slopes and boggy meadows, so when planting Primulas you need to ensure that the soil is rich in hummus - moist but well drained. If the chosen planting area ..... <continued>

How to grow the perfect Peony

How to grow the perfect Peony

The peony is another impressive herbaceous perennial that delights gardeners in late spring and early summer. We always look forward to seeing the beautiful flower heads appear and watch them open into exquisite, multi-petalled, fragrant flowers. There are so many colours to choose from, so you are really spoilt for choice.

How to care for Peonies

A peony is a very easy plant to ..... <continued>

Gardening Jobs for Spring

Gardening Jobs for Spring

Spring is a very busy time of the year for gardeners. So to help kick start your gardening activities, we have prepared a list of jobs for you to do.

In March

  • Prune established bushes, standard roses and cornus cultivars to encourage new growth.
  • Remove weeds, mulch your borders and apply a balanced fertilizer as the plants come into growth.
  • Cut back and divide overgrown ..... <continued>
Lupins - a cottage garden favourite

Lupins - a cottage garden favourite

If you live near the coast or have a sandy, loamy soil, consider planting some Lupins in your garden. Lupins are part of the pea family and are very good at fixing nitrogen into the soil. This means they do not need a very rich soil in order to produce some colourful spikes in May and June. Although this plant is very good at looking after itself it is still beneficial to know a few things about it.

Did you know that Lupin seeds are edible? For thousand of years Romans and people living in other Mediterranean countries used them as  ..... <continued>

Iris, the rainbow plant

Iris, the rainbow plant

Every garden should have an Iris! There are so many varieties to choose from. If you are after some big and colourful flowers, plant some Bearded Irises. They prefer dry, well draining soils and sunny positions so they can bake their rhizomes in the sun. Make sure that their rhizomes are partially exposed when planting, remove any weeds and do not plant any other plants near as this will help promote better air circulation and prevent any rotting too. Bearded Irises will produce some beautiful flowers from April until June.

If you would like to add some colour to your border in winter and spring time ..... <continued>

Heuchera, a colourful evergreen

Heuchera, a colourful evergreen

Recently we had snow and cold temperatures, but our gardening team was hard at it despite the weather! Similarly the Heuchera that I saw in a customer’s garden was able to cope with most weather conditions too.

Heucheras, mostly evergreen, clump-forming perennials are grown for their colourful foliage and bell like flowers. In order to make an impact in your borders or containers plant them in a group with some spring flowering bulbous plants like tulips, snowdrops, narcissi, crocuses, cyclamens or primulas. Heucheras also provide good ground cover ..... <continued>

Pyracantha, the firethorn plant

Pyracantha, the firethorn plant

One of our regular customers recently asked me if I knew the name of a plant that was growing in the neighbourhood. Once she started to describe the brightly coloured orange berries I knew straight away that it was one of the Pyracantha species.

Pyracantha, also known as a firethorn, is an evergreen shrub that has many uses and is beloved by the birds and bees. This plant not only produces beautiful clusters of white flowers in early summer and shining colourful berries in autumn and winter, but also lends ..... <continued>

Gardening jobs for winter

Gardening jobs for winter

Just because the weather is turning colder and the days are getting shorter doesn’t mean that we stop gardening. There are still a number of jobs that can be undertaken, please read on to learn about some of them. Should you need advice with any of the below suggestions or assistance with general garden maintenance, please contact us via our Facebook page @sanstecgarden.

Bring greenery inside - No matter what are you celebrating in winter there is a great opportunity to create some beautiful arrangements out of evergreens ..... <continued>

Helleborus Niger, the Christmas rose

Helleborus Niger, the Christmas rose

Today I visited a garden centre and the first plant that caught my eye was Helleborus niger, the Christmas Rose. It is an excellent winter flowering, evergreen perennial that shines brightly over the coldest months of the year.

Helleborus niger originates from the mountains of the Eastern Alps where it is found growing in the woods or on the alpine slopes. Therefore when planting Helleborus niger in our garden or in containers, we need to provide the preferable growing conditions in order ..... <continued>

Daphne - a beautiful perfumed shrub

Daphne - a beautiful perfumed shrub

Are you still doing your Christmas shopping? How about getting a beautiful plant for your loved ones? Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’, an evergreen, variegated shrub with fragrant trumpet like flowers, would be a great addition to anyone’s garden.

It is an excellent winter flowering shrub so be sure to plant it somewhere near the house so you and the passers by could enjoy the beautiful fragrance of this plant. The other way to enjoy its fragrance is by bringing a few springs of flowering Daphne into your home or ..... <continued>

Herbs for cooking and healing

Herbs for cooking and healing

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
For she/he once was a true love of mine.
[see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Fair_(ballad) for origination]

So runs the opening lines of the song Scarborough Fair ..... <continued>

Houseplants for Autumn

Houseplants for autumn

This week’s blog is about some houseplants with ornamental fruit, to celebrate the autumn season.

For a long time people have been aware of the beneficial properties of plants but now there is scientific evidence to confirm that the presence of live plants is even vital to people (Therapeutic Landscapes Network, 2017). The presence of live plants in schools, hospitals and offices has been shown to increase health, concentration, productivity, and satisfaction, reduce stress and depression and facilitate social connection. So let’s fill our homes and other places where we spend ..... <continued>

Janina Lileikyte-Jones

Seven gardening jobs for October

Autumn is a very good time to restore, improve or prepare your garden for winter. Our team of gardeners could help you with the following jobs:

Clear the leaves so you could avoid slipping when the weather turns wet and keep the garden looking tidy and healthy - fallen leaves can harbour disease and cause some harm to your lawns, ponds and water features.

Take care of your lawns by mowing, scarifying, aerating and topdressing established lawns while soil temperatures are warm; feed the lawns, if necessary, with the low-nitrogen, high-potassium autumn lawn feed; replace lawns by sowing grass seed or laying turf.

Trim the hedges, ornamental shrubs and topiary in order to ..... <continued>

Janina Lileikyte-Jones

Award-winning horticulturalist joins the Sanstec Garden team

We are delighted to welcome Janina Lileikyte-Jones to our team at Sanstec Garden as a 'Horticultural Landscape Gardener'. Janina's skills and experience will be complementing and strengthening our capabilities in a number of key garden maintenance, horticulture, planning, planting and landscaping areas.

She recently won a bronze medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for her garden design created with the British Ecological Society which was called 'Delight in the Dark' and was based around the theme of plants that are able to thrive in the shade. Janina is a graduate from Easton and Otley College and she brings a level of expertise to our clients which can be utilised to tackle even the most challenging of gardens in either rural or urban settings.

We look forward to her working alongside our existing professional ..... <continued>