How to apply a Spring Mulch

Wheelbarrow of well-rotted manure for a spring time mulch

The spring bulbs are a picture. Early winter aconites and the valiant, little snowdrops are giving way to the first cheery daffodils, flashes of purple crocuses and creamy primroses, huddled low in their blanket of foliage.

A splash of sunshine on an early spring afternoon is enough to entice you out into the garden, pulling on the gardening gloves, on the look-out for an excuse to potter.

There are plenty of jobs to do. Winter-flowering shrubs can be pruned when they have finished flowering. The grasses can get a bit of tidying up too. Any deciduous grasses left to provide winter interest can be cut back in early spring, while dead foliage on evergreen grasses can be pulled away. The...

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Coffee, Baguette and a Living Wall

Living wall tapestries - Weatherstaff garden design software

Driving down through France at the end of October, we pulled into the motorway services near Troyes for a bite to eat. The planned quick pit stop took longer than expected, though, as I was side-tracked on the way in by an unexpected horticultural delight!

The entrance was enlivened by 4 vertical panels of planting, still looking fantastic despite the gloomy weather and lateness of the season.

I was lucky enough to get a close-up view of the living wall installations at Siam Paragon and EmQuartier, both in Bangkok.

These are indoor plantings in a tropical country, though, so the outdoor living wall at Troyes was inspiring for providing an example of vertical planting that could work well in my...

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New Plants for Old!

Anemone blanda landscaping design

There’s something deeply satisfying about getting a bargain. Grabbing that floaty cardi you’d been eyeing up, now with a hefty discount tag attached to it. Booking a stay at a hotel that would have been out of your price range if it hadn’t had its rates reduced. Fortunately, being a plant-lover and a bargain-hunter is not mutually exclusive!

Garden centres are devilish places. They beguile and bewitch and tempt you with plants at the peak of their flowering season. If you pick up one small pot, it sits there forlornly, bereft of its friends and neighbours, in danger of tipping over, without another pot or two to offer support.

So you pop another plant in – and the combination of...

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