No stranger to garden designing throughout the year, Dan Piper reveals how to create a show-stopping outdoor space you'll love all year round.
1) Make sure you select a good balance of deciduous and evergreen varieties to ensure a good amount of foliage remains throughout the winter.
2) Within your selection, pick varieties that will offer differing flowering periods throughout the year so there is always something offering a burst of colour.
3) Choose a few deciduous specimens that offer autumn leaf colour and/or early winter flowering for that change of season impact.
4) Don't be afraid to bring deciduous feature specimens into the foreground i.e. cherries, maples, deciduous magnolias etc for a great layering effect.
5) We try to feed and prune in the late summer to give one last late flush of growth entering the cooler months.
6) Position deciduous specimens in front of North and West facing windows to let in extra sunlight in the winter-this also provides great summer shade when they leaf up again.
7) Be sure to reduce watering times on automatic irrigation systems or, just be sure to monitor the amount of watering. You will need less in the cooler months.
8) Plant some varieties en-masse for greater impact being careful to maintain healthy spacings so that each plant can thrive.
9) Why not use annual bedding plants for a splash of colour?
10) Enhance your plants' appearance by removing spent flower heads and heat damaged limbs/leaves. Also target prune feature trees to maximise spring growth.
KEY AUTUMN/WINTER PLANTS AND HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER THEM
- Camellias, Azaleas, rhodos, Daphne's, Pieris
- Ornamental Cherry trees
- Flowering quince
- Viburnum tinus
- Pansies, Primula's, Polyanthus
Feed late summer with all purpose plant food and water in well, keep moist throughout the warmer months, alternate seasol and liquid fertiliser applications fortnightly, tip prune and dead-head spent flowers as necessary to promote plant appearance and performance.
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