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  • Writer's pictureChris Jackson

Bring Back The Wow Factor To Your Beds & Borders

Four Season Garden Maintenance

Bring Back The Wow Factor To Your Garden Beds & Borders

All our garden have taken a bit of a battering from the heat this summer. You may have lost many plants due to sun burn or drought.

There's no need to give in if you are wanting pretty borders. It can still be achieved and this post will give you hope.

We at Four Season Garden Maintenance are avid visitors of garden centres far and wide. Our weekend usually consists of a walk in the country with our husky Astro and then a nice stroll around the garden centre.

While walking our dog we have noticed lots of Bradford and Leeds gardens looking 'itty bitty' and by the looks of it the weather is the culprit.

You may have noticed now that many garden centres strictly stick to their seasonal plan for stocking and selling plants, so now we are definitely at the end of summer bedding and basket plants and in come the autumn bedding.

If you want to fill a few gaps in your garden Chris Jackson Bradford gardener suggests making the most of the end of the season by picking up cheap plants. If you don't already we recommend you follow New Coley Nurseries on Face Book. They currently have some fantastic offers on and its BOGOF (buy one get one free).

New Coley Nurseries always have a great broad range of plants and when ever we go there is always new stock and varieties to choose from. They also run little events for families and have a gardening club. It is really important to support our local nurseries and buy good quality plants which are grown in the right way and will last a lot longer than your supermarket versions.

Last spring we bought our vegetable plants there, there was a massive cross-section of varieties and they were in 6 packs so we were able to get cracking on our small allotment at the bottom of our garden. We didn't have the time and space to grow from seed so this was a great solution.

So take advantage of this in-between time and just buy what you like and stick it in your borders and fill some gaps. It will save you lots of money by buying end of season things that are blooming and even the short lived perennials are an investment as they will be back next year so you have nothing to lose. As all the garden centres make room for new stock now is the time to shop for cheap border fillers.

Four Season Garden Maintenance suggest going for Hostas or Dead Nettles (Lamium) for shade, may be some Perennial Geraniums, Grasses, or anything from the daisy family. Penstemons and Achillea are also great fillers for your empty border spots and the very large Hollyhock will do well in the sun too, and will give that much-needed colour and impact for the back end of summer.

Happy plant hunting!

If you have attempted your own herbaceous border this year Chris Jackson from Four Season Garden Maintenance has some great tips. As a gardener Chris doesn't just maintain his garden it is an ongoing project that gets revamped every time he spots something, sees a gap or has to find a space for his next purchase (you can never have enough plants. right?).

You will stand back at some point and admire your border and be happy with it. The trouble with an herbaceous border is that of course everything will die back.

A tip until you get used to what things look like in their dormant state is to take photographs throughout the year so you can remember where things are. This is a great way to create a vision for your border and you can see what needs reducing, what might need moving and where the gaps are.

It might be useful before you take you picture to use landmarks such as canes or something which will give a clearer picture of where things are. You will notice in larger gardens you visit they have zones marked out with short wooden stakes that they leave in to help define their areas more clearly.

Marker plants you definitely want to take out and they will be easier to find as they die back. If your border is established enough the foliage will hide your markers until the end of the season.

Four Season Garden Maintenance deal with a lot of calls surrounding herbaceous borders as they have hired someone who says they are a gardener but actually have no plant knowledge. So in winter they had all their herbaceous perennials dug up mistaking them for weeds. You can avoid this by finding your gardener through the Gardeners Guild where only qualified gardeners are members. It is a very common problem when hiring people to do gardening. So, test out your gardeners knowledge, have them walk round with you, see if they recognise plants and their names.

Bradford gardener Chris Jackson states that taking photographs is a great way to keep a track of your border all year round. If you are more of a gardener that is strategic in the design and look you want to achieve having photographs will help when shopping for plants that you have space for and will help control you impulse buying of unnecessary plants (if there is such a thing).

Now that autumn is approaching it is very easy to get carried away and want to start cutting things back. Four Season Garden Maintenance suggest that you don't start cutting back until you are ready to start digging plants up and moving them, or when you are ready to plant your new purchases so that you can use the dead foliage as a reminder where things actually are.

Some plants and grasses look nice in autumn and add a great structural quality to your border with their seed pods and dried flowers so if you can try not to be too perfect it might be a nice look that is worth keeping for a few more weeks.

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