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Euphorbia characias Wulfenii plant
Euphorbia characias Wulfenii

When I am not busy designing private gardens for clients, I am a listed speaker and regularly give talks and demonstrations to local gardening clubs and community groups.

I really enjoy visiting these organisations and meeting with members to discuss the topics of my talks and gardening in general. I have eighteen talks booked over the course of this year, and I advertise these dates in the News Section of my website.

Gardening Clubs are always keen to invite new members, and you do not have to be a gardening expert to join. All the clubs we have visited have been such a friendly bunch and I am sure whatever your gardening knowledge you would be most welcome, so why not find a club that is local to you and try it?

One of the titles of the talks I deliver is ‘Planning your Garden Borders.’ The old saying “right plant, right place” ties in nicely with that subject, and simply means, if you give a plant the correct amount of light, water, and the soil conditions they need, then they should flourish for you.

First establish which way your garden border faces. Use a compass with your back to the house to check the aspect of each of your planting spaces. Next check the soil conditions in your garden by doing a simple PH test. These kits are in-expensive and can be purchased from your local garden centre or online.

South or West facing garden borders are in full sun for most of the day, so will suit Mediterranean style plants, such as lavender or salvias that will happily tolerate the heat, and once established require less watering than other garden plants. To give your border structure, include a Euphorbia, and depending on which variety you choose, will inject a splash of colour into your design with their zingy yellow-green foliage.

Sometimes we must consider tricky growing conditions, perhaps you have a North facing shady corner of the garden that is always damp or an area in the shade that dries out quickly. Well, here is a selection of plants you might want to look out for in your local garden centre for just those places.

Damp shade suits different varieties of spring plants. Hellebores are a great edition to a spring garden and look fabulous planted with daffodils and other bulbs. Another plant with a dramatic leaf pattern is Brunnera ‘Jack Frost.’ This heart-shaped leaf with silver veins looks just like Jack Frost himself has paid a visit to your garden and is an ideal choice for ground cover.

Dry shade, normally found under a tree or at the base of a wall, can be a tricky spot to find a plant that will get established. Ferns and hostas would make an excellent choice and once established will give you all year-round interest with interesting and varied leaf colour and texture.

If you are a Secretary of a Gardening Club or Community Group and would like me to come and talk to your group, please give call me on 07899 710168 or visit my website for more information.

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