I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Friday 27 April 2007

Spring surprises

The spring garden is an ever-changing scene, with the beginning of warmer days encouraging an abundance of new growth. It’s a great time of year to wander round the garden, discovering your forgotten plants surfacing all over again. I must admit it’s one of my favourite times of year with daffodils, narcissus, camelias and primulas taking centre stage and the ever-changing scenes of new shoots, buds, and blossom. Later this month, you can enjoy the first roses, tulips, clematis and aquilegias starting to appear along with many others.

Sadly though, with the growth of lovely plants comes the perpetual growth of all the weeds too! Everywhere you look in the garden at this time of year, there are all manner of things to be done and there never seems enough time to get it finished.

Dig out perennial weeds, roots and all as soon as you see them appearing. Every piece of the root needs to be taken out as new plants can develop from the smallest section of root left behind. Perennial weeds include dandelion, thistles, bindweed, and couch grass. Regular hand weeding of annual weeds such as hairy bittercress and groundsel will stop them setting seed and creating even more work!

Having cleared a site from weeds consider using one of the many mulches available which help control weeds effectively as well as helping to conserve the moisture in the soil.

Cut back Hydrangeas
If you’ve not done so, now is the time to cut back your Hydrangeas – firstly removing any faded flower-heads which have survived the winter. These also act as a protection to the new buds, so it’s best not to cut them off until the bulk of the cold weather is over to help prevent new growth from getting damaged. On the mophead and lacecap varieties just shorten the stems slightly down to a good pair of leaf buds. Varieties of Hydrangea paniculata require harder pruning – you need to take last season’s growth back by at least half.