Posts tagged with “Gardenscape”

Winter Wishlist


The arrival of winter is imminent, and we’re sure much of your attention has turned to decking the halls, frenzied shopping trips and tracking down that elusive turkey. Yes, Christmas is coming, bringing with it colder days, darker nights and a need to consider preparing both your indoor and outdoor spaces for the chillier months ahead.

And, while we sadly can’t help you track down the rare bottle of Scotch your dad’s after, or the limited edition trainers your teen’s requested, we do have plenty of supplies to help you, your house and your garden get ready for winter. Read on to discover our top picks.

Rock Salt

Don’t risk slipping and sliding in treacherous weather - nobody wants to spend Christmas in A&E with a broken ankle when they could be enjoying charades with the family. (Well, for some the former may be preferable…) Our white rock salt is suitable for gritting driveways, pavements or garden paths in icy weather. 20kg bags are just £7.20, and we offer multi-purchase discounts for buying bulk bags. Seeing as it’s the season of goodwill, perhaps stock up on several and help your neighbours avoid an icy peril, too.


If you’ve got a fire or wood burning stove, then on those bleak midwinter days you’ll want to cosy up and keep warm beside it. Or, maybe braving an outdoor fire pit is more your style. Either way, our kindling nets will help you get that fire lit in no time. Each net costs £5.50 and contains plenty of wood to give your fires a roaring start. Bulk buy discounts are also available, so make sure you’re well stocked ahead of any cold snaps.


You may have been fastidious and seasoned your own logs, ahead of winter. But, if the wood or weather wasn’t on your side then perhaps you need some logs to keep your fire well stocked. Our logs are seasoned hardwood FSC certified. We source these from local woodland, and they are mostly ash. On average, they measure 25cm (10inches) long by 12cm (4 inches) wide.

To ensure your logs reach you in the perfect condition, we delivered them in a ventilated landscape bag to stop the wood from sweating. Once they arrive, we suggest storing them off the ground covered with a tarpaulin - this way they’ll stay dry all winter. Use them on open fires, log burners, fire pits and wood burning stoves and enjoy a warm winter! Our logs cost £5.50 per net, or £87.50 per bulk bag.


Our tarpaulins are an essential garden item if you’re looking to keep things protected over the winter months. The 4m x 5m waterproof plastic sheeting with eyelets are great for keeping logs dry over winter, shielding your beds or even guarding your garden furniture while it’s not in use. Each sheet is £18.

Autumn Lawn

Even in the colder months, your lawn needs a little TLC, and our autumn lawn fertiliser is best applied over autumn and winter. It’s high in the macro-nutrients Phosphorus and Potassium which aid disease resistance and cold hardiness as well as improving drought tolerance. One 20kg bag will cover 570 sqm, and we recommend applying 35 grams per sqm.


The growing season might be mostly over, but there’s still ways to get ahead for the spring. Using manure on empty beds to overwinter them will allow plenty of time for it to break down and give your garden the nutrients and goodness it needs. Dig the manure through your empty beds, or leave on top and let the worms do the work!

To place your order, give us a call on 0800 854 663 or visit our website at

Your garden in November


With the outdoors taking a turn for the cooler, you’d be forgiven for wanting to spend your time wrapped up inside with a hot drink - save for those occasions where there’s a firework display or bonfire parade to lure you outside, anyway. But, November days still offer plenty of opportunities to get out in the garden to complete some tasks. From getting your garden winter-ready to preparing for next spring (we know, it’s hard to imagine it right now), there’s lots to keep you occupied outdoors.

Tulip time

We might not have made it through autumn or winter yet, but that’s no reason not to start planning for spring. November is the best month to plant up your tulip bulbs - planting them as the weather cools down helps to protect them against fungal diseases which are typically killed off in the cold temperatures.

Tulips thrive in full sun, but they’ll also grow in partially shaded areas, so you have plenty of options to work with when picking a spot to plant them. Plant each bulb individually, or cluster them depending on the effect you’re looking for. Once you’ve planted them, water them well but after that you can pretty much leave them to their own devices - with wetter days ahead you shouldn’t need to keep watering them, so just look forward to March when your flowers should make a colourful appearance!

Check out our guide to bulb planting for more tips and tricks.

Rose relief

If leaves have fallen from your roses and they're showing signs of blackspot then you'll want to get rid of these before the winter. Leaves with the disease will affect your plants next year, so while spending time picking up leaves might not be your idea of gardening fun, it’s best to tackle this now to avoid issues later on.

Good Grit

Damp soil around your alpines can cause rotting at this time of year, so it's a good idea to invest in some gravel mulch to help keep the area clear. Our cockleshells make a great mulch and will help to protect the area. Shells are also thought to be a good way to keep slugs and snails at bay.

Garlic Growing

If you fancy having some home-grown garlic to keep vampires at bay next Halloween, then now's the time to plant your bulbs, along with onions and shallots too. They'll grow best in free-draining soil, so if you need to give yours a helping hand, look to add a compost with grit to aid drainage. You can also grow these vegetables in raised beds - once planted in either beds or borders, cover with fleece to protect them from frost and the colder, wetter winter weather.

Fruit Shoot

If you have apple or pear trees, then once they're dormant, you can prune them ready for next year. By doing this now, it'll encourage more fruit to grow.

If you're thinking of adding fruit trees to your garden then now is the perfect time to plant bare-root fruit trees - just make sure the ground isn't too wet.

Remember Remember

Well, there's no better time to have a bonfire than in the month where Guy Fawkes Night falls. If you have the space and obliging neighbours, then having a bonfire is a good way to clear some of your garden waste that isn't suitable for composting. Just make sure you check your pile for hibernating creatures before you set light to it.

Tread Carefully

When the lawn is hard with frost in the mornings it can make for a scenic winter wonderland you'd love to stroll through. However, as nice as getting that idyllic Instagram shot would be, spare a thought for your lawn below. Walking on frosty grass can damage it, causing the frost to rupture the grass leaf cells. Your footprints may also last long after the frost has thawed, so you could be left with lasting imprints in your lawn - not quite the picture perfect vision you had in mind!

Planting Ahead


Want a glorious spring garden, vibrant summer colours or some winter wonders? Whatever the season, bulb planting is an easy way to liven up your borders. Requiring minimal effort, this simple garden task can elevate your outdoor space and make even the most novice of gardeners feel like green-fingered wizards. Here, we take a look at what to plant and when, so that your garden is filled with flowers all year round.

The benefits of bulbs

Not only are bulbs easy to grow, they’re also quite forgiving if you happen to miss the perfect window for their planting season - as long as they haven’t rotted, you can usually get away with planting them even if they’ve started to sprout. Generally, bulbs are a fairly inexpensive way to add some interest to your garden, and the results can be very rewarding - head to many significant properties such as castles, stately homes and National Trust landmarks and you’ll find their gardens adorned with flower displays created by mixing and matching bulbs.

Many people associate bulbs with spring, but they can be planted in all seasons - that golden carpet of daffodils needs planning and planting in autumn, and if you want some festive flowers in the garden come Christmas, you’ll want to be bedding in those bulbs in the springtime. Just when you thought you might get a break from the gardening tasks, along come the bulbs to keep you busy…

Spring flowering bulbs

Daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, bluebells and alliums are just some of the spring flowering bulbs you can plant to really bring your garden to life in the early months of the year.

Autumn is the season you’ll want to get them planted - daffodils, crocus and hyacinths are all best planted in early autumn, so aim for September, while tulips can be left a little later and are best planted in November.

Summer flowering bulbs

Begonias, freesias, dahlias, crocosmias and gladioli are bulbs to look out for if you want bursts of colour in your borders in the summer months. Some bulbs, especially if they’re hardy flowering, will be best planted in September or October, whereas the likes of gladioli can be left until early spring to be planted.

Autumn flowering bulbs

In autumn, the focus can often be on the changing colours of the trees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add some colour to the ground, too. Cyclamen, nerines, sternbergias, autumn crocuses and colchicums will all add some floral decoration to your borders and bring with them a mix of colours to break up the reds, browns and golden hues typically associated with this season. Most autumn flowering bulbs will need to be planted by late summer to get the most of the warmth and sun.

Winter flowering bulbs

The bleak midwinter needn’t apply here - even in colder temperatures, your garden can sport pops of floral brightness. Winter cyclamen, snowdrops and aconite will all bring your garden to life in the winter months, while there are also plenty of bulbs that can be ‘forced’ in winter too if you choose to grow them indoors.

Planting your bulbs

Where, when and how to plant your bulbs does depend on the individual flower (some are much fussier than others!) but as general guidance, most bulbs can be planted in the garden in sunny areas with good drainage. If you live in an area where soil drainage is an issue, then you might want to consider giving your plants a helping hand by adding a planting mix to aid drainage.

If you’re planting in borders, group your bulbs together in multiples of around six. Aim to plant each bulb at the bottom of a hole two to three times the height of the bulb, and plant with the shoot facing upwards. In the spring and summer you’ll want to water the ground after planting, but if you’re planting in autumn then the ground is likely moist enough not to need watering.

You can also plant your bulbs into containers rather than directly in the ground, although they’ll need a little more TLC, such as adding a grit mix, and using a high potassium fertiliser to ensure they really thrive.

Your Garden in October


For many, October is their favourite month when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors - the vibrant colours on the trees, the slight chill in the air...while we might not be able to relax in the sun quite as much (although one could argue we didn’t get much of a chance of that this summer anyway), it’s still a beautiful time to spend outdoors getting creative in the garden.

From those pesky maintenance jobs that need completing before winter, to ways to bring some simple colour to your outside space in anticipation of the bleaker months ahead, here’s some tasks, tricks and even a few treats to keep your garden looking tip-top this October.

Give your lawn an autumn advantage

Much like our skin after a little too much sun exposure during the warmer months, your grass can be left a little parched. In the same way that our skin might need a little TLC in the form of a rich moisturiser, so does the grass. Opt for an autumn lawn feed which is high in the macro-nutrients Phosphorus and Potassium which aid disease resistance and cold hardiness as well as improving drought tolerance. Best applied when the ground is damp, sprinkle all over the lawn to promote continued healthy growth.

To give your lawn a little autumn facelift, mow less often and use a longer blade when you do. Rake often to revive your lawn, and to avoid waterlogging over winter, spike your lawn with a fork all over the surface - anywhere between 8cm- 15cm should suffice.

Your lawn will soon be looking spring-fresh! We can’t recommend using these methods for your skin however, perhaps best to stick to the moisturiser…

Replenish your wood reserves

This time of year can throw us when it comes to the weather. On those warm, sunny days it’s hard to imagine a time when we’ll be huddled inside wearing thick layers again, but then as the first frost arrives, the reality of colder months ahead starts to set in.

If you have a wood-burning stove inside, then now’s the time to think about replenishing those wood reserves, so that you’re not caught short if a cold snap does arrive! Logs and kindling that you’ve been seasoning over the summer should now be ready, providing the wood doesn’t contain more than 20% moisture. You can check by looking at the colour, which should be pale, the weight, which should be much lighter than when the logs were first cut, and the sound - knock two logs together and they should make a clear sound as they touch, rather than a dull thud. If your logs and kindling aren’t quite seasoned, then just ensure they’re still being kept in a protected environment away from the elements, are correctly stacked, and also that the pieces of wood aren’t too big - the larger they are, the longer they’ll take to season. We have seasoned logs and kindling readily available to buy too, so that you can ensure you’ll be cosy when the autumnal air hits!

Pick up your patch

One surefire sign that it’s October, is the sight of pumpkins and squash adorning fields and perhaps even your own garden. While their vibrant colours make for a pretty festive affair, if you want to enjoy the fruits of your labour (and preserve your lawn in the process too), then you’ll want to raise your pumpkins and squash fruits up onto bricks or sleepers to give them the best chance of fully ripening and to keep them dry so they don’t turn your lovely lawn into a squashed stew. Need some inspiration for using other garden fruits? Check out our tips.

Focus on roses

The careful care of roses can feel like a full time job sometimes - it doesn’t matter which month it is, something always needs to be done to keep them happy and healthy. This month the task is to prune your rambling and climbing roses once they’ve finished flowering, and to avoid any damage caused by winds, it’s a good idea to tie in the stems too.

If you have roses that have produced good rosehips, then these can be left to develop - just snip off the dead flowers around them. Planting new roses might not have been high on your adenda, but this can also be done this month, before the winter sets in. Buy as a container-grown plant, and plant the roots directly into the ground. The new plants should establish quickly due to the moist soil, and come spring you’ll have some extra floral treats in your garden, and will probably be thankful that you put in the work now!

Pot prepping

Now’s a great time to think about adding a little colour to your garden over the colder months, in the form of winter pots and baskets. These small additions can make a big difference to your outside space when the weather gets a bit bleaker - you’ll be glad you added some brighter hues for the darker days!

As for what to plant, there are so many options to choose from, so let your creativity run wild. Pansies, cyclamen, heathers, polyanthus, violas and skimmia are all great options for plants that’ll give you plenty to smile about until springtime arrives, or if simple succulents are more your style, houseleeks (sempervivum) are hardy, look beautiful in pots and will add some splashes of colour and greenery to your garden all year round. Plant them and then top-dress with gravel.

Harvest Festival


Now’s the time to turn your attention to the fruits of your labour

For most of the year, whether in our own gardens or out and about, we probably pay little attention to the fruit trees and shrubs. When there’s roses to prune and lawns to mow, these plants are pushed to the back of our minds, and, save for revelling in a little blossom in the springtime, seem to stay that way. That is, until autumn kicks in. When the calendar flips from August to September there’s usually a noticeable shift in these trees and shrubs in the form of the produce you’ll discover. Suddenly, you’ll spot apples, pears, plums and blackberries galore in gardens, fields and hedgerows. And, the good news is, they’re yours for the picking (with permission, of course!)

Read on to find out how to make the most of the fruits you find during this harvest season

Pick your apples and pears

September is the start of the apple and pear picking season, so if you have trees bearing these fruits on your land, you’ll want to get out and check on their progress. Depending on the type of apples and pears you’ve grown depends on when the fruits will be ready to be harvested. Early ripening varieties are best left to ripen on the tree and should be picked selectively, depending on how ripe they are, whereas varieties that ripen later can be picked in a larger quantity for storing.

It can be tricky to know when to pick your fruit, but you want to get there before the gusty autumn days beat you to it and you lose it to the ground. Try gently holding the fruit in your hand and twisting slightly. If it comes away with ease then it’s ready to be picked; if it’s a little more stubborn then it might need a few more days of ripening. The optimal temperature for storage is around 10 degrees celsius, so rather than popping the fruit in the fridge, choose somewhere like a cellar, or a brick shed or outbuilding. Wooden sheds vary greatly in temperature, so won’t be ideal for keeping your fruit fresh!

The best way to store apples is to wrap each fruit in newspaper and then keep them stored in boxes. Pears on the other hand prefer to remain unwrapped, and they can be stored in boxes too.

If storage isn’t an option and you want to tuck in now, then there are lots of delicious ways you can enjoy your apples and pears, from warming crumbles to garnishing cocktails. To keep your fruit trees thriving, use a tree mix, which will help in promoting long term tree health.

Plant blueberry bushes

Blueberries aren’t just a superfruit and tasty breakfast accompaniment, they’re also great additions to the garden - in the autumn the shrub’s leaves will turn a gorgeous vibrant red, and in the springtime it’ll produce pretty white flowers. Then, come summer, you’ll have the juicy berries to enjoy!

The shrubs are best planted in autumn, and they’re ideal for smaller gardens, growing to around 1 metre in height. But, the key thing to be aware of before popping your plant in the soil and hoping for the best, is that blueberries are fussy creatures - they need to be grown in acidic soil and like to be watered with rainwater. They also need to be grown in a sunny spot. Not asking for much, at all… We have a specially formulated blueberry mix, which is an ericaceous compost, blending fine and coarse peat with pine bark to create a low pH, free draining growing media. Add this to a pot, or to the ground before planting your blueberry bush.

Turn your damsons into dessert

Damsons are often a fruit that get ignored and left hanging on trees because unlike their much sweeter plum cousins, they’re much sharper and therefore harder to eat. But, they aren’t just destined for damson jam recipes - they actually taste delicious in a crumble, adding the same level of tartness you’d expect from rhubarb. We’d recommend combining damsons with apples to bring down the sharpness - and if you’re able to pick the apples from your own garden, even better!

Here’s our recipe to try:

Damson and apple crumble - serves 6


For the fruit layer:

● 700g damsons (remove the stones)

● Three apples, peeled, cored and sliced

● 60g soft light brown sugar

● Knob of butter

● 50ml port (optional)

For the crumble topping:

● 250g plain flour

● 150g unsalted butter

● 150g demerara sugar

● 50g ground almonds

● 50g chopped walnuts (optional)


● Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

● Add all of the fruit to a saucepan and heat on the hob over a medium heat until the fruit starts to soften and the damsons start to release their juices. Add in your port, or if you’d prefer, you can just add a couple of tablespoons of water. Once the fruit is done, place in a dish and set aside.

● To make your crumble mix, rub your butter and flour together until the consistency is like breadcrumbs, but not as dry. Then, add your sugar and nuts, stirring gently to avoid clumping.

● Once your topping is mixed, sprinkle it evenly over your fruit.

● Place in the oven and bake for around 35 minutes until the topping is golden. Tip - you may want to place a baking tray under your dish so if any juices decide to escape, they don’t stick to the bottom of your oven...nothing ruins the crumble experience like having to clean the oven afterwards!

● Leave to cool for a few minutes, then serve with custard, cream or ice cream - the choice is yours!

Get ahead with gifting

The other great thing about having a glut of fruit, is you can use it to make homemade gifts for Christmas and beyond. You could try making damson gin or vodka, which is just three ingredients - the fruit, the alcohol and some sugar! Plum wine is another gift you could make, especially for those who are lovers of the Japanese version. It’s a little trickier than just adding the plums to alcohol and does require some fermentation, but will surely delight the recipients.

Fruit can also be turned into a multitude of sweet and savoury preserves - jams, chutneys, jellies and pickles are all ways to use up those excess fruits, and not only will they make excellent personal gifts, they’ll also taste great served with your Christmas dinner.