JOHN’S JOURNAL

How To Light Up Your Garden

Inspirational Lighting to Enhance Your Garden During the Darker Days

It’s incredible just how quickly the light nights have disappeared and with the final change of the clocks back to our usual time it’s almost dark at 5pm! It’s time to enjoy the shelter of our homes on the wet days and savour the drier days outside. Lighting up the garden can also allow us to enjoy it from inside even when it’s dark! Rather than looking out into a dark lifeless garden, with the addition of a little bit of lighting it can become a wonderland and take on a whole new feel.

Uplighters are very effective, shining up into the trees and picking up on specimen planting, they can look splendid reflecting off the White stems of Birch trees. Also look at illuminating pathways, but subtly is always best, try and keep your lighting as low as possible, under waist height, this way it’s shining down onto what you want to see rather than illuminating your garden like a football stadium, less is always more! You can get free standing small bollard style lights with grills on, which shine the light onto the ground for alongside pathways, or if you have walls then lights can be subtly built into these.

If you ever build a garden from scratch then that is the perfect time to think about putting the electric cables in, not only lights but also think about sockets at the same time, a good electrician will be able to help advise. But if you haven’t then don’t worry there are always other options. There is a wide array of solar lights out there to choose from and now the technology has also improved meaning they last longer and are brighter. They’re still not something that will last forever, but you just have to factor the simple installation cost against the saving of electric ones, so if they eventually fade in time, then it’s time to replace them. Festoon lights work well around seating areas, draped off the house onto poles in the garden or following a fence line they are great for illuminating a larger area. Look at picking out features in the garden aswell with your light positions, illuminating any large decorative planters or sculptures, even right down at the bottom of the garden they will stand out nicely shining away on a dark Winter’s night, helping to draw your eye.

Down by the beck at the nursery, we ran a series of uplighters in the flower beds to illuminate the new trees, picking out the decorative urns placed in the borders and also uplighting any special topiary surrounding the Croft Pod, and when you sit in there looking out it looks stunning. With the waterfall also illuminated it’s a very magical place down there, taking on a whole new form during the darker months, and if you choose a later visit to one of our Christmas markets you’ll be able to see for yourself, and with them starting on the 19th November they’re not too far away!

Q AND A

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

 

Is it too late to cut Hydrangea Flowers?

It’s still a good time before the petals begin to fade with the wetter weather. Cut them about a foot long and either place them in a vase of water to let them have a drink or you can hang them upside down, remove the leaves aswell and they will then make a beautiful addition to Winter displays around the home

WATCH JOE PUTTING THE GARDEN TO BED FOR WINTER

 

Do I need to feed my plants when I cut them back?

No, any perennials being cut back now want to be let be, so not to promote unnecessary growth, you then feed them in March/April with Vitax Q4 which gives them a boost for the following 5 months, giving them all the energy they need to grow and flower. Also leave some perennials to die back naturally so to give some places for hibernating insects and creatures to live.

 

When do I stop cutting the lawn?

Now the temperature seems to have dropped then the grass will now stop growing, if you haven’t done so already then you can give it a final cut but set your mower slightly higher than usual, and after giving it an Autumn feed it’s now time to have a break form the lawn, until it begins to grow again towards the Spring.

 

 

 

 

1 –Gather Leaves

They are a valuable source of compost along with grass clippings, easy to rot down and perfect for mixing in with new planting to encourage strong growth underground

2– Wrap Pots with Hessian

Any tender plants like Bays and Olive trees, wrap the pots with bubble wrap and then hessian, this helps insulate the pots and stops damage to the root balls from freezing during colder spells

3 – Feature Pots

Not every pot has to have a plant in it, position a decorative terracotta pot to add a focal point and interest to your flower beds

4 – Feed Houseplants

When you water them add some houseplant feed to the water to help keep them happy and their foliage nice and lush

5 – Create Indoor Planters

Succulents are perfect for grouping together to make feature pots inside, you don’t have to plant them in compost, simply place them in their pots and use moss in-between