Gardening Tips & Advice

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Gardening Tips & Advice

Gardening TipsGardening Tips

We've developed a helpful range of Gardening Guides to help you to re-discover your garden. The guides cover all general topics including - When to Plant? Where to Plant? What to Plant? How to Plant? You can read abstracts and download the guides below:

1 The Year Round Garden

The litmus test of a good, year-round garden is when you can go outside in any season and pick something decorative or edible, or preferably both. If you plant for all year round pleasure, then you should expect to find something exciting happening, whatever the season...
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1 YearRoundGarden

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2. Getting into bedding plants

The view across your neighbours’ back gardens can be a varied and instructive sight during the month of June for there are those who still regard this valuable space as nothing more than a place to hang the washing and exercise the cat. Others have a sole interest in, say, roses, and for the better part of every year all one can see from the upstairs windows are gaunt bushes against a cold and forbidding foreground. There is no excuse, because with a minimum of effort even the novice gardener can add interest and colour to their garden by introducing bedding plants...

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2 BeddingPlants

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3. The Garden in Winter

You can enjoy a beautiful garden in the winter. The days may be short and the light poor, but colourful shrubs, trees, bulbs and other plants can liven the dreary winter landscape. In addition, the smell of scented plants can be especially tantalising at this time of the year. Leafless trees and shrubs can have attractive silhouettes. Plants with coloured bark, such as red-stemmed dogwood and mahogany-coloured Tibetan cherry are especially dramatic when side or back-lit by low winter sun...

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4 Growing Fruit

The satisfaction of growing your own fruit is not unlike the wonderful sensation on turning up the first new potatoes with a fork, when they suddenly appear like pale lumps of gold in the fresh, dark earth. Fruit growing is no longer the preserve of bossy old men wearing belt and braces, wielding buckets of tar wash and muttering darkly about bacterial canker, scab and woolly aphids...

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5 Container Gardening


As gardens become smaller and apartment living more popular, many people are growing plants in containers to decorate patios and balconies. Three of the most useful kinds of container are: Window boxes, hanging baskets, large planters. The style and material used in their construction should fit in with the proposed environment.Wood, reconstituted stone and terracotta are suitable for older houses but good quality plastic, fibreglass and concrete may be more suitable for modern homes.

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6 Hedges

Good hedges make good neighbours, but a hedge does much more than mark boundaries. It creates a shelter belt to protect everything in the garden and far more efficiently than walls or fences. It also provides a habitat for wildlife. Choice of plant will depend on the hedge’s intended purpose: as an impenetrable barrier, a formal screen for privacy or an informal, ornamental feature. There are over a score of suitable species, both evergreen and deciduous. A number of garden centres keep ‘avenues’ of mature specimens to aid you in your choice...

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7 Bulbs

Bulbs are an essential part of every garden. For reward without effort, they surely take the first prize. Many of them will grow in either full sun or shade and in practically any soil providing it is not waterlogged. With the minimum of attention, they will go on and on producing flowers year after year...

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8 Ornamental Grasses & Bamboo

When walking in the country or by the sea in autumn and winter, you cannot fail to notice and be inspired by how beautiful our wild grasses are in the natural landscape, swaying and shimmering in great drifts and borders along the roads and streams. After years in the wilderness, more and more gardeners are recognising their exceptional qualities, so that grasses are now at the very forefront of modern design...

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9 Herbacious Perennials

Perennials are among the most fashionable of garden plants you can grow. They are long-lived and very versatile plants. These are the plants which will come back bigger and better every year. There is a huge array to choose from – everything from old-fashioned cottage garden favourites like delphiniums, lupins and peonies to perennials which will grow in woodland conditions, for example primulas, hellebores and hostas. You will be able to find a perennial to suit most aspects and soil conditions. They are generally versatile and easy-to-grow...

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10 Go for Green !

I have heard it said that the reality of spring is seldom as momentous as the idea. Nonsense! Since late January I have been freed from the sentence of winter and become breathless just observing the succession of the earliest bulbs as they break ground. But any day now, early April,my attention will be directed to the lawn and the elimination of moss and weeds and the promotion of the finer grasses. You might like to follow suit for many can be in a dreadful state following a wet winter...

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11 Trees & Shrubs

In addition to being ornamental, trees and shrubs provide privacy and shade. They screen eyesores and provide habitats for wildlife. Long-lived, they need little attention once they are established. In terms of garden design, aim to have a combination of different shapes, contrasting colours of foliage and specimens that will provide interest at different times of the year...

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12 Safe and simple

Nothing can match the wonderful sounds of water in a garden. Whether cascading, bubbling or just trickling, it serves to relax the body and calm the nerves.Water adds movement, sound and visual stimulation, and helps to marry the elements of hard and soft landscaping, creating a more natural environment. The beauty about it is that installing a water feature in your garden is a relatively easy and inexpensive operation. This leaflet provides you with the information that you require to build a simple water feature, one which is safe, highly ornamental and inexpensive in material costs. The circulating pump (which is essential) will be the most expensive part...

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13 Roses

Of all the garden plants you can grow, roses offer the very best value. They flower for a long period, providing colour and fragrance. With a little care you can enjoy them year after year...

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14 Climbing plants

Climbing plants are an essential feature of every garden and they can be used to transform a wall, trellis or fence. Alternatively, you can grow climbing plants through other plants, especially shrub varieties that flower early in the season. A climbing plant can add that extra colour later in the year. As well as growing climbing plants simply for the flowers, berries or autumn colour, you can use them to disguise an unsightly oil tank, to screen dustbins or to conceal some other unattractive feature...

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15 Herbs and Vegetables in the Modern Garden

In recent years, no aspect of gardening has seen more innovation than growing herbs and vegetables. While the traditional cabbage/potato/carrot patch will continue to be cultivated, increased sales of greenhouses and mini poly tunnels means the Irish gardener is becoming more adventurous, planting aubergines, peppers, courgettes, sweet corn and chillies, all of which, planted outside in Ireland, would be a gamble. There is also a new emphasis on vegetables intended to be eaten raw and a whole raft of Eastern exotica. In addition to new plant varieties, new growing techniques are taking root, such as Companion Planting, the Continental intensive method known as ‘cut-and-come-again’ and American ‘edible landscaping’. In all, there has never been a better time to consider growing your own food...

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16 Garden Design Basics

A well-planned garden will bring only ease and pleasure, like a well-planned house or beautifully tailored clothes. A good design will create a sense of harmony, linking people to nature, linking the house, garage, sheds and other buildings to the landscape and the plants to the soil. Garden design is not simply a matter of choosing plants and arranging them on your site. Making a garden is a process, beginning with the soil and the seasons and involving everything from construction to the way in which you will use the space...

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17 Plants for Specific uses....

A garden that is a haven for wildlife will have a sound ecological balance. Plants will be healthier and more vigorous. There will be freer seeding and less need for chemicals because there will be fewer problems with pests. Birds, hedgehogs and frogs are the gardener’s best ally against slugs. Beneficial insects such as lacewings (larvae), ladybirds and hoverflies (larvae) eat aphids...

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18 Garden Styles: Plant selection

Too many gardens in Ireland are a hotchpotch of different styles and ideas. The most successful gardens usually have a theme and show an element of restraint in the choice of plants and artefacts. Several classical and natural styles have provided inspiration to gardeners for centuries ...

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19 Considering a Greenhouse

Imagine being able to leave the fog and the frost, the drizzle and the depressing dreariness of an Irish winter behind and set up a garden on a sub-tropical isle! Just think of being able to have a predictable climate for once, where one warm day follows another and the depressions which sweep in from the Atlantic were something to pray for rather than curse! Paradise? Wishful thinking? Perhaps, yet for many, the dream has already arrived as those with even the most modest of glasshouses will testify!...

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20 Hassle Free Gardening

Gardening should be fun, but there is no such thing as totally labour free gardening. Growing plants necessarily involves some work but this can be reduced to a minimum if the right approach is taken. Plants want to live but too many people fuss over them unnecessarily. Not only do they make extra work for themselves but they also harm their plants in the process and even kill them with kindness. For example, many plants succumb each year through the use of too much fertiliser or too much water. Growth of trees and shrubs is often checked for decades by too deep planting...

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