Monthly Archives: January 2014

Witch Hazel

Creating winter flair – plants for January colour

January is a rather somber month. The dull grey days, with wet miserable weather coupled with cold temperatures really dampens the mood of any garden. There is a ray of hope however and you can, believe it or not, inject some January colour and scent into your garden to lift the mood!

Witch Hazels (Hamamelis species)

Witch Hazels are a deciduous shrub that really come into their own during the deepest winter months. They have unusual, brightly coloured flowers that are highly scented, borne on their bare stems from January through to March and look stunning in the garden.

Top Tips for Witch Hazel

  • Plant in a sunny position, avoiding exposed windy areas.
  • Plant in neutral or acid soil.
  • Make sure that the plant doesn’t dry out or your witch hazel may not produce any flowers!

Skimmia (Skimmia japonica cultivars)

Skimmia plants are reliably hardy and beautiful providing clusters of vivid red berries (Female plants) or group spikes of delicately scented red/white flowers (Male plants) from December though to March.

You can also get Skimmias that produce both flowers and berries on the same plant without the need for separate male and female plants!

Top Tips for Skimmia

  • Skimmias like part or full shade, they will scorch in full sun.
  • They can be planted in just about any soil type as long as it is free draining.
  • Skimmias can also be grown and look great in containers!

Christmas Box (Sarcocca species)

Christmas box is a lovely, low growing, evergreen shrub that in January and February produce clusters of small white flowers (which are very well hidden underneath the foliage) that have a wonderfully strong scent to them!

Plant near a door way or a path to get the best out of the plants unbelievable scent.

Top Tips for Christmas Box

  • Christmas box likes to be planted in full or partial shade.
  • An excellent plant for use as unusual ground cover.
  • Prune lightly each year to maintain shape and encourage new growth.

So despite the miserable weather and soggy looking gardens, you can inject some well needed colour and wonderful scent into your garden – even in January!

Witch Hazel:

longacres_blog_witch_hazel

Skimmia:

longacres_blog_skimmia

Christmas Box:

longacres_blog_sarcocca

Let your garden ideas blossom: tips for decorating your garden

Garden statues, sculptures, water features and ornaments enhance the beauty and splendour of a garden. They can be set amongst shrubbery, partly obscured from view or highlighted and placed on columns or pedestals at various points throughout the garden.

Choosing garden ornaments is an art, but it has its own set of rules. Here are some simple guidelines to help you chose the right garden furniture and decorations for your garden.

Statues

Statues can be used subtly throughout your garden, or in a more formal manner, depending on the figure. To make them stand out, consider the following:

  • Keep in mind the plants you have. Arrange in a way that both figurine and plants work together and do not compete for attention.
  • Limit the number of pieces per area. Make sure every piece can stand on its own and is easily viewable.
  • Formal pieces, such as busts, are best in a formal setting, while charming little pieces are better in informal or country style gardens.

Centrepieces

Some homeowners love to highlight a particular plant or ornament as the centrepiece of the whole garden. If you plan to do the same, make sure that the piece works well with the rest of the landscape. Whether it is a water feature, sundial, large birdbath, or even a barbecue, it should go well with the existing trees, grass, shrubs and climbers already found in your garden.

Accent Pieces

Your theme should focus on items that blend with your garden, not ones that compete with it. For example bush gardens often don’t go well with a classic Greek statue. Plants, trees and flowerbeds should double as an accent as well as standalone elements. Less is more and one or two well-chosen pieces can be more effective than several random items put together.

Get in touch with us now and we will be glad to help you find the right plants, garden furniture, and ornaments that will make your outdoor space a beautiful and relaxing place to spend time.