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The perfect plant for the perfect place

Greg explains why you shouldn’t necessarily buy plants on impulse and how a bit of careful planning can help you get the most from your garden.

“We bought loads of plants last year but most of them have died.” A sentence I hear over and over again from clients who have set out with the best intentions of improving their gardens, only to be left disappointed. Many put this down to “not being very good at looking after plants”. When in truth, if planted in the right spot - -many plants will look after themselves and even the most inexperienced of gardeners can reap the benefits.

Take a stroll round the garden centre (in more normal times), and there in front of you is a mass display of vibrant colour -usually highlighted with special ‘buy it now’ prices!

It’s the gardener’s equivalent of that Kitkat next to the checkout at the petrol station which somehow always finds its way heading back to your car with you (if you haven’t eaten it before you get there).

While both of these can certainly give you some short-term pleasure – they probably weren’t what you set out to buy that day and could live to regret your purchases.

Before buying any plant, you should always ask yourself these 3 questions.

How will it look the rest of the year? It’s all very well buying a plant that is in full bloom when you bring it home – but how long will those flowers last and will the plant offer anything else during different seasons?

Is there space for it to thrive? It can sometimes be difficult to imagine a plant grown to its full size when it is in a small pot in the display, but it is always important to check the eventual height and spread of plants, as you could end up with something a lot bigger than you bargained for!

Is it right for my garden?

Planting a Lavender hedge is a lovely idea. It smells fantastic, the bees love it and the combination of purple flowers and silver foliage is stunning. If the spot you had in mind for that hedge however, receives little direct sunlight or is boggy for 6 months of the year – it might be wise to think of an alternative plant.

It’s always wise to carry out a bit of research prior to any plant purchases. Assess where in your garden receives sunlight and for how much of the day.

Also think about your soil type. Are you on Clay, or is your soil free draining? Is the soil acidic or alkaline? Is it important to you that the borders look great all year, or are you happy for colour just in the summer months?

If soil science seems a bit too complicated – a good indicator is to take a look at what plants are doing well in your neighbours’ gardens. If you notice that Rhododendrons and Camelias seem to be thriving, then the chances are you have acidic soil and similar plants are likely to do well in your own space.

Remember that plants are living things and it’s important to keep them that way! A polar bear wouldn’t cope for long in the desert and likewise a Cistus won’t survive for very long in a boggy woodland!

If it all still seems a bit too much, we’re on hand to help and have a range of plant packages suitable for any garden. Simply let us know a bit about your space and we can ensure you get the perfect plants for the perfect place.

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