Planning A Garden Party?

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Top Tip

Whatever the weather, you need to feed plants regularly.

What better reason to have a garden party than the upcoming royal celebration? There's plenty of time to prepare your garden in regal fashion; here's my top tips for a colourful summer....

Colour theme - the obvious combination this year must be red, white and blue. Lobelia is still #1 when it comes to blue bedding plants but if you're looking for something bigger to put in a border or in pots either side of the front door than a blue hydrangea may be just what you're looking for.

Lupins and cornflowers can also provide a summer of bright blue. For red and white there's an endless choice from geraniums to roses; for a more exotic look plant white zantedeschia in the middle of a pot partnered with red and blue.  

It is widely reported that the Queen's favourite colour is blue so if you want to work with one colour then this has to be the one for 2022. Shades of blue could look fantastic. Petunias, surfinia, verbena can work well in a hanging basket. Maybe add a central white geranium or white bacopa to mix with the blue shades. Blue doesn't have to come from flowers as Festuca Intense Blue is a genuinely blue grass that looks superb in pots or borders. Looking to plant a tree as part of the Jubilee Canopy? Eucalyptus will continue the blue theme or a fruit tree will bring pleasure to many for years to come. Short of space? Many of the trees we sell are perfect in small gardens with some being suitable for planting in large pots and oak barrels.

If you want to bring your garden to the party plate then there's a number of edible flowers that can be grown. Nasturtium, pansy and violas are the most popular, but you can also use chive blossoms, lavender, borage or dianthus to add colour and flavour to cakes and salads. Experiment to discover your favourite. Have you ever added Rose petals to ice cubes, cakes or ice cream? I find the darker the petal the more intense a flavour you get.

How to keep your party flowering all summer long.... whatever the weather, you need to feed plants regularly and remove flowers as they go over. I alternate my plant feeding between Big Tom tomato food (encourages lots of flowers) and Miracle-Gro (good all round food) and find these two work really well together.

THE garden show of the year, RHS Chelsea, will soon be with us. If you're watching or visiting do look out for the Greenfingers Charity stand. We're delighted to be supporting their exhibit this year. Greenfingers have created 60 gardens at Children's Hospices across the UK over the last 22 years, and they continue to build new and revisit old gardens.

Boyd J Douglas Davies, May 2022

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