Plant bareroot roses now for the best display this summer

January is the peak season for planting bareroot roses. What better way to beat the January blues than getting our in the garden and planting some roses for next summer. Using bareroot plants will give you the widest choice of plants at better prices than container plants. Planting now when plants are dormant will help them to quickly become established in the garden, and ready to start growing a soon as the weather warms up.

Here are a selection of beautiful varieties from David Austin, visit their website to see the full range.

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll Climbing rose

Claire Austin

Claire Austin

Gentle Hermione

Gentle Hermione

Tuscany Superb

Tuscany Superb

Find out more about planting and caring for bare root plants at the RHS website.


How to keep your garden interesting in the winter

Anyone can achieve a beautiful, colourful summer garden whether it’s a carefully planned herbaceous border or pots of annuals, but to keep your garden interesting in winter and inviting enough to tempt you outside in the cold, that’s a really tricky one! You also want to consider the view from your house, and the rooms that overlook your front and back gardens.

As a basis you need to include a certain amount of evergreens to keep a good overall structure, those that do drop their leaves should have elegant structures, colourful bark or winter berries.

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ is a medium sized shrub with stems that become brilliant red in winter.

Cotoneaster horizontalis is a climbing shrub with bright berries in autumn to early winter.

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii has stunning purple berries.

Acer griseum the Paper-bark Maple has beautiful autumn leaves and fascinating peeling bark.

Buxus sempervirens look good all year round clipped into balls, low hedges or topiary.

Try adding another layer to your garden with sculptures, salvages items such as old chimney pots, or sculptural plant supports, that will look good when they are not covered in plants.

Choose structures with interesting shapes that will look good in the winter.

Make use of areas under deciduous trees and shrubs to plant winter flowering bulbsĀ  like snowdrops or hellebores which start flowering in February. One of the main problems with a winter garden is bare earth. Planting densely will help keep areas covered, but if you have to leave and area of earth bare, make sure you mulch to protect it through the winter and it also looks much neater.

And finally, don’t forget to include some winter flowering shrubs such as camellia, honeysuckle, daphne odora and mahonia.

Here are some ideas for winter plants from Crocus

My sunny herbacious border – a work in progress

I just thought I’d share some shots of my garden this summer as see if anyone has any comments on how to improve, I’m always looking for new ideas and combinations of plants that work well together. Here I’m concentrating on a long border down the south facing side of my garden, other areas are still a work in progress, hopefully I will be sharing those with you next year when they are a bit more developed.

The main challenge in my garden is that the soil is very dry and sandy as we live quite close to the beach, and this south facing border bakes all day so anything even slightly delicate just shrivels or gets mildew. This years disaster was the delphiniums at the back, the flowers looked okay peeping over the top but the leaves were covered in mildew.

Salvias front left also succumbed to the dreaded mildew, I have replaced these now with gaura tutti frutti, we’ll see how they fair next year. One lonely orange poppy there too, these were in profusion slightly earlier in the year and added a real splash of colour, but I’m not sure whether to replace these with papaver “Perry’s White’ for a more harmonious look.