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A Word About….Mulching

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Once you’ve improved your border soil, added some beautiful new plants, and stepped back to admire the view, it’s job done – isn’t it? There is one more thing you need to do and that is mulching.

What is a mulch and why should we use it?

A mulch is a topping for the soil. It can be inorganic – such as slate chippings, or organic – such as bark chippings, composted straw or garden compost from your compost bin or your garden centre. You will find that mulching helps set off your new plants to their best advantage, as well as reducing dirt splashing onto their leaves.

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I Love Clematis

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Five reasons why you should grow these amazing climbing plants

Clematis are a large and versatile flowering plant group.  Most of them are climbing plants, which naturally twine around twigs, trellis or other plants to grow up towards the sun.  They are great for adding flowering fun to boring fences or growing up an obelisk or pergola to give height in the garden.  A few spread along the ground instead and make lovely long-flowering ground cover.  I have around 20 clematis growing in my garden – and can always find room for more!  Here's why:

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How to Spruce Up Your Garden - Part 1

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So a new year, possibly a new garden……  In this blog I am writing about the development of a major garden project we designed and installed last year in north Leeds.  It is the first in a series I am writing showing how we design and implement our gardens. 

I’m also going to give you some tips on how you can improve your own garden.

We were approached in March and asked if we could design the large front and rear garden surrounding a substantial house.

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How to Spruce Up Your Garden - Part 2

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This is the second blog post in our short series on the design and implementation of a large garden in North Leeds last year.  Today I am looking at the planting in the rear garden and giving you inspiration for your own outdoor space.

Recycling plants

This garden had quite a few mature shrubs but the weeds were winning the battle, and most had not had a yearly prune, so they had grown lopsided or too dense.  It is always difficult to decide what is worth retaining; mature shrubs not only save money but give a good structure to a newly designed and planted garden, if they have been properly trained and are in the right position to suit the new design. 

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Easy edibles with children

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At North Leeds Garden Design we’re frequently asked to include some space for edibles within the borders we design. ‘Growing your own’ is especially popular with families, keen to introduce the kids to the enjoyment of digging and planting – and the excitement of picking and eating! 

There are educational benefits for the children too – learning effortlessly about the cycle of growth and decay, and the way sunshine and rain are both needed to get a good crop. 

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It’s snowdrop time!

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Snowdrops are the showstoppers of late winter.  As their elegant green spikes push up through the frost and snow, you can sense life returning where all has seemed barren.   Many of us grow a few in our own gardens, where they look lovely grown scattered around the bole of a tree, naturalising in the grass, or just in a border or tub. 

Gardens around the country also open specially from February so that people can enjoy the experience of walking amongst drifts of snowdrops, like a light snowfall on the grass.  The lovely display is over within the month - but, if you live north of Birmingham, the good news is you’re still in time to enjoy a snowdrop walk!

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Natures’ winter pick-me-ups

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At this time of year we get a lot of pretty gloomy advice in the media - supposedly to help us deal with the after–effects of the Christmas period; the weight we’ve added to our hips… and lost from our wallets!  Added to that there’s the dark evenings, the mountain of work to do, and the 6 months to wait before our next chance of some time off.  It can all feel rather depressing.

So today I am going to cheer us up by reminding you of some of the good things nature has on offer to help us get rid of the winter blues.   Here are three of my favourite seasonal pick-me-ups you might like to try:

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