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Do you want a show garden out of your window?

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It's the season for flower shows and whether it's Chelsea, Tatton or your local flower show, you see these amazing spaces and possibly think I want that!

How much is it a reality?

To start with the 'garden' is designed to look great for just a few days, you may have heard how this year many of the Chelsea gardens had a different variety of plants in bloom due to the early Spring and mild temperatures. In the floral pavilions some plants were displayed that have not previously been seen there.

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A visit to York Gate Garden

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There’s always something new to see at York Gate, the renowned garden in Leeds developed by the Spencer family over 40 years. Its design draws inspiration from the Arts & Crafts movement- but its impeccable appearance today is a testament to the many volunteers who keep it looking its best all year round. I live nearby so get to see the garden at every season.

I went back this week to see what the garden has to offer in July. Set in a pastoral landscape and surrounded by trees, York Gate has been designed as a series of interlocking garden ‘rooms’ and narrow hedged walkways. Each is distinctively different but all are characterised by beautifully laid out detailed planting.

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Get ready to shop!

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Some tips for getting the most from a trip to the garden centre

Ever been to your local garden centre or online nursery chosen some gorgeous plants, only to find you've actually no idea where to plant them?…either there's no room in the border, or the colour doesn't fit, or it just looks plain wrong. So I thought I'd write this week with some tips to help you avoid this annoying (and expensive) situation.

1. Collect dreams!

Keep a file of pictures of gardens, plants and borders that really appeal to you. Pinterest is a great place to find this sort of thing. Or cut pictures from magazines and brochures. On an idle afternoon, with a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) in hand, have a look through them.

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Weeds and How to Control Them

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Oh joy! It’s raining again and the weeds are sky-high! 

Its June, it’s raining and the weeds are madly growing. They are the Formula 1 cars of the plant world, zooming ahead into pole position while your specially-bought-and-cared for plants often lurk sulking in the background.

And how quickly this seems to happen! In April your garden looks great, daffodils flowering, then tulips or maybe bluebells.....you go away over a bank holiday or two and ta da! it's all turned to dandelions and couch grass.

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From Dream to Reality: How to Choose a Garden Designer

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You’ve decided to enlist the services of a garden designer – someone experienced in translating your wishes into reality. How do you find one and how do you decide who to commission?

Finding the right designer for you One of the best ways to find a good designer is through personal recommendation; ask around your friends and colleagues; do they know a designer or anyone who has had a garden or planting design? If so, ask them more about it – did their designer take the time to understand their wishes? Did they feel they got value for money? Was the project completed on time? Another suggestion is to look on the Society of Garden Designers website the UK body for garden design.

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Take Charge of your Garden

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Designing your own garden space

It’s time to get the garden ready for summer. But this is also the time of year when some of us realise we need to do a more thorough job than just mowing the lawn and pulling out a few weeds. In fact, with a sinking heart we realise we need a garden overhaul.

If you’re in this situation, the good news is that there are some simple steps to take which can really help you make the right decisions about what needs to go where in your garden. So read on for some tips on how to get going.

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Garden Design in winter?!?

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So this summer you’d like to be enjoying a glass of wine whilst watching the children play in a well thought out outdoor space? It might be a cold winter day in Harrogate, Wetherby or Leeds - but now’s the perfect time to start planning your new garden. The garden design process starts by instructing a garden designer and finishes with that perfect garden in the heat of June – well maybe not cracking-the-flagstones hot but hot enough to sit outside and enjoy your garden! 

To get your new garden designed and built is a bespoke project, developed to suit your needs and tastes. It’s worth taking the time to do it properly – just like with a new kitchen, you need to consider exactly what you need and how it will look before getting it installed.

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