Well, the weather really can’t decide whether to warm up properly or give us a bit more winter for good measure! But spring is definitely on the way, with trees showing blossom despite the occasional cold snaps and hail storms in Oxfordshire recently.
I don’t know about you, but I think March is one of the most exciting months for gardeners as it’s when we get to plan our planting scheme for the coming year. The garden is your oyster in March, as you can plan almost anything you want, so it’s fun to grab those seed and cutting catalogues and get creative.
Three Cottage Garden Climbers
A climbing plant can be a really useful feature in a garden, covering up all manner of evils, from broken fences to boring walls. We’ve got three easy to grow climbing plants that give beautiful displays of flowers with a really traditional cottage garden feel for a dull corner of your garden.
Wisteria’s delicate drooping sprays of flowers come in many different shades, but we particularly like the striking purple-blossomed varieties that make a dramatic dark background to summer planting. Wisteria can grow up to nine metres in height and flowers between May and June. It requires some low level maintenance – you’ll need to prune around three times a year. And if you find your wisteria isn’t flowering as much as you’d like, give it potassium feed.
Perhaps the most popular garden climber in the UK, clematis is a true country cottage classic. It’s extremely versatile and can be grown on walls, trellises or just left wild to grow through woodpiles or shrubs. Clematis is easy to train and climbs well without getting too big and straggly, so you can create lots of different effects with it. It flowers between July and September, depending on the species, and grows up to three metres in height.
The beautiful scent and delicate flowers of jasmine are its main draw for gardeners. It comes in a range of different varieties and colours, with the majority flowering between June and August, but you can buy some that flower in winter too. Jasmine can be trained and shaped effectively to create garden features around trellises or frames.
Spring Lawn Care
March is a good time of year to be thinking about re-turfing any bare patches of your lawn. A common question I get asked is whether laying fresh rolls of turf or sowing seeds on bare patches is the best solution, so here are the pros and cons of each.
Seedlings: a good option if you’re on a budget, because seedlings aren’t expensive and you can cover a lot of ground. There are also all sorts of speciality types available for problem spots or different textures of grass. The drawback is that once you’ve sown you need to give the ground two to three months before you can step on it, so that area of the lawn will be out of bounds. You also risk birds stealing the seed before it has a chance to grow too.
Fresh turf: laying turf is much more expensive than sowing grass seed, but the advantage of that investment is that once its laid you can walk on the ground after only a couple of weeks, so this is a good option if you don’t mind some cash outlay and need the garden to be accessible quickly.
As the weather warms up, keep cutting the grass on regular basis, setting the blade height slightly lower. While you’re doing this, check if your lawn could do with any treatments to combat moss and weed patches. You can buy products to treat lawns at the garden centre, but bear in mind that off-the-shelf solutions can be watered down in strength, so if the problem is deep-seated it may be more effective to bring in a local company to do an assessment and quote for the work using stronger treatments.
Artificial Turf Oxford
Had enough of struggling with a threadbare lawn or dragging the mower out of the shed? You might want to consider a craze that’s sweeping the UK; artificial turf. And we’re not talking butcher’s window quality here! New artificial turf products now on the market give an incredibly realistic look and a choice of effects and lengths. You just have to be careful when laying artificial turf that you get the job right, to avoid problems like water logging.
Acorns Landscape and Gardening have introduced a new artificial turf-laying service; we can order the variety you’d like and lay it quickly with no hassle, and no more mowing! Click here to find out more.
If you’ve kept on top of your pruning over the autumn, most plants will already be cut back and waiting to blossom again this year. But there are some that may need some extra attention. Buddleia, for example, can start to take over an area if it isn’t kept back, so cut it down to a height of three to four feet, depending on the stem thickness. Doing this will also mean the plant produces more blossom later in the year.
Acorns Landscape and Gardening has been open for business ten years this month! We’ve noticed that people in Oxford and the surrounding areas have become more and more interested in their gardens over this time, with trends for grow-your-own veg, wildlife gardening and new features like raised beds becoming hugely popular. We also love the craze for more traditional styles of garden, where we’re seeing a lot of fluid, cottage-garden style planting.
Want to get your nightmare garden under control so you can start growing your own or planting a cottage border? Check out our Garden Clearance service.