A beginner's guide to gardening: how to keep your garden looking spectacular until spring
- Credit: RHS
Whether you’re looking to transform your garden into a tranquil setting for late-summer BBQs, or keen to get planting for 2022, we’re here to help.
Duncan’s top tips:
1. Buy herbaceous plants – they will grow back bigger and better next year if they’re well looked after, and are great value for money. Summer perennials are ideal for filling gaps in displays and will be in full bloom in our RHS garden centres this August.
2. Add evergreens to your outdoor space to for a splash of colour throughout the winter.
3. Select different varieties of plant to ensure you have a mix of sizes that will flower at different months throughout the year.
Below Duncan shares some of his favourites:
Dahlias – stunning and ideal flowers for beginners
Dahlias are great for those who are new to gardening and come in a range of varieties that can be planted up until the end of September. Dahlias are available in a wide range of varieties and can fit most garden spaces from small containers through to four foot sizes and will add instant impact to your space.
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I advise planting them at the same level as the soil, in a sunny spot, and giving them lots of water right away.
How to look after your Dahlias: Grown to be elaborate and flowery, Dahlias need a lot of water and good light, and as they reach optimum height, they require a larger container too.
Top care tip: If it’s a good day to hang the washing out, your dahlias probably need a drink.
Echinaceas – easy to care for, and fantastically bright
Echinaceas come in a variety of colours and shades and are great for injecting personality into your outdoor space. They’re trouble-free and grown by specially selected nurseries.
RHS Garden Centres work with specialist UK growers who cultivate the plants to reach their best quality, so you don’t have to.
With rigid upright stems and cone-shaped flowers whose petals sweep away backwards, Echinaceas flower in late summer, and will add a distinctive flair to any garden or container.
How to look after your Echinaceas: Keep them cool and dry and out of direct sunlight prior to planting. Make sure to deadhead them so they continue to flower throughout the season.
Top care tip: If you allow your Echinaceas to mature, goldfinches and tits will enjoy feasting on the mature seed heads into the winter months - a beautiful sight to behold as they clutch the stems to feed.
Alliums - an iconic autumnal bulb
As you start preparing your garden for next spring, I recommend planting Alliums. They are a popular bulb to buy in autumn and should be planted as soon as possible from August onwards for brilliant displays next year.
Bold, green foliage appears early in the season before blossoming into a stunning pom-pom that promises to impress your garden guests, whilst proving to be an attraction for bypassing bees.
The best thing you can do is to buy the bulbs loose and plant them in groups of three and five or in long drifts. It’s important to remember where you’ve planted them so you don’t plant over them.
How to look after your allium bulbs: Keep them cool, dry and out of direct sunlight prior to planting.
Top care tip: Allium leaves can look a little untidy as they fade when the flower initiates. Some smaller herbaceous perennials will mask the foliage and allow the flowers to present themselves.
RHS Garden Centres have fantastic experts on-hand in-store to advise and answer any questions, no matter how big or small. So, whether you’re embarking on your gardening journey or are fully green-fingered already, they’re a great source of inspiration and advice before you get growing.
To find your nearest RHS Garden Centre visit shop.rhs.org.uk/store-locator
No booking or garden visitation is required to shop in RHS Garden Centres.