Garden Design

Garden Tips

Garden tips for January

Lawns and Borders

Remove leaves and debris from lawns and borders and place in your compost heap, with a sprinkle of soil and an activator. Keep off lawns where possible when they are frosted or covered in snow.


Shoots of tulips against slugs - use slug pellets.


Remove dead leaves and surround with grit to provide good drainage.

Conifers & shrubs

Remove snow to prevent damage to branches - I use a brush!


Finish digging patches when the weather is suitable.

Routine tasks

Order seeds from catalogues received in autumn and plan your vegetable and herb garden for the forthcoming season.
Clear spent crops and weeds. Check stored crops for any decay or insects.


Garden tips for February


Start your Onion sets under glass and also commence chitting your potatoes.
Lime the ground wherever your brassicas are located.

Sweet Peas

If you haven't sown your sweet peas last autumn now is the time to do just that, placing a seed in each small modular tray and keep under glass.


Spray your fruit trees and bushes with an appropriate winter wash and finish winter pruning. Don't forget to cut away the old canes on your Raspberries and plant out Gooseberry and Currant bushes when there is no frost or snow.
Start forcing your Rhubarb by darkening the environment around the plant - an upturned dustbin does the trick! Feed around the crowns by applying well rotted farm yard manure.


Towards the of February prune winter flowering Jasmine to tidy up and provide some fertilizer for your plants.
Prune your Wisteria back to 2 buds.


Apply fertilizer and well rotted compost to your garden boarders, rose beds and vegetable plots.
Continue to plant bareroot trees and shrubs if no frost is present.
Deadhead Hydrangeas cutting above the upper most bud.


Garden tips for March


Prune roses and late flowering shrubs.


Tidy all your garden boarders and edge your lawn for a neat appearance.


Divide Herbaceous Perennials and share with friends especially if they have outgrown their position.


Replant trees and shrubs weather permitted.


Sow more vegetable seeds and annual bedding for your summer display.

Ferns and Grasses

Trim ferns and ornamental grasses - Miscanthus sinensis etc should now be cut back to ground level - you will see the new shoots already starting for the new year!


Garden tips for April


Remove suckers from your roses and re-firm if necessary.

Water Feature

If you have a water feature within your garden check the pump is working following the cold snap. Clean your pond or water feature removing debris and pond weed. A pair of old tights helps prevent your pump from clogging up the filter!


Fertilize your garden bulbs after flowering and leave them to naturally die back.
Plant bulbs for your summer display eg Lilies.


Lightly trim your lavenders but only lightly to keep them tidy.


Carry out lawn maintenance operations: aerate, feed and re sow where appropriate. Mow weekly setting the blade high.


Garden tips for May

Rock Garden

'Top dress' your rock garden with an equal mix of loam, sharp sand and peat and add a handful of fertilizer to each bucketful of dressing.


Weed and thin annuals and other seedlings and prick out and transplant as required.


Apply your leaf mould to garden borders especially acid-lovers e.g. Azaleas & Camellias.

Pot Plants

Plants such as Fuchsias, Geraniums and Verbenas that have been kept in pots through the winter may be planted out in beds or borders as the weather warms up and when no further frost is forecast.


Repair any patches within your lawn, cut regularly as weather allows and feed with Spring and Summer.


Plant lettuce, radish, spring onions and wintergreens and late crop potatoes may be chitted. Don't forget Potato 'Maxine' which is a 2nd early! French and runner beans can be sown in late May. Give a little fertilizer before planting. Earth up potatoes when the foliage height becomes about 10".
Tomatoes may be planted in a cold greenhouse. Remove any side shoots and feed when first truss appears.


May be planted in cold greenhouse. Remove any side shoots and feed when first truss appears.


Spray Gooseberry bushes and Strawberry plants against fungus diseases with safe insecticide.

Hanging baskets, tubs & pots

Plant up in the later part of this month/early June. Ensure drainage in your pots, fill with multi-purpose compost and regularly water and feed your plants to ensure your colourful display this summer.


To keep until next year, wait until the leaves go yellow then cut them off the bulb and brush soil off bulb. Let them dry over night then dust with a fungicide and store in a paper bag. Replant in November.


Feed your roses in the middle of May for wonderful blooms this summer.

Box hedges

Trim Box hedges for neat appearance and on young trees cut away dead wood which should be clearly visible this time of year. Check if a tree stakes are still needed and loosen as required.


Garden tips for June


Clip Privet every 3 weeks if you wish to maintain a formal hedge.


Prune Philadelphus before it flowers and allow more light and air for healthy growth. Don't forget to prune the older stems of the Deutzia and Weigela and cut hard back post flowering.

Summer Bedding in baskets

Plant out from the end of May if no frost forecast and enjoy your long awaited colour.


Californian poppies directly into the soil for colour and encourage hoverflies as the larvae feed on aphid.
Winter beetroot for your vegetable garden.


Remove side shoots and set up supports for them to train/tie in.


Raise your Marrows, Pumpkins and Courgettes in your glasshouse and plant out other veg such as Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sweet Pepper etc.


Watch out for aphids on roses, tomatoes and soft fruits and for sawfly on gooseberries - purchase appropriate insecticide.


Cut often but not too close and avoid treatments in dry periods.

Routine tasks

Pinch out the growing points of sweet peas, broad and runner beans.
Earth up your potatoes and spray Celery if celery fly present.
Stop cucumbers outside after 5-6 leaves and remove flowering shoots from your Rhurbarb.
Cut leaves of French tarragon for drying and propagate rosemary from heel cuttings.


Garden tips for July


Plant Broccoli now and start sowing French Beans for September cropping.
Sow your cabbage for next spring.


Deadhead Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Erica, Lilac, Laburnum and Geraniums.


Watch out for aphids on your lovely roses, tomatoes and soft fruits and for sawfly on gooseberries.

Newly Planted

Trees, shrubs and other garden plants - give a good soak if the soil starts to dry out - the best time for planting in April or September to ensure they are well watered in!!!


Remove blooms as they fade and feed regularly. Prevent blackspot and mildew by regularly applying chemicals.
Remove any suckers from the lower section of the plant.


Remove growing points to help plant bush out.

Sweet Peas

Remove side shoots and tendrils, feed regularly, they also like lots of water.


Propagate half-hardy plants e.g. Fuchsias, Petunias, Verbenas and Pelargoniums. Those cuttings that have rooted should be planted in pots to keep indoors over winter. Now is also a good time to clip and take cuttings from Box, Lavenders and Sage.


Shrubs to formal shapes such as Yew trees and Hollies.


Garden tips for August

Wishlist to move plants around

Make a note of plants dying off for you to move in the autumn months.


Check all plants regularly for these lovely aphids and spray with appropriate insecticide.


Keep on deadheading your roses to encourage a second flush of flowers.


Cut sweet pea blooms and continue to deadhead your bedding plants in pots and containers.


Towards the end of August beautiful bulbs appear in shops and garden centres. Look out for Tulipa 'Prestans Fusilier' these are miniature, multiheaded and lovely rich red - they are a delight.

Sowing outside

Plant Onion sets outdoors for over wintering as well as Angelica, Salad Onions, Spring Lettuce, Winter corn salad and Spinach.


Harvest all your lovely crops following your seasons hard work, store in a dry cool place.


Garden tips for September


Trim your hedges to provide a neat finished before the winter months. Fagus sylvatica (purple Beech) has lovely bright red shoots on their new growth. Propagate these shoots and hopefully you will have new plants this time next year.
Never cut into brown wood on conifers.


Cut out old canes after fruiting - Mulch generously as they are shallow rooting and start to empty your well rotted composting.


Cuttings may be taken now, insert 4/5 in a 5" pot which can be kept on a windowsill until spring.


Remove growing points to make bushy.


Sow new lawns and re-seed worn areas. Aerate and top dress with a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium and low in nitrogen. Mow with blades not too low. Cover patches of moss in lawns with sharp sand and rake out when black.


Purchase Prepared hyacinth bulbs to ensure flowering for Christmas.
Early varieties of daffodils such as Narcissus 'February Gold'.

Trees & Shrubs

Plant trees, shrubs and roses, adding peat & fertiliser to the soil and watering well. This time is ideal to plant conifers and other evergreens.


Garden tips for October


Remove and fork in a dressing of well rotted manure or compost and plant up with bulbs, polyanthus, pansies and wallflowers.


Lift tubers as soon as tops are blackened by frost. Cut stems to two to tree inches and store in a deep box, with soil cover, where temperatures will not fall below 34ºF

Sweet Peas

Sow under cover and protect from mice.


Finish lifting potatoes, beetroot, carrots and parsnips.


Plant new Rhubarb crowns.
Finish picking and store apples and pears.
Fix grease bands to fruit trees.

Autumn Digging

This is important to clear annual weeds and enables frost to penetrate and break up the rough dug soil and apply Lime.


Cover with plastic netting to keep fallen leaves out.

Hardy boarder plants

These can be divided and replanted in enriched soil.


Protect woolly leaved plants from wet, which can rot the foliage. Trim spreading plants and protect saxifrage, rock geraniums from being chocked by fallen leaves.

Fallen leaves

Keep lawns clear to prevent damage to grass. Add leaves to compost or put in opaque plastic bag to rot down, moisten the leaves and pierce a few holes in the bag.

House Plants

Avoid leaving plants on cold window sills behind curtains. Place Christmas cactus in a room that doesn't have a light on in the evening.


Garden tips for November

Kitchen garden

Dig over vacant plots so that frost may do its work. Working in well rotted manure or garden compost now or in Spring.


Now is the time to check that the structure is sound and that all rubbish and dead plant material is cleared. Wash down with disinfectant. Bring in late Chrysanthemums and tender plants for over-wintering.


Now is the time to take Carnation & Chrysanthemum cutting. Do not over water.

Trees & Shrubs

Cut back roses by half to prevent wind or snow damage.

New roses & deciduous trees

These may be planted now. Add fertilizer to soil, but not directly to roots. Stake well until roots develop.

Garden hand tools

Check and maintain. Clean and sharpen blades of secateurs and spades. Apply linseed oil to wooden handles.

Winter tidy up

Sort out your container & pots by disposing of annuals on the compost heap and keep tender perennials in a conservatory or greenhouse.

Store Vegetables

They must be in dry, dark, cool conditions with good ventilation, preferably on slatted trays.


Garden tips for December


Light is very important at this time of year, so keep glass as clean as possible and provide ventilation whenever possible.

Cut down

Chrysanthemums after flowering and stand in pots in cold frames.


Collect fallen leaves and bin the to avoid black spot. Spray ground now and at leaf burst.


Avoid walking on when covered by frost or snow. Keep leaf free.
Prepare ground ready for sowing grass seed in spring.

Christmas Wreaths

Collect plant materials for Christmas / festive decorations.


Remove old leaves from cabbages and sprouts to reduce the risk of botrytis. Also check any stored crops for mould.


Start forcing Rhubarb in the dark and plant new fruit trees, bushes & cane fruits.
Prune Apples and Pear trees.

Trees & Shrubs

Continue to plant root-wrapped roses, trees & shrubs if the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.
Knock snow off evergreens so the branches don't break under the weight.
Select your Christmas tree, Holly & mistletoe in good time for the festive season.


Scatter slug pellets around Christmas roses to prevent damage.
Check corms & tubers in store for rot. Dust with sulphate to deter diseases.

Prune roses, firm around the bases.

Sow half hardy annuals in your glasshouse and pot up Lilies for early indoor displays.