Pruning roses. The right cut

March 23, 2008

Rose pruning the right cut

It is important to use sharp secateures to make a clean cut. A blunt blade will make a bruised cut where disease can enter. Rose pruning sharp secateures

Cut at an angle in the same direction as the outward facing bud is pointing.

Rose correct pruningThe cut should be close to an outward facing but with the cut not too close or distant from the bud.

Here are some examples of the right way and wrong way to prune your roses.

Rose pruning - cut too far from bud This branch was cut in autumn to reduce wind rock. The brach needs to be cut back harder.

 Rose pruning  -wrong angle This cut is too far from a bud and at the wong angle. The red line indicates the correct andgle and distance from an outward facing bud.

 Rose pruning cut too close to bud This cut is just a bit too close to the bud.

Rose pruning - wrong This cut was made with a blunt blade and disease has set in. Although the shoot looks healthy it will be fighting disease rather than healthy new growth.

David Austin suggest using shears to trim your roses in to an attractive dome.

Pruning roses is not difficult or complicated as some like to make out. In the wild, herbivoures nibble off branches and the plants have evolved to cope with this ‘pruning’. Pruning encourages new healthy growth.

Rose pruning remove diseased branches Remove all dead and damaged branched. This branch was rubbing against another, damaging the stem and allowing disease to enter. Cut these branches back to healthy new growth.

The Complete Gardens Plant Finder and Pruning Guide covers a wide range of UK plants and accompanied with illustrated pruning advice.

Propagation Snowdrops and planting bulbs

March 20, 2008

Propagating snowdropsPropagating Snowdrops after flowering and whilst the leaves are ‘in green’.

Don’t cut the leaves off.
Carefully dig up the clump without bruising the bulbs.
propagating snowdrops, propagationGently prise apart the bulbs and replant as soon as possible.
Water in to allow good contact between soil and roots.
The leaves will die back – This process allows to the bulb to store food in order to survive through until next year when the flowers will appear.

Bulb planting times, bulb planting depths, planting bulbs Bulb planting times and depth.

The interactive plant selector and pruning guide CD-ROM s has hundreds of bulbs and all accompanied with plant care and images.

Garden Design using the right plants for the right place

March 12, 2008

Garden design ideasGardening is an enjoyable hobby that can keep you fit, tap into your creative skills, is a rewarding experience and can even make you money by adding value to your property. Attractive gardens can add 20% to the value of a property according to the Estate Agent Society. 

You don’t have to be a Garden Designer to create an attractive garden. What you need to know are a few basics and some gardening advice such as;

·        Which garden plants will suit your garden conditions?

·        Which plant will grow in your soil?

·        Which plants will grow in full sun, partial shade and full shade?

·        When are the plants in flower or looking their best?

·        How to look after them? Planning and designing a garden with seasonal colour, texture and interest is the fun creative part and you can pay a lot of money to garden designers for their expert advice.

However, finding out which plants will suit your garden are available in books and magazines and by searching the Internet. Some people could consider these to be quite time-consuming and laborious, but it can also be fun researching your ideal plants.  Alternatively, if you have a computer, save time and effort by using which selects from your choice of colour, month, season, aspect, soil type, height and plant name, then a simple click of the mouse displays the plants to suit your needs. 

Only choose plants that will suit your garden. If you have a small garden, select those plants that won’t out-grow your limited space.

If you want a low maintenance garden select plants that don’t need a lot of pruning or feeding.

There are about 73,000 plants to choose from so there is no end to the fun you can have creating the garden design of your dreams. It’s quite a good idea to start your design by selecting plants to give your garden some structure.

Shrubs are good plants for this and come in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes. Check the height and spread of the shrubs before planting so that you don’t position them too close together.  

Climbers will add height and colour to your garden. You can select climbers that will flower early in the season and then select others to flower later in the year and maybe select some to have attractive autumn foliage. 

Annuals will grow and flower in the same year and provide almost instant colour whilst the plants in your borders have time to grow and mature. Annuals can be bought as seedlings or easily grown from seed.  

Grasses provide texture and movement in a garden and most can be cut back to ground level the following spring.

Don’t only choose a garden plant because it has an attractive flower. There are fabulous foliage plants to consider like ferns and hostas that love the shade areas of your garden and will reward you with luscious colour and texture. A garden doesn’t just have to look attractive in the summer months, it is also important to select plants for spring, summer, autumn and winter.

You will be surprised at how many plants there are that have attractive flowers, berries and bark to liven up any cold grey winter days. 

Pruning is important as it keeps the plants in shape and encourages healthy new growth. You will need pruning advice for each plant in your garden and a plant calendar list which reminds you when and how to prune them.  

Propagation of your plants and growing from seeds are very rewarding and satisfying because not only are you creating new plants but you’re also saving money. Gardening will keep you fit. Any gardener will tell you that digging and weeding can provide you with a very good work-out.    


Neil Bromhall is an award winning wildlife Cameraman / Photographer who was awarded an Emmy for his camera work on David Attenborough’s “The Private Life of Plants” BBC series. Neil has since founded