Right Plants 4 me. Free garden plant advice website

March 19, 2012

A year on and we’ve added and improved the www.rightplants4me.co.uk website.

It’s easy to find and identify garden plants as well as wildflowers and weeds.

Simply select plants by their name, flower and or leaf colour, period of interest, height, aspect and soil type.

You can nor make plants lists. (1) Plants I Have and (2) Plants I want

This is useful when designing your garden to have year round colour and interest.

You can print your plants I want lists and take it with you to the Garden Centre.

Plants I have shows you which plants you have in any chosen month AND it will also let you know which plants you have in any month that need pruning PLUS how to prune them correctly.

You can add your own personal note to any plant. I don’t like labels so I keep a record of my plants and where they are in the garden. This is very useful because for example Clematis look very similar when dormant, with my notes and reminder when to prune my plants I know exactly which Clematis needs pruning, where it is and how to prune it. Some need hard pruning becuase they flower on this years new growth whereas some flower on old wood.

Here is an Iris with a note added

I’ve added time lapses of plants growing and flowers opening. They show some of the fascinating growth and design.

I hope you fine the site useful.

I want to build the site so I’m keen to meet photographers and authors to help the site GROW.

Although the site has UK flowering and planting times, it won’t take too much work to make it specific for the US and European countries. Please let me know if this is of interest.

Best wishes


Rose pruning time-lapse

March 31, 2009

Rose pruning.

I’ve filmed a short sequence to show  what happens to a bud when you prune a rose branch.

Basically you prune to get rid of any weak or diseased branches, to encourage healthy new growth and to keep the plants size and shape in check

Plants have  evolved to be ‘pruned’ by herbivores grazing on them.

Being nibbled stimulates new growth.

In most gardens we don’t have herbivores  to graze our plants so we need to prune them instead.

I have made an interactive plant finder, identifier and pruning guide web site. http://www.rightplants4me.co.uk which I hope you find interesting.

It has over 4,000 garden plants, 11,000 photographs plus time lapse sequences and each plant has in-depth plant care and illustrated pruning advice.

The plant database is continuing to grow.  If you have good quality photographs of plants not already on the database I’d love to hear from you with an interest of adding it to the collection.

Contact me on neil.bromhall@gmail.com

The reason for pruning. How to prune and what’s the point of deadheading

August 25, 2008

To grow attractive looking perennial plants most need to be pruned otherwise they become too big, untidy and produce unimpressive flowers.

Many people new to gardening are nervous when it comes to pruning.
This is because there’s a baffling amount of information on pruning and to make things worse some of the information seems to contradict the other.

If you think of it, herbivores have been nibbling at plants for millions of years, so plants are quite used to being nibbled and cut. It’s been suggested that the saliva actually stimulates growth.

Pruning encourages new productive growth

Pruning encourages new productive growth

The reasons for pruning.
Pruning encourages new healthy growth.
If you cut out dying and diseases wood, the plant can instead of fighting disease will put its energy in to new productive growth.
Pruning will keep the plant shape and size in check.
Pruning will keep unwanted seed dispersal under control.

Deadheading encourages a second flush of flowers

Deadheading encourages a second flush of flowers

Pruning / deadheading will encourage a second flush of flowers. The reason being, when you deadhead a flower, the plant can no longer put its energy into seed production. Reproduction is the second imperative so if the plant can’t make seeds because you’ve cut the fertilised flower off, the plant will put it’s energy into producing new flowers in which to do so.
Although flowers are attractive to our eyes, the real function of a flower is to attract insects to transfer pollen from one flower to another, resulting pollination and seed production.
Deadheading basically removes the ability of the plant to produce seeds and so it produces another flush of flowers in order to do so.
Deadheading will produce new flowers in the growing season. Deadheading very late in the season won’t produce further flowers as the plant reacts to the falling light levels and temperature changes and so it’s programmed to shut down ready for dormancy over the winter period.

Some plants won’t produce new growth if you cut in to old wood.
Cut at an angle just above an outward facing bud.
Use sharp secateurs to make a clean cut.  A clean cut will quickly heal quickly whereas a blunt blade will bruise the stem where die-back or disease can set in.

Pruning vines. Some plants like vines will weep sap profusely if you cut in the growing season, so it’s best to cut when the vine is dormant i.e when the sap not rising.
Clematis pruning. There are basically four pruning techniques for pruning clematis.
Rose pruning. There are 4-5 different rose types all needing different pruning

Pruning wisteria. The Wisteria like many vines only produces flowers on the branches that are in direct sunlight. The flowering buds are stimulated to form by the sunlight. Wisteria are therefore pruned twice a year.

To have the answers you want within seconds and to save time searching through books and the internet, illustrated pruning advice accompanies each plant of the 3,500 UK

garden plants on the interactive http://www.rightplants4me.co.uk The Calendar reminds you which plants you have and when and how to prune

them. All the information on the website can be printed with images, plus you can add your own printable notes accompanying each plant.

Used by garden novice to Garden Designer.


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.

Home & Garden, Spring is in the air,

January 30, 2008

Spring is in the air, SnowdropSpring is in the air and soon we will be getting busy the garden again for the season ahead.

The evergreen shrubs have provided a touch of colour to the garden through the wet grey winter season but now the snowdrops are bringing the garden to life with their delicate nodding white flower heads. The Hellebore are also adding much neded colour.

Hellebore add colour in winter and spring

The buds on roses and clematis are showing signs of growth as well.

It will be soon time to start pruning them in order to get healthy new growth for the season ahead.

With the garden advice CD-ROM reminding me where each plant is in my garden I’ll know precisely what pruning technique each one needs and my notes will remind me where each one is (as they will all look alike at this stage). This is a great help especially with pruning my clematis, pruning fruiting trees and roses.

Some birds like the tits have found the nest boxes and are starting to protect their territory from intruders.

I have left the pampas grass fronds for the House Sparrows to line their nests. Using Pampas fronds is a learned behaviour as I learned when I was filming ‘The Secret Garden’ for the BBC. Not all House Sparrows with use pampas fronds but being social when they see one Sparrow doing it they all soon catch on to the idea.

The robin has claimed the bird feeders as his own and sees of anything that flies close though it’s a loosing battle with the large number of Tits, Dunnocks and Black birds all coming in to feed.

I did a test and the fat balls are the bird’s preferred food, followed by the loose seed mix flowed by the solid seed mix. The fat balls apparently have the added benefit as the fat oils their beaks.

I’ve raked the detritus from the lawn to allow light and put the moss under the hedges for the birds to find and line their nests. I don’t rake up all the leaves in autumn as the worms will take most of what I leave underground to feed on and this in turn feeds the grass rots.

If you have a small garden, here are some suggestions for Container Plants for spring

Jobs to do in the garden