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If you want a low maintenance garden that looks great all year round then have a think about container gardening.
Container gardening means putting all your shrubs into pots to contain them. It also means that you can move them around your garden as you see fit.
This includes hanging baskets and potted plants. Plants don’t have to mean flowers, it could mean evergreens or foliage.
How to help your plants survive the winter?
There are a few simple things that can be done in order to ensure that your plants will survive the winter, and continue with another healthy year when the cold disappears.
When your shrubs were planted, the soil around the base of the plant was plentiful. Over time, the elements wear down that base of soil, and can expose sensitive roots which can damage the plant.
When winter approaches it is important to be sure that all roots are covered. If this is the case for you then a couple options now exist, and both are quite simple and do not cost a lot of money. You can either add more soil or mulch to cover exposed roots.
Now that the base, and the most important part of the plant is protected it is time to deal with the top of the plant. In northern climates where snow is plentiful, then protective coverings must be added in order to prevent damage from the weight of the snow.
Accumulations of snow can severely damage shrubbery when weighing down on branches and sections of the plant. Two easy coverings can prevent all damage from snow accumulation.
A cloth covering, typically burlap, can be used and costs very little. Simply take a length of burlap, and wrap the shrub completely.
The burlap should easily overlap in order to prevent exposure later in the season. When the burlap is pulled tightly, it then needs to be tied. Twine will wrap the burlap tightly and prevent the plant from being exposed to the elements. It is best to tie in many places in order to best secure the covering.
Alternatively, a wooden A-frame can be built to prevent the weight of snow breaking branches. Take four pieces of 2×4 cut to an appropriate length in order to easily stand taller than the bushes.
Next cut rectangles of plywood that have a width greater than the width of the shrubbery, and a height that will be able to cover the branches of the shrub from the top to the lowest branches.
Take two of the 2×4 lengths and drill holes near the top, about 2 inches from the top. Attach them with a bolt, and secure the nut in place with wrenches or ratchets.
Do the same to the other two lengths of 2×4. Lay on the rectangles of the plywood so that they reach the top of the 2×4 lengths. Attach the plywood to the 2×4’s with screws in order to prevent them from loosening throughout the winter.
When the structure is raised up, it will create an inverse V, or an A-frame. The A-frame is then able to fit over the shrub and prevent the snow from accumulating. You have created a roof for your plants, which redirects the snow away from the branches beneath.
Both of the methods above will also prevent damage from extreme wind conditions. When large winds are present these methods prevent the wind from catching the ‘sail’ of the leaves and branches, and thus protecting the plant.
It takes little time and little materials to truly protect your landscaping investments. Take the time, in order to ensure that your spring gardens are beautiful, and your shrubbery is shaped and growing the way you wish.
A broken bush means a broken garden. Enjoy the winter knowing that your spring will require less planting, and will involve more pleasure.
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9 best plants for pots all year round
If you are struggling to pick plants that will survive all year round then think about what your coldest months feel like. You need the plants to be hardy enough. This really is a trial and error depending on how cold your garden gets and the types of containers you have your plants in.
1. Lilly of the valley
Lilly of the valley is an evergreen shrub that colours slightly even in winter. It’s hardy and looks great in a container. It makes a great barrier if you need to cover something in your garden or a great centerpiece.
2. Azalea japonica
Azalea japonica loves partial sun and can be a super spreader if put int he ground. Most varieties survive in a pot with a bit of care. This has a lovely flower in Spring but does need a bit of drainage at the bottom of the pot. We use rocks for drainage.
3. Coral Bells
Coral Bells has a lovely coloured purple leaf that goes lovely with other green shrubs. This makes a great border plant that loves shade.
4. Skimmia Japonica Rubella
This all year-round plant looks great even in the winter months. Skimmia Japonica Rubella has a great small that can really lift you as well as a soft pink flower. This is perfect in a garden that needs some slight colour.
There are some varieties that colour all year round. These plants are pale blue and brighten up even the smallest of gardens. These can be a little high maintenance as they do need a lot of water
These Bottlebrush shrubs love the sunshine. In the winter the pink colour does go but what’s left is the stunning evergreen. They don’t like the cold to much so do need covering at times.
7. Tree Mallow
These flower in summer and autumn. They do need sunlight and moist soil to thrive so they wouldn’t like a shady balcony garden.
8. Butterfly Bush
As the name suggests these stunning plants will bring butterflies to your garden. They will wither if you have a pest problem so making sure you have some weed and slug killer may be key here to keeping them alive. They love to grow in a container! The only downside is that it isn’t the prettiest in the winter months.
9. Clematis Pixie
Clematis Pixie loves the sunshine and grows great up a trellis or fence. It looks great in the winter months as it grows upwards and in the summer months pops out small white flowers.
Essential items to help plants grow in pots
If you are new to gardening or unsure how to grow your plants successfully in pots all year round then here are 5 essential items that you’ll need.
Biodegradable Biopot Plant Pots
These are made from 100% Eco-friendly, biodegradable and composable peat & wood pulp material. These can be planted directly into a bigger a pot to control growth or straight into the ground.
You can buy Biodegradable Biopot Plant Pots here*
Rustic Style Dark Grey Plastic Half Barrel Cask Planters
These stunning planters would look great in any garden. They do not have any drainage holes so you may have to make some yourself if needed.
You can buy Rustic Style Dark Grey Plastic Half Barrel Cask Planters here*
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Enriched Compost
This all-purpose soil is great for pots and containers.
You can buy Miracle-Gro All Purpose Enriched Compost here*
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Jardineer Gardening Tools-8 Piece Outdoor Gardening Set
This is a great little 8 piece garden tool set that includes pruning shears, hand trowel, transplanter, weeder, cultivator, hand rake, gardening gloves and tote bag to keep them in.
You can buy Jardineer Gardening Tools-8 Piece Outdoor Gardening Set here*
La Jolíe Muse Flower Pot Large Garden Planters
These stunning grey planters look great in any fashionable garden. They come with pre-drilled holes and are frost and crack proof.
You can buy La Jolíe Muse Flower Pot Large Garden Planters here*
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