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Tips on how to grow brassicas successfully
Skimmia Japonica
Classic English Tree for your garden: Field Maple
Plants for a Sunny Border
Hedge Planting
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Tips on how to grow brassicas successfully

Brassicas include: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage 


Dig the soil over and add organic material such as garden compost in the winter.  When early spring arrives dig the patch again and sieve the soil so that it has a fine tithe to it.  Add lime to the surface of the soil and fork it in.  However, there is a remote possibility that your soil is already alkaline - in that case adding lime isn't necessary.

Start growing in a greenhouse or on a window ledge

Growing seeds in seed trays and putting those trays in sunny warm conditions helps them develop quickly, so I highly recommend using a greenhouse or putting seed trays on the window ledge, on the sunny side, of a house.

Skimmia Japonica

People often require a garden that is beautiful throughout the year yet is easy to maintain, so I will talk about a low maintenance plant that could use to enrich an existing bed or  plant in a cleared bed.

Skimmia Japonica 

Skimmia are ideal plants for low maintenance gardens because they are drought resistant so they allow you to go on holiday throughout the summer without having to water the garden.  In addition they do not require pruning, which can be a time consuming endeavour.

Classic English Tree for your garden: Field Maple

It is becoming fashionable to plant trees at the moment so why not try?  Otherwise you can ask us to plant the tree for you.  Trees can be grown from seed but it is much easier to buy saplings and plant them instead.  Now is a perfect time to plant trees.  The Field Maple or Acer Campestre is a good tree to plant because being a native tree it is liable to thrive in your garden.  However these trees grow to be too big for smaller gardens.  

These plants are medium-sized deciduous trees.

Plants for a Sunny Border

A good set of plants for a sunny border is shown below.  It is sensible to plant one of each plant that we mention unless we state otherwise below.  

Buddleja x weyeriana
Lavandula stoechas (plant about 3)
Syringa microphylla 'Superba' 
Rosemarinus officianalis 
Sedum spectabile (plant about 6) 
Euphorbia myrsinites (plant about 3)
Salvia x sylvestris 'Blauhugel' (plant about 4)
Geranium pratense

When you plant ensure you look at the expected height of the plants you plant so that you can ensure the taller plants are towards the back of your border.

Hedge Planting

Having a hedge planted is an ideal way to create a border around your garden.  Hedges subdue the wind effectively (far better than fences and other solid features) thereby making your Yorkshire garden less weather beaten.  Plants that don't fair well in exposed conditions will benefit from the protection of a hedge.  

We have experience of planting mixed native hedges.  Seeing them grow into large effective hedges is rewarding.  

Quite a lot of hard physical work is needed to plant a hedge so you may want to employ a gardener to do it.

Having Trouble Making a Wildflower Meadow? : Here are some tips


Plugs can be planted directly into areas of turf in order to establish a wildflower meadow. 


A crop such as oil-seed rape can be grown on the soil and harvested.  The crop takes nutrients out of the soil and removing the crop at flowering time ensures the nutrients do not return to the soil.  Soil that has low fertility is typically needed for a wildflower meadow

Semi-parasitic Plants

We can control weeds and vigorous grasses by introducing plants that are semi-parasitic.

Wildflower or Weed?


Ragwort is a generally seen as a weed.  It is toxic to horses.  To get it out dig out the roots; some of these weeds have very long root structures so dig deep down as if you are getting rid of a dandelion.  

Ragwort does provide a home for various caterpillars though so you might want to keep it.


Foxgloves contain digitalis which is poisonous in quite small amounts so you may want us to dig it up and get rid of your foxgloves.  Foxgloves are excellent for bees and quite attractive to some so we recommend keeping some for this.

Garden Jobs for February

  • Winter Digging and soil preparation for spring.  We can supply and dig in some compost for you 
  • Cleaning out the greenhouse
  • Seasonal pruning of: Buddleia, clematis, ceanothus and hardy fushsias
  • Pruning roses, if have not already been pruned
  • Trees, shrubs and roses can be planted towards the end of the month
  • Cut back overgrown shrubs and hedges
  • Certain variaties of turnip can be sown at this time of year (we can sow seeds for you.  We often do this alongside a garden tidy up)
  • Hardy ornamental vines, such as Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy, can be trimmed back now in preparation for the growing season

What fruit and vegetables can I grow on my Patio?

Just about any vegetable can be grown in containers.  Raised beds are ideal for vegetables (we can build raised beds for you).  Otherwise it would be a good idea to buy a contained to at the least the size of 18 inches by 18 inches.

Good vegetables to grow in containers include: beans, carrots and beetroots.

Herbs are ideal for containers.  Try planting:





If you grow mint ensure it is in a separate container otherwise it will overwhelm the other herbs.  

Common Hazel Needs to be Pruned in Winter

Common Hazels are small deciduous shrubs.

These plants reach a height of 4 to 8 metres. 

Common Hazel has a branched spreading habit. 

The flowers are yellow in colour.  These give way to edible nuts. 

They have rounded leaves that turn yellow in the autumn.  They have yellow, male catkins in early spring. 

They are indigenous to the UK, hence they are often used in wildlife gardens. 

This plant enjoys full sun or partial shade.  They prefer well-drained soil and chalky soil.
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