A Good British Gardening and Landscaping Website

Now That’s a Vegetable Garden! by UGArdener


TheGardenLady is always looking for new, good websites to recommend. I love good gardening and landscape gardening ideas. And since I love British Gardens, when I can find a British website that has garden-related material, I am doubly interested.  Don’t misunderstand, I also use my favorite websites, the tried and true, such as Wikipedia, which has encyclopedic information.

Recently I discovered “SuperSavvyme” a British website. This site meets a lot of the criteria that TheGardenLady looks for. They have straightforward, inexpensive and easy tips for landscaping, such as how much garden paths add to your garden landscape or how much lighting adds to your garden with ideas of types of lighting to use.  They have tips on various plants to use in your garden- the rose growing column was particularly helpful, especially if you want to plant new rose bushes or want to know when to prune your existing rose bushes.

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Frederick Law Olmstead – Landscape Architect Extrordinaire

Summer in Central Park by kevin dooley

Have you ever wondered who America’s first and foremost landscape architect is or was? He was the founder of Landscape Architecture. Do you wonder what the Central Park in Manhattan, the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, the United States Capitol Grounds and much of the Stanford University campus have in common?

If you said that the answer to the first question is Frederick Law Olmsted and the answer to the second question is that this same Frederick Law Olmsted was responsible for those landscapes in Central Park, Arnold Arboretum, the grounds at the United States Capitol and the Stanford University campus as well as thirty more parks across the country, you are correct.

Frederick Law Olmsted created parks in Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont,  Washington, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin and in parts of Canada. (see here)

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Announcing the 9th Annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium

The 8th Annual Great Gardens & Landscaping Symposium

Are readers of TheGardenLady interested in attending Garden and Landscaping Symposiums? Here is a site that gives information about one symposium called the 9th Annual Great Gardens and Landscaping Symposium. It will be held in April (the 13th and 14th) in Vermont and looks like it has some outstanding lecturers. It is open to all garden lovers. You can read about all the speakers at the site.

Frugal Landscaping

TheGardenLady’s Curb

TheGardenLady can say with confidence, you do not have to hire a landscaper to create your own garden. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful garden. I have created my own garden. And I cannot tell you the amount of compliments I get for my garden. Just yesterday, one neighbor told me what an inspiration my garden is. She is inspired to start a garden. Another neighbor, came over for advice on plants for a garden at his new home. I have done the work on my garden by myself; though now that I am getting too old to dig that much or carry and lay the mulch, I have someone help me. But I still dig holes, plant, weed, feed and water.

Remember that everything doesn’t have to be done in one day. Your planting schemes can evolve as mine have. TheGardenLady keeps on enlarging her beds each year to put in more plants. It is a work in progress so that every year it is beautiful in a new way.

TheGardenLady doen’t spend a fortune on plants. In fact, I am most frugal when it comes to getting plants. The reason for frugality is that plants may die or they may be eaten by deer or rabbits or voles and even if they are perennials, they might not return the next year for some reason, maybe because of a severe winter. If I were to spend a lot of money on the plants and the plants were to die, I might feel upset. If I don’t spend much for my plants, I have only wasted my own time and effort – and that is still cheaper than going to a gym. Most of my plants come from family and friends. If these die, my friends who are gardeners understand. And if their plants die, they can always come back to me to get some of their plants – usually because they have to be divided and given away anyway.

Friday’s Flower Power / Deutzia gracilis by Rainer Fritz

Many plants are bought at spring garden sales at this time of year. The Master Gardeners often have garden sales of plants donated from their own gardens. That is where I bought a Katsura tree Cercidiphyllum and my Deutzia gracilis. If the Master Gardeners sell the plants, you know the plants are healthy and hardy for your area and the Master Gardeners will give you directions on planting what you buy.

Many public gardens have plant sales. Some plant sales seem to be ongoing like at The Garden in the Woods near Framingham, Mass. or The New York Botanical Garden. And some public gardens like Bowman’s Hills Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, PA have both spring and fall sales. The end of the season is a great time for really good sales. Most nurseries want to get rid of plants so they don’t have to keep them over winter. And if you know what you are buying you can get great buys at local stores. I saw a sale at my super market for miniature rose bushes. At under $2.00 a small pot, I bought 5. I planted them and they have rewarded me for the last few years with loads of flowers. I later learned that these miniature rose bushes are among the hardiest of roses.

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Garden Landscaping for Beginners – Part II

This is TheGardenLady’s second post about basic garden landscaping.  If you’re interested in reading part I on basic garden landscaping click here.

When you’re doing your landscaping you will certainly want to check out the best nurseries in your area. Visit public and private gardens especially ones in your area to see what they grow and what you like. You can get into private gardens during Garden Conservancy Open Days.  See here. Find out what these gardeners recommend for planting in your area.  You can ask them if they had problems with the plants you are considering. Gardeners love to share their knowledge.

Clematis Vines Garden Landscape Arbor by Andrew’s Reclaimed Home…

Decide on plants that you might want to see growing in your garden. Do you want low maintenance plants or don’t you mind pampering plants?  Ask questions about the plants. One gardener might have a vine that you adore – so ask him if it gives him any problem, like the root sending out suckers ten feet from the planting that you might have to hack out someday.

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Garden Landscaping for Beginners – Part 1

Garden Landscaping by rainbow_landscaping

Because TheGardenLady has been asked about landscaping and/or choosing a good landscaper, TheGardenLady thought this would make an interesting column.

Below are a few suggestions for anyone who is interested in landscaping one’s property. There are many outstanding female landscapers as well as male landscapers. (The word “he” was used most of the time in this post just to make the writing of this column easier.)

Make sure you know your property or do what is called a site analysis.  Know where North, South, East and West are on your property. This is important because some plants prefer to get morning or evening sun and light. And when you plant, you want plants that will be happiest in a location. You want roses? They want sun, sun, sun; but some varieties will take just 5 hours of sun.  So if you write down notes to yourself telling exactly how much sun a spot gets, this will be very helpful in your planning. Know existing conditions on your property such as hills, or areas of elevation and if you have good or bad drainage. You may want to try to eliminate the problem or work with it.

Know the Temperature Zone in your area. Even within one state, there might be different Temperature Zones. Plants that grow in the Northern part of the United States might be unhappy in the South and vice versa and some plants might grow in a broad range of climates. A clematis that grows in Zone 9 or 10 won’t live outdoors in the winter in Zone 6. Or you might want a cactus garden, but if you live in NJ, it is trickier to plant cactus than it would be in Arizona. Yet there are some cactus that will survive in NJ, even in NJ winters. So be sure to check your temperature zone and be sure that when you buy plants, you buy plants that will survive and thrive in your area.  See here.

Most people want plants that are easy to raise in your area, but if you like a challenge like Wayne Daniels in California who raises tulips where they usually don’t grow (see here) you have to know the needs of the plants in order to accommodate them in your area.

Have your soil tested.  I cannot stress the importance of soil testing. And I really recommend using your local Master Gardening chapter or your local extension office. When you get it tested, get different areas where you want to plant different things tested in separate tests. For example, if you want a vegetable garden, test that area separately from an area that you might want to plant lawn. The tests will then send you back information for what to amend the exact amount for that need. Though the tests might cost a few more dollars than a soil kit you can buy in a store, you will get a thorough readout of what you have and what you need to amend your soil. And visiting the Master Gardeners with your questions and or problems is FREE. They will even explain your soil test results if you want – for FREE.

Examine your property and note what conditions there are. Note existing conditions on your property like hills, or bogs or areas of elevation and if you have good or bad drainage. Do you have walls blocking the sun or making a micro climate that might be hotter than the rest of your property? Are there trees?  If so what types of trees are on your property?  Few plants will thrive under nut trees and if you want perennials under the nut trees, be sure you get those plants that will live near a nut tree. You will also note, by the size of the trees or how large they can grow, how expansive a root mass it has or will get.

Locate wet or dry sites on your property to know what will live – for example land near a blacktop driveway or roadway may give off too much heat for some plants and might also be salted to remove snow – plants cannot tolerate excessive salt. And you would need different types of plants for under your rain spout.

Know your site boundaries and where the house is located on your property. When you are designing your landscaping, consider the views from both inside your house looking out as well as how the plants will look outside your house. You might even want to consider your neighbor’s house when you plant.  Do you want your neighbor to see your beautiful plants from his house? Or do you want to make a hedge so you and your neighbor can’t see each other’s house?

Check your soil consistency. You want soil that is friable, not compacted or if you live in a sandy area, you want to know what can grow in that type of soil. You can always amend the soil with the compost TheGardenLady knows you are saving.