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Gardening tips to help you in your new home

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 09:00

Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’. Photo: Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’. Photo:

This time of year many people are thinking of moving house, buying their first home, or moving into their first rented property.

If you are moving house and you have plants in the garden that have sentimental value – gifts from friends or relatives – either take cuttings, or move them into pots before you show people around so that they can see what you will be taking with you. If you are organised you can do this months before!

Differing heights will add interest

Buying a new house? You may well have a garden which is basically grass surrounded by fences. It is likely that the soil will be shallow – a bit of top soil covering builders’ rubble – so you must improve it before deciding to plant. Creating raised beds to plant in is one way of getting around this poor soil, and the differing heights will also add interest to the garden.

Think carefully before covering fences with climbers, as this makes fence maintenance difficult. Sometimes it is better to plant taller shrubs in front of the fence so you can still get behind to paint.

Perhaps try Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ or Ceanothus ‘Puget Blue’, which are both evergreen and add interest. The Ceanothus is smothered with blue flowers from April to June if it is planted in a sheltered position in full sun, and the Photinia has lovely new red leaves in spring.

If you are renting a property you will find it more cost effective to keep your planting to containers so that you can take them with you when you move on. You can find all sorts of weird and wonderful pots, old washing tubs, etc. to fill. Make sure you drill holes in the bottom for drainage, and put in a good layer of old polystyrene plant boxes or packing broken into pieces so that you use less compost.

Potted plants rely on you for their well-being

If you are planting long-term plants you are best to use a loam based compost like John Innes No.3. Shrubs, grasses and even trees can be planted into pots but ensure you keep them watered and fed, as they will rely totally on you for their well-being.

Now for your tasks to do this month. If you have grown early potatoes they should be ready to lift. Keep sowing ‘cut and come again’ varieties of lettuce in small batches in old mushroom boxes or similar. They need to be placed out of the hot sun and kept moist but not soaking.

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