Lead the Good Life Blog

Your Garden in October by Adam Woolcott


October is a capricious month that can range from still being very warm and dry to being very windy and wet (or anything in between!) and therefore gardening in October is often dictated by the weather.

Protect your plants
One thing that’s for certain in October, especially as the month progresses, is the likelihood of frost so take a close look around the garden and check for plants that need to go back inside or into a greenhouse. It’s easy once tender plants – such as palms, bananas, cordylines and tree ferns – have been in the garden all summer to forget that they’re only temporary guests and that they’ll need winter protection.

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Advice for the New Gardener by Adam Woolcott


Sometimes taking up gardening can seem a little daunting. Suddenly you’re faced with weird Latin names, complex pruning regimes and a seemingly endless list of plant attributes, sizes, habits and requirements! Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed or put off though; gardening can be more straight forward  than you may imagine and certainly very enjoyable!

When taking on a new garden, or even starting a new journey in a garden you’ve had for years, the most important thing is to take your time and get to know your new space. The most common mistake new gardeners make is to rush in and buy and plant a whole host of pretty plants on impulse without firstly evaluating the garden and its aspect. In the long run, it will be well worth taking some extra time first to plan and prepare properly so here are some handy hints to keep in mind:

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Create a scent-sational garden with fragrant flowers!


The incredible beauty of flowers, that comes in so many different shapes, sizes and colours, brings so many of us such visual pleasure but why not delight another of your senses and take the scent of a flower in to consideration?

Our sense of smell is such a powerful one and can unlock all kinds of emotions and memories; there’s nothing quite like catching the glorious fragrance of a jasmine flower on the evening breeze and being immediately transported back to a long summer spent with loved ones in some faraway exotic place.

Perhaps many of us do associate flower fragrances with more tropical locations – orange blossom in Morocco, magnolia flowers in South-East Asia, frangipani in Fiji – and discount the possibility of such intense and exotic perfume in our own gardens. We couldn’t be more wrong though as, not only do many ‘exotic’ plants thrive in our British soil, there are also many incredible flowers that are already regular garden stars but whose fragrant qualities are perhaps overlooked.

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Brightening Up Shady Spots by Adam Woolcott

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If your garden’s potential is currently wallowing in the shadows with dark and shady areas leaving you stumped, here are my top tips for bringing life and colour to your garden and leaving those bare spots behind!

There’s really no need to feel too daunted by tackling shady areas as there are many beautiful plants that positively relish a shady life! There are, of course, different types of shady aspects: shady areas under trees can be very dry whereas north-facing aspects can be cold as well as wet but fear not (!) as nature has catered for all of these and there are plants to suit every shady situation.

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The Ornamental Oriental Poppy – A Real Garden Gem!

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Standing, literally, heads and shoulders above the rest, Oriental poppies steal the garden limelight for all the right reasons. These breathtaking flowers really magnify the power and beauty of nature at its best.

For sheer visual pleasure it’s hard to beat this elegant bloom. The statuesque stems that reach up to the heavens and push their blooms into view wherever they may be planted; the large, silky petals that just invite you to reach out and touch them; and the jet-black centres that seem to hint at exotic mysteries held within, all give this poppy incredible allure and a unique mysticism.

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Introducing autumn-fruiting raspberries – why you should be growing these delicious specimens!

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Just when you thought the time to enjoy all those delicious quintessential summer fruits was over, enter the autumn-fruiting raspberry! These easy-to-grow varieties should really be coming in to their own now and are a great way to extend the yummy summer berry-ness!

Growing raspberries may seem like a luxury that most of us wouldn’t have the time or space to enjoy. However, autumn-fruiting raspberries aren’t just popular for the way they so promptly supply a second windfall just when you’re starting to feel nostalgic about the summer one, they are also a much easier variety to grow and look after:

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Create a Zensational garden with a little help from a beautiful Japanese Maple tree (or three)!

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If you haven’t got a Japanese Maple in your garden yet, now’s the time. These elegant, colourful plants make excellent focal points and autumn is the season when they really come in to their own.

Providing fantastic texture and vibrant colour variation year round, these deciduous trees are a sure win for any garden space, no matter how big or small. There are many varieties that offer up different colour combinations, shapes and heights but no variety will fail to disappoint when it comes to creating a beautiful, striking sight worthy of the best meditation garden! Continue reading

What are Naturalising Bulbs?


Naturalising bulbs are the perfect solution to brightening up lawns and other grassy areas. Let nature take its course and create a woodland wonderland in your very own garden.

The term “naturalising” simply means to allow bulbs to grow and seed as they would in the wild. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, just scatter bulbs across your chosen grassy area, and plant the bulbs where they land. September is the perfect time to plant to bring your garden to life next spring! Continue reading

What to Plant in September by Adam Woolcott


September is a time to hold your nerve in the garden and not give up!

Cold mornings, talk of grass frosts and damp weekends may lessen enthusiasm for gardening in the early autumn but with persistence and care your garden really can look fantastic for many more weeks to come.

Keep deadheading, watering and feeding hanging baskets, pots and troughs with summer bedding in them and they’ll reward you with flowers for a while yet. Likewise, deadhead and cut back spent summer perennials – some may even flower once more, such as delphiniums, lupins, valerian and geraniums to name but a few – and stake and tie autumn-flowering perennials such as heleniums, dahlias, chrysanthemums and asters to avoid them toppling over in wet and windy conditions. Continue reading

The many benefits of lovely lavender!


The many benefits of lovely lavender!

There’s nothing that can transport you to the warm breezes and soft scents of the beautiful Provencal countryside quite like the heavenly sight and smell of lavender plants.

They don’t have to be a thing of holiday dreams though; there are many robust English lavender varieties that can flourish in our gardens. The rewards and benefits of lavender plants certainly make it worth any maintenance efforts – few of which are needed anyway.

They look pleasant all year round with their trademark purple flowers delighting for the whole of summer and beautiful silvery-grey foliage holding the fort the rest of the year.

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