Lead the Good Life Blog

Planting in Raised Beds by Adam Woolcott

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Raised beds are a fantastic way to grow plants and vegetables as well as shrubs and bulbs.

Raised beds enable people who may find ground planting a struggle to grow plants. The height of the platform makes the planting and maintenance of plants easier and simpler, an ideal planting method for people with disabilities or back problems.

Raising the planting area makes gardening easily accessible and edges of raised beds also make great seating areas or surfaces to place pots, garden ornaments, drinks and hand tools.

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How to grow Tree Peonies

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There are few plants that can compete with the beauty of a tree peony in full bloom. A mature plant can boast in excess of a hundred exotic blooms, each measuring up to 25cm (10”) or more in diameter! The papery flamboyant blooms and interesting foliage of tree peonies gives the impression that the plants are delicate. However, the complete opposite is true – Tree peonies are long-lived, hardy shrubs.

These exceptional shrubs are hardy and disease resistant, and will continue to bloom for a lifetime. The exotic flowers of the tree peony are simply breathtaking in borders and make exquisite cut flowers for vases indoors.

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Planting hanging baskets by Adam Woolcott

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Hanging baskets are an easy way to bring colour to awkward areas such as fences, walls, posts, tree stumps and sides of buildings and sheds.

All you need to enjoy a hanging basket is a solid vertical surface to which you can attach a bracket – that and a little imagination.

We always think of hanging baskets basking in the sun but they can be tailored to grow in shady, windy or even dry situations by simply selecting the right plants.

There are many types of baskets, they come made of plastic, wire and even willow and linings can be made of moss, plastic sheeting, biodegradable cardboard liners, foam, felt or hessian.

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Mother’s day ideas for Gardeners by Adam Woolcott

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It can be difficult thinking of an original gift for Mothers’ Day and many of us probably resent paying hugely inflated prices for cut flowers that will be dead and gone within a fortnight, so how about a gift that will last for years or decades!

Fruit trees, ornamental shrubs and garden perennials make amazing gifts that will last for years, create a permanent memory and benefit those around them, the environment and wildlife, what more could you ask!

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Planning a Vegetable Plot

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Whether it’s the first, second or third attempt you can revisit your garden draft whenever needed, unfortunately your garden rarely offers a second chance, so start planning now to avoid unproductive disappointment later.

Drafting a garden plan may sound daunting, but there really aren’t a lot of rules and just like choosing where your pretty plants will go, designing this draft can easily be an enjoyable and creative experience.

If your garden is planned well enough, changing your summer garden to a winter plot will be an easier transition with minimal space wasted – potentially offering you far more produce than in previous years.

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Growing Carrots by Adam Woolcott

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Growing carrots

Carrots are easy and fun to grow and are a great way of introducing children to vegetable growing, I can still remember the joy of plucking my first carrot from the soil.

Carrots prefer deep, rich, light soils free of stones and clay but don’t despair if your soil isn’t suitable they’ll grow quite happily in pots, wooden trugs or any deep container and simply require a good quality compost such as ‘Tref’ for example.

Carrots can be sown from March through to early July in what’s known as ‘Succession’ this means sow a new crop every two to three weeks in order to keep a constant and steady supply rather than a huge glut of carrots at the same time.

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How to Grow Lavender

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Lavender

One of the most reliable and easy to grow perennials has to be lavender. Not only does it look lovely with its green/grey foliage and spikes of purple flowers but it smells wonderful too.

Lavender is one of those plants that doesn’t need all that much attention. When planting in heavy soil incorporate some sand or grit into the planting hole, and other than a bit of pruning to keep its shape after the flowers have died back you can pretty much leave them be. They don’t even need regular deadheading! They are even relatively draught tolerant so you can go on holiday and not worry about asking the neighbours to keep an eye on them.

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Fruit Trees By Adam Woolcott

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Growing your own fruit is easy, simple and rewarding and it allows you to harvest your produce when perfectly ripe.

Most fruit trees enjoy a sunny position, with a fertile and well- drained soil although they can also be grown in pots.

Modern fruit tree varieties are grafted onto a root system that prevents them from growing too large and if space is limited look for a specimen with a ‘dwarf rootstock’.
These types of trees are easy to maintain, can be grown in pots or limited space and have fruit that’s easily protected and harvested.

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Love your garden? – Love Wildlife!

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Love your wildlife day!

You wake up every morning to the beautiful sound of bird song, spread some sweet honey on your toast and smell a bunch of freshly cut roses.

You’re thankful for this new day…  But I think you’re forgetting a few little people, the people behind the scenes making all this possible – and no I don’t mean the florist and the supermarket – I mean the hardworking wildlife: the busy bees, the singing birds, the pollinating butterflies, even the adorable hedgehog that helps to keep your garden slug free.  Your garden wildlife does all the nitty-gritty jobs and asks for nothing back.

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How to Mulch

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It’s folly to think that the growing season starts in late March, it starts now – in fact we’re a little late.

For those of you good enough to save all your veg peelings, teabags and eggshells over the cold seasons, you should start benefiting from some homemade local compost soon. 

The perfect treat for seedlings and mature plants alike, this recycled plant residue will fuel your green biennials offering a large quantity of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) nutrient goodness.

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