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Reconnect with nature in your Garden

Regal in the shade is Manuela in our gardenWe can all relate to the hot February days which are great to spend at the poolside on week-ends or finding a spot in the shade to just cool down. Gardening chores not to be neglected are feeding to replace nutrients and adding some colour to get rid of that washed out summer feeling. Gardens are where you have all your senses stimulated to restore your energy and balance, that's what's important to us not just this month but always.

Feed your container plants

One of the projects for this month is to freshen up the patio containers. After the holidays and back to school routine of the past few weeks a quick look at the containers will show some looking a bit tired. They too take strain as the heat bakes them and after all the regular watering they need a boost. Feeding container plants at least once to twice a month is essential to maintain that lush and vibrant feel. We always recommend a water soluble fertiliser as this works faster and moves through the whole container making it easier for the plant to absorb.

Marigolds are companion plants for veggiesMultifeed Classic and Flowergro are tried and tested and if you need to see the results ... it's what Eckards use in all our containers in the garden centre feeding every week. As an organic alternative Nitrosol and Seagro are great for leafy plants and food gardens.
Alternating fertilisers is ideal. Similarly to how we use different vitamins for a boost so too will plants benefit from different ratios of nutrients as they use different ones at different times, almost like they get used to the same one all the time and become lazy. Each time you shop for plant food try alternating the product and see the results in the growth!

Autumn seedlings

Freshen up the garden with some autumn annuals to replace the tired summer ones such as begonias and dianthus. Feed your seedlings with Multifeed flowergro every ten days or so to get the best results. Three of our best for full sun are planted around Eckards every year this time. Marigolds are great fillers. Planted in full sun now they will last well into April and as companion plants they also act as a natural pest repellent and also clean up the soil of some fungal spores. Zinnias are super this time of the year needing little attention and flowering non-stop. Try the succulent roses of Portulaca, tough and hardy quick to flower in full sun and available in a wide range of colours.

Bring your garden to life

Hear the water feel the calmness it bringsGardens have had a very wet summer but finally as we move though to autumn we have more stable weather to look forward to over the next few weeks. Autumn is natures planting time. Through February and March as the soil temperatures start to drop and even though leaf growth slows down, the roots still grow giving you stronger plants in the next summer making this the best planting time of the year for trees and shrubs.

Gardening for the senses brings the garden to life and makes for a fun journey of discovery allowing you to create your own signature on your garden. By gardening for the senses you connect with nature on a very basic level and it is easier than one thinks. Of the five senses, smell is the one we all love in the garden the most with fragrant plants being ever popular. Where traditionally flowers were the order of the day in modern gardens the addition of fragrant foliage adds to the romance as one only smells them when they are touched or brushed against.

Sight is represented in bright colours of foliage or flowers which is the most personal of all the choices. The wow factor is what you aim for when selecting plants for this sense. To hear your garden is part of the magic. Even though silence is golden there is something about the sound of wind moving through grass or the trickle of a water feature that calm the soul. The crush of pebbles beneath your feet in a pathway and even the chirp of birds make your garden come to life.

The sense of touch or to feel is one of the most basic instincts we have in the garden. Textured leaves to rub or stand on are the best way to connect, as it were, with nature. Just watch out for thorns and spikes that is a touch none of us likes!

Taste is the one sense that somehow is different to each member of the family. Herbs and vegetables are all selected because of the taste and yet what works for one does not work for the next. Autumn brings planting time round for the next selection of eats, sow vegetable seeds or pick fresh season herbs now.

Walk through your garden and explore the senses, when you balance all of them in the landscape you discover that your garden becomes your haven, more than just home.

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