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Time to prune

Lime Sulphur and Steriseal are pruning essentialsOnce the garden is pruned and had a tidy spring starts to come into your garden as one tends to get going with composting and watering as the garden cleans up. July is pruning time in the garden and rather than a dreaded chore, with the right tools and correct information, pruning can be easy. Think of it as a late winter cut-back that rejuvenates plants and prepares them for a summer of healthy growth, glorious blooms or fabulous fruit.

Pruning brings light and sunshine into the garden warming the soil and stimulating growth from the roots in the ground up. So besides the usual suspects like Roses give the whole garden a nip tuck and shaping to get the yard warmer and tease the spring. It's time to start clearing out and pruning. Roses in our area should be pruned now and hedges and topiary should get a good shaping to get them ready for the first flush of growth.

Pruning is a bit of a mystery for most gardeners and yet it need not be. Most plants need some form of pruning at some stage to stimulate new growth, flowers or to limit size. In nature this happens with frost, hail, fire or strong winds. At home this task is one that lets you put your own stamp on your garden. Sharp secateurs or a long-handled lopper will make pruning easy. Three of the most popular garden plants that need pruning are roses, hydrangeas and fruit trees. Here are our top tips ...

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Love the Birds

You can use the nectar feeder for water tooA feeding station for the garden birds is the best way to keep birds returning. Different birds are attracted to different things so a variety in your offering will make all the difference to what birds you attract.

Suet is high in protein and helps to fatten the birds up to protect them against the cold. We recommend always adding suet to your feeding station this time of the year. Also try the bird pudding which has a nutty base and attracts different birds. The Bird seed bells and tower block feeders are great for attracting smaller birds as the doves and pigeons can't hold on to them to feed.

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Starting a new bed or garden?

Starting a new garden is fun and excitingOne of the most frequently asked questions in the garden centre is "I am starting a new garden what must I do?" Not only brand new gardens in new build complexes but many established gardeners are moving into retirement complexes and starting from fresh.

The quieter months of the year is also when one can dream up changes to the garden. Adding a new bed or changing a pathway. We love gardening and dreaming up all sorts of ideas and plans and have inspiration on tap online. Have a look at our Garden Inspiration board on our Pinterest page here.

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Cool Season Colour

Grow some Bokbaaivygie from seed in full sunNow is the best time to plant your winter colour as temperatures start to drop the growth will slow down. If you plant now, your young seedlings establish faster and you get even more colour through the winter. Pansies are always a favourite in full sun for winter and Primulas in shade give waves of colour where the impatiens and begonias are coming out. Autumn is also nature's time for sowing seeds so we can add to the colour by experimenting with all the indigenous seeds as well as my favourite, fragrant Virginian stocks and water wise Bokbaaivygie.

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