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Gardening with blue

Cascading Blue ConvolvulusOctober is one of those times of the year where we start to enjoy the work we put in over the past spring as the garden starts to burst into summer. After the heady yellow and orange flowers from the early spring garden itís time for the blue flowers to take over. Blue is often associated with serenity, calm and spirituality. Especially in the later part of the afternoon, blue flowers seem to do just that, which makes the garden a haven to retreat to after a busy day.

Being out and about in the garden centre weíve seen loads of blue flowers to inspire so here are some of the beauties we think you should consider.

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Impatiens in every shade

Impatiens are the Queen of colour in the shade gardenNothing says summer quite like Impatiens. These attractive shade annuals got their botanical name from Latin referring to their seed pod which explodes when they ripen, shooting their sticky seeds far and wide.

They originate in East Africa and are indigenous to Zanzibar but the ones we see today are hybrids from many years of cross breeding to give larger flowers and in solid colours.

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Time to Cut Back and Prune!

Prepare now for this summer's best rosesJuly is pruning time and not just the roses. Itís also time to cut back hydrangeas and fruit trees. 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.

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Attract more birds

Duranta have berries that turn bright yellowBirds are attracted to gardens where there is some shelter and a regular supply of food. By planting bird attracting plants you can encourage them not only to feed from your feeding station but to also nest in your garden.

The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature's menu. Favorites like the Aloes will attract nectar feeding birds while seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses.† To attract fruit eating birds, plant berry producing plants. Here are some of our recommendations from Eckards.

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