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Green Glorious Green

Bold green Chinese LaurelThe one thing that we can say about 2015 is that it certainly has had a green start! The street trees are full and thick and the shrubs in our local area looking like they have put on more growth than ever, all thanks to the abundant rain we have had. In the meanings of colours green is not just the colour of growth, it is the colour of renewal and rebirth. Bright green restores depleted energy, balance and harmony. That's nature taking care of us this New Year for sure!

Plant some new shrubs to update the garden and take advantage of all that green energy that they bring. We looked for some of our favourite green foliage shrubs that look good all year and with some of them flowering as a bonus, it's time to take the plunge. Pull out that old shrub that does nothing and add some new fresh green.

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Install a water feature

Water encompasses all the sensesIf you don’t already have a water feature this is the year to consider installing one. Water brings movement and peace and there is nothing more relaxing and calming than listening to soft running water after a stressful day. With some of the easy to use products we listed below there is no need to have green water in your pond or fountain to put you off having one.

Because moving water encompasses all senses, your water feature should be the focal point of your garden or patio. Fountains have many benefits other than adding beauty to your home or gardens. Water in the garden aids in stress relief and relaxation, acts as a natural humidifier, improves air quality with negative ions, and produces soothing water sounds that can drown out annoying sounds or street noise to soothe and relax you.

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Creative food gardening

The Special Collection of seedsFood gardening is one of the most popular pastimes in gardening today. There is something special about growing your own that is just not the same as supermarket convenience. Over the past few years we have seen how the world has taken to planting something for the table at home. Sometimes it's a practical kitchen growing operation but for most it's a few herbs or veggies and experimenting with something different.

They have proven that children who grow their own food become gardeners as they grow up and have a better understanding and appreciation for nature and the environment. It could be as simple as letting them grow a patch of carrots or getting involved in the whole process as an outdoor activity away from the electronic screens they use all the time.

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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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