The best country house gardens in Britain; Gardening tips

We love to visit gorgeous English country gardens at any time of year – and more and more are opening for longer, as you can see from our piece on beautiful gardens to visit all year around. Use paint specially designed for outdoor use to add new life to your garden as this will help preserve the wood, meaning the colour won’t fade. Instead of your usual shades of golden or ashy brown, consider a fresh, playful colour instead. Create a bold statement with your trellis or shed by using bright oranges for a hot Mediterranean feel. An outdoor rug and some oversize floor cushions laid over faded decking or a grubby patio will instantly lift your outdoor space and ensure an entertaining area just as stylish as your interior.

  • The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity.
  • According to The FT, plant costs shot up by 8-13% in 2021, with Brexit and biosecurity checks partly to blame.
  • The feedback they received was very encouraging, so it was decided to go ahead.
  • Use a white marker pen or piece of chalk to write the plant names on mini slate tiles.

You don’t need tonnes of pots and planters; you can use the tubs that your tomatoes or mushrooms come in, or even salad trays. It’s less ideal as it doesn’t have drainage, but if you’ve got a trough and soil, you can grow. Gardeners looked to English history for inspiration, and ‘old-fashioned’ plants were used to create the appearance of a cottage garden. In the early 1900s, as a reaction to the rigid Victorian style, gardens became increasingly informal. They were heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, which encouraged relaxed planting using native British plants. As flowers were expensive they were planted with large spaces between them, allowing the individual plants to be admired.

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For example, timber posts don’t have to be confined to fencing a garden off from the neighbours. Carefully positioned within a garden, they can be used to frame plants or seating areas and add extra interest to borders or paths. According to Claire Belderbos, director of garden landscaping specialists, Belderbos Landscapes, ‘a dining table works best in the area of the garden that has early afternoon full or partial sun.

Put a pile of leftover bricks to good use by fashioning a cheap garden path that mirrors the shape of your flowerbeds. Lay them length and sideways in a bed of gravel to create a patterned curve that looks professionally done, rather than DIY. Try dressing the garden with accessories such as outdoor rugs and shower-resistant cushions to instantly make the space feel more premium and well-dressed.

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Why not just bring some plants into your home and let them hang out without worrying about them too much? Know that if it all goes terribly wrong, you can always order another one. You’re not beholden to try and keep them alive forever—you’re meant to enjoy them, appreciate what they do and learn from the process of growing them. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.