Want a colourful garden this summer? – plan now, seeds, plugs or trays of bedding plants 

It’s that time of year again, if we are going to have lots of colour in the garden this summer we need to make plans.


In my garden, I have shrubs which provide structure and greenery all your round. Some of them also flower at different times in the season. I also have perennials which come up every year without too much maintenance, they provide lots of lovely colour and some of those have a long flowering season, all throughout the summer.

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But I also have some areas of the garden which just need an injection of colour. This I provide with bedding plants (annuals) Bedding plants are very tender and do not survive frost so are grown and replaced each year. Bedding plants have the big advantage they provide lots of colour and can be placed wherever there is a gap.

I tend to fill pots with bedding which I can move around the garden to the gaps as well as planting others within the border.

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At this time of year we need to make a decision how we are going to get our bedding plants, there are 3 options.

From seed – a pack of seeds costs around £1 and can be sewn in a propagator at this time of year on a windowsill in the house. They will germinate producing lots of seedlings which will need to be pricked out into trays as soon as they get big enough.

From plug plants – you order them now and they will be grown by the merchants until they get big enough to be sent out, normally the end of March

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They still need potting on but the growth success rate is much greater. Each plug plant cost between about 20p to 50p although if you buy in bulk it does bring the price down. This year I would like to grow some Cosmos,

I can get 60 large plugs for £16.99 delivered w/c 14th March

Or ready grown plants which are available in packs of 6 or so available in the garden centres ready to plant out after May. Typically a pack of 6 bedding plants costs £4.99

Of course although they may be pricey all the hard work is done for you and all that is left is to plant these exactly where you would like them to grow anytime after the last risk of frost, normally around middle of the May.

My personal choice is plug plants and I have just placed my order. I look forward to lots of colour in my garden all through the summer….

Photography tips to liven up your instagram feed — flowers in a vase or out

It is lovely to have fresh flowers in the house, they are so beautiful to look at and instantly brighten your day. The trouble is, at best they will last about 2 weeks before inevitably they start to wilt and no longer look their best, so I like to photograph them. Although I only use my iphone camera, with no special lighting or lenses, the effects that can be created can still be stunning.


To capture them at their best, photographing them in their vase is an option, especially if photographed in a pretty setting with a prop or two.

However you can also go for a more casual picture, as if you’ve just returned from the flower market with large bunches of flowers and placed them down.


This picture was taken with the flowers carefully placed on a wooden board to create the illusion of a casual picture. Play around with the placing of each of the stems to give the correct effect.


In this one, I changed the background and laid the tulips on a freshly ironed piece of grey fabric. This produces a very pleasing contrast, again lay the stems to achieve the desired look, moving them around until you like the result.


I also tried a more formal approach of singling out the stems and lining them up again with the grey background. I’ve been careful to leave the leaves and stems to be less formal to balance out the look.


In this picture, I used the mirror to add background detail to make the flowers stand out.

Whichever look to choose in the end, they all have the effect of making your instagram feed look stunning.