When it comes to stylish interiors Scandinavia has it all going on and this often extends to the garden. Getting outdoors is a huge part of life in Scandinavia, particularly in the long and light summer months. Fortunately Instagram gives us an opportunity to dip into that lifestyle. It’s a chance to admire the flowers, plants and stylish gardens and the work that goes into them. So here’s three popular instagram accounts to follow, it is after all #followfriday :
Look no further for inspirational home and garden photos from this popular author, photographer and blogger.
It isn’t all glamourous interiors as this hands on grow your own gardener from Sweden demonstrates. From the comfort of your couch sit back and marvel at the hard work and wide ranging freshly grown produce and be inspired !
Now that I have more time for gardening, I’m reassessing some parts of the garden to see if I can make improvements. First for this treatment is the Lower Garden in front of the old part of the house. It is tucked away in a corner and always seems to be bottom of the list for attention. As a result, although it does look lovely in spring, it is pretty unsatisfactory for the rest of the year and is in need of replanting.
Pretty in Spring
The two New Dawn roses that climb up the obelisks are an ill-disciplined pair, they flower poorly and shoot off in every direction and most of the other roses, with the exception of a Cardinal Richelieu, seem to be struggling, while the majority of the perennials have to fight for survival.
By this time of year this whole area is looking tired and is in need of a revamp
There are a few exceptions – a very happy group of white Agapanthus africanus, clumps of iris sibirica, self sown geranium palmatum and a growing colony of hollyhocks – but the plan is to dig up the rest of the perennials and relocate them in other parts of the garden. There are some good shrubs and small trees that I will then underplant with grasses (there are already plenty of spring bulbs) and at the appropriate time (April) I will divide up the agapanthus so that I can spread them through this area. If it all works as planned, the result should be that the Lower Garden requires less work and looks better for much longer. Watch this space.
What with lack of space and other priorities I have pretty well given up sowing our own brassicas and rely instead on the excellent www.organicplants.co.uk to supply me with well-grown plugs. The important thing with any plugs is to get them planted out or potted up as soon as possible.
I’m potting them up because that way they will be stronger, larger plants when they finally make it into the ground and in the meantime I can protect them from the predations of slugs and snails and cover them with enviromesh to keep the cabbage white butterflies away.
When I’ve got lots of plants to pot up I fill the wheelbarrow with compost and park it in a shady part of the garden (not difficult in a garden full of trees) and do my potting up there. Bending over a wheelbarrow can put quite a strain on the back, so in my hillside garden I position the wheelbarrow on the edge of the lawn which is raised 50cm above the adjoining path and can work at a comfortable height – alternatively sitting on a chair or stool will also save your back.
Yes, I know we’ve barely had a summer and it is a bit depressing to be talking about spring bulbs so soon, but August is a good time to buy if you want the maximum choice. On the other hand, if you are prepared to wait there are great deals to be had in November and December. I tend to do a bit of both – get my anchor colours early – and then add some extras later.
I’m also trying to grow more varieties that will reliably perennialise. Great Dixter is very good at this and when I visited recently, Fergus showed us their tulip store where they keep the tulips once they have been dug up from the borders. They are then cleaned and those of a good size are replanted in the autumn. The advantage is that when these tulips are mixed in with the new bulbs you get flowers of different sizes and height which looks more natural than when every tulip is of a similar height.
I will put my new purchases in pots and add last spring’s saved bulbs to the borders where I’m now getting reliable reappearances – especially with the viridiflora tulips, the fragrant orange Ballerina tulips go into the woodland area where they look wonderful among the spring flowers. If I’ve got space I will also dig a trench in the vegetable garden and plant any leftovers in it so that I’ve got some for cutting too.