Archive for tag: Gardening Guides

Creating a pond

Sitting in the midst of winter, thinking of summer?  Planning your pond is a bit like drawing up the plans for a new house or dreaming of the changes you would like to do to your current.  

Trees and shrubs are a valuable asset to any new pond site.  They can be used to screen undesirable views and help blend your development into the landscape.  Turn those mounds of collated earth that inevitably appear after digger work to your advantage.  Planting them up with trees and shrubs will turn them into a feature or create a setting backdrop to your new pond/development.  The trees should be native as they will look natural and attract the most wildlife.  Make sure there are plenty of:

Willow - there are several types available.  All are suited to wet ground, fast growing and great for wildlife and fish.  They attract insects which fall into the water and provide a food resource.

Alder - fast growing and suited to wetter areas.  They have pretty seeds hanging from the branches in autumn.

Rowan, Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Bird Cherry - these are all spring flowering trees with berries in autumn, creating seasonal interest and vital food for wildlife.

Birch - grows well in poorer ground and the silvery white bark adds interest.

Scots Pine - good for shelter and evergreen.

Oak, Ash, Wych Elm -  these trees will grow to large sizes so when planting, keep this in mind.

Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Guelder Rose, Hazel, Elder, Dog Rose - all of these are shrub trees and have flowers and fruit to attract birds, insects and mammal, as well as looking pretty.

Holly - evergreen shrub with berries for birds.

When planting the trees, make sure they are protected from vermin using protector tubes.  

Plants:
You will undoubtedly will want to be planting up your pond to enhance the landscape and wildlife.  Emergent pond plants are valuable as they help prevent erosion to the banks of the pond and they provide natural food, snails and insects, for fish and birds such as wild duck and swallows.  There are three sections to the pond for planting: Marginal, Emergent and Sub-Merged.  

Marginal plants: Meadowsweet, Brooklime, Marsh-Marigold, Water Mint and Lesser Spearwort.

Emergent: Yellowflag, Branched Bur Reed, Reedmace, Bottle Sedge, Reed, Reed Canary Grass, Soft Rush and Amphibious Bistort.

Sub-Merged: Water Lilies, Potamogeton

Tree planting tips

These tree planting suggestions may seem obvious to seasoned hands but sometimes the simplest of tips can go a long way to making a difference.

- If you have a small garden, choose bird cherry, hazel, holly, hawthorn, rowan or crab apple.

- Smaller shrubs and hedgerows provide year round interest for us humans plus shelter and food for the birds and abundance of wildlife you will   attract!

- Keep the larger trees to more open spaces, e.g. beech, lime, Scots pine and oak.

- Remember to be aware of any underground pipes, overhead cables and buildings in the vicinity of your planting area. Probably not a good idea to plant the trees too close.

It is almost the end of November and we are heading into Christmas.  We are having Christmas at home this year and obviously want the house to feel cosy and decorated in a warm homely way.  I am thinking about a natural theme: garlands of willow, twigs of beech nuts and hazel.  Dotted through with dried poppy heads, lightly touched with a spray of silver and snow effect.  Entwined with fairy lights - sounds good?  Well we'll keep you posted!

What are Cell Grown plants?

Our trees are cell grown in Rootrainers so they can be planted at any time of the year.

Trees by Post specialise in young cell grown tree saplings of about 1-2 years old. This is the perfect stage for planting outside allowing for the quickest growth rates.

Benefits of Cell Grown Plants over Bare-Root Plants:

•    Cell grown plants can be safely despatched from the nursery and planted all year round without damage to the roots.

•    Bare-root can only be dug up, despatched and planted within the Winter/dormant season.

•    Cell-grown plants can be held for several weeks if planting is delayed provided the root plugs are kept moist.

•    Bare-root plants must be planted immediately upon arrival.

•    Cell-grown plants arrive at the customer with a fully functional root system.

•    Bare-root plants inevitably suffer damage and consequent stress when they are lifted from the nursery beds.

•    The root systems on Cell-grown plants remain intact and the fine fibrous feeding roots are sent out with the plant enabling rapid establishment once planted out. There is relatively little check when a Cell-grown is planted out compared to a bare-root plant.

A Cell Grown Plant:

Cell-Grown-Plants

Guide to Clipping Hedges

Formal-Clipped-Hedge

How often and when should you clip your Formal Clipped Hedges:
Barberry, Berberis, once in summer
Beech, Fagus, once in late summer
Box, Buxus sampervirens, 2/3 times in the growing season
Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, twice in summer and autumn
Holly, Ilex aquifolium, in late summer
Honeysuckle, Lonicera, 2/3 times in the growing season
Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, once in mid to late summer
Lavender, Lavandula, in spring and after flowering
Lawson Cypress, twice, in spring and early autumn
Leylandii: 2/3 times in the growing season
Privet, Ligustrum, 2/3 in the growing season
Yew, Taxus baccata, twice, in summer and autumn

How often and when should you prune your Flowering and Informal Hedges:
Berberis darwinnii, Immediately after flowering
Berberis thunbergii, after flowering, if required
Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, in winter remove selected shoots
Cotoneaster lacteus, after fruiting
Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, in winter remove selected shoots
Hazel, Corylus avellana, after the catkins have flowered
Holly, Ilex aquifolium, in late summer

Trimming with shears: To keep the top of the hedge level and flat, keep the blades of the shears flat and parallel to the line of the hedge.

Cutting with electrical hedgetrimmers: Use a wide, sweeping movement whilst keeping the blade parallel to the hedge.

Choosing plants for a hedge:
When selecting your plants, consider their eventual height and spread. Think about the climatic zone you are in for hardiness and if your local environment is suitable. It is worth having a good look around your local area to see which species are growing well. Consider the fully grown plants' density. If it is to be a formal hedge, you need a good dense plant like Yew or Box. For an informal hedge, you should select flowering plants and consider a selection of species to create a mixed hedge.

Click here for our Hedging Plants