We're pleased to have West London based garden designer, Caro Sanders guest blogging for Northfields once again and giving us green-thumbed tips on where to find a bit of summer colour for your garden in Ealing and surrounding areas.
Over to Caro….
Oh, the temptation to rush out to the garden centre and buy a million bright and cheery annual flowers now that summer is flirting with us! But where to go, and what to look for?
Before we whisk off to the shops, one word of warning – annual plants don’t make it through the winter. Which means if you plant them outside BEFORE all risk of frosts has passed, they will probably die. So if you’re desperate to get going with your plant-buying, do, but either keep them somewhere frost free for the next couple of weeks or, if you do plant them outside, be prepared to rush out and cover them up with a blanket of horticultural fleece if we are forecast a late frost one night. You might think I’m joking but we’ve just had a hail storm here in Northfields, so anything is possible!
For plants (if not always the weather) we are pretty lucky in the Ealing area, with a good few sources of plants around us.
First off, the cheap as chips venues such as the DIY stores, B&Q in Chiswick and Homebase in Isleworth offer some fairly basic bedding plants such as petunias, lobelias, and pelargoniums (the real name for geraniums) at a very reasonable price. Homebase are good for herbs too.
B&Q – Chiswick Roundabout 2 Larch Drive Gunnersbury Avenue W4 5QL
Homebase – Gillette Corner, Syon Gate Way, Middlesex TW7 5Q
Moving a bit more upmarket, the two Wyevale garden centres generally offer a wider range of different types of plant – Osterley cheaper than Syon Park as a rule. Look out for marguerites, eschscholtzia and osteospermums (these bloom all summer in a sunny spot and are great value for money).
Wyevale Osterley – Windmill Lane Osterley TW7 5PR
Wyevale Syon Park – Syon Park Brentford TW8 8JG
If you can get further afield, I would recommend getting out to Squires in Twickenham or Adrian Hall in Feltham – both of these stock a wide range of annual plants every year, usually for less money than the more local garden centres. They are also very good for new pots and troughs if your old ones are looking like they’ve seen better days – particularly Adrian Hall I’d say.
Squires, Sixth Cross Rd, Twickenham, TW2 5PA
Adrian Hall, Snakey Lane, Feltham TW13 7ND
Or if you want a luxurious cup of tea and home-made cake with your new plants, not to say a proper lunch, you could treat yourself and head off to Petersham Nursery just beyond Richmond, a real delight. Mind you don’t get tempted by all the antique furniture though – it’s a treasure trove, but comes with a price.
Petersham Nurseries Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AG
Bit more hit and miss but definitely worth looking out for are the plants locally grown by Cultivate London – they sell through numerous small outlets in the borough such as flower shops, and farmers markets, this links you to a full list: http://cultivatelondon.org/produce/
Editors note: The Cracked Pot Flower Studio, just across the street from our Northfield Avenue office carries Cultivate London plants. And Louise from the Cracked Pot is also one of our guest bloggers!
Bear in mind that – just like other plants – some are more shade tolerant than others. The best ones for shadier spots are lobelia, fuschias, pansies and violas, and they can be planted up with ferns, ivies or other shady place greenery to provide a foil to all the chocolate box colours. Pretty much all the others you see will like to be planted in sun, or at least partial sun. Plant these with some foliage too – either the trailing bits and bobs you find selling with the annuals, or you can go for small evergreen perennial plants such as Euonymus and Hebes.
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Thank you Caro for sharing your expert knowledge with us! Caro really knows her stuff, so make sure to get in touch with your gardening questions.
At Northfields we don't know quite as much about soil or plants as Caro, but we do know the value of a good garden. Thinking of selling? Give us a call. We're happy to come around and give you free advice and an up-to-date valuation of your property. It's free, it's no fuss and it only takes 20 minutes. Call us now on 020 8740 6622 or email us.