How to Plant Your Garden for Height

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 6:36 PM
Planting for the "third dimension", height, really allows all the space within the patio or courtyard to be used to the full, and the added heat retained by a south- or west-facing wall will protect more tender and exotic plants.

Planting Ideas

Having a wall to plant against adds a whole extra dimension to your possibilities, especially if it faces south or west, because the heat from the sun is absorbed during the day and given off overnight. Nearby plants will be kept several degrees warmer than those beyond the wall's influence. This allows the planting of subjects that could not survive without the extra heat.

Most shrubs can be grown near a wall. Wall-shrubs are specifically those that can be pruned back to form a covering for the wall, supported against it using wires and ties, and through which other plants such as climbers can be grown. Climbers support themselves in a number of ways: by twining their stems around a support; by twisting tendrils or leaf-stalks around a support; by using thorns to scramble; or by the use of aerial roots or sucker pads to attach themselves.

Whether the plant is intended for a wall or a pergola, it should be of a size chosen to be in context with its surroundings, otherwise it will need regular pruning to keep it under control, and this may be at the expense of the flowers. Do bear in mind that, after rainfall, the plant will drip for some time, and this may result in the surface underneath becoming slippery. If this is also a well-used route through the garden, it may be advisable to replace a smooth surface, such as decking, with a non-slip one, such as gravel. This can be edged with brick or bonded with resin to keep it from interfering with mowing the lawn.

How to make a Watering System in Your Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 2:10 PM
A cheap way to install automatic watering is to make your own discreet watering device out of an old plastic drinks bottle.

1) Cut out a hole in the base of the bottle, just large enough to be able to water through.

2) Loosen the cap of the bottle then place it upside down in the pot so the base of the bottle slightly pokes just above the surface of the compost.

3) Fill the bottle with water through the hole in the base and it will slowly seep out of the loosened cap, providing your thirsty plants with just the correct amount of water that they need.

An alternative is to cut an old plastic drinks bottle in half. Make three or four small holes in the base, then stick it in a grow-bag of, for example, tomatoes (being very thirsty plants). Fill the half-bottle with water and it will slowly trickle through the holes to ensure the tomatoes never dry out.

It is also possible to buy specially made spikes which fit on the top of a two-litre plastic drinks bottle. Once the bottle is inverted you can stick the spikes into the ground and their ingenious little boles release water or liquid nutrients slowly. As the spike penetrates so far into the ground the water or feed will be at the right level to reach the roots.

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