Take your ideas with you

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - Gardening -

Han­nah Sephen­son re­veals how to get an up­wardly mo­bile gar­den

Front gar­dens are so of­ten an af­ter­thought for home­own­ers, who see the front of their house only as a point of ac­cess and more specif­i­cally as a place to park their car and site their wheelie bins. How­ever, there is so much you can do with a front gar­den to make the whole house wel­com­ing and in­crease its value, and it doesn’t have to be high main­te­nance if you choose the right plants. This year’s Chelsea gold medal­win­ning Up­wardly Mo­bile Gar­den got me think­ing about how peo­ple who in­vest in their front gar­dens can take many of the plants with them if they move, ei­ther by plant­ing them in large con­tain­ers or prop­a­gat­ing them. John Lord, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of John Woods Nurs­eries, which co-cre­ated the gar­den with London’s Capel Manor Col­lege, said: “We wanted to show how with woody plants you can cre­ate a front gar­den that in­spires. “When you go to Hol­land and Ger­many you see that peo­ple in­vest in their front gar­dens, but peo­ple here don’t take care of them. Yet they can add value to their prop­erty.” The theme of the Up­wardly Mo­bile Gar­den was to demon­strate how easy it is to cre­ate a gar­den – es­pe­cially your first – and take com­po­nents of it, such as planted con­tain­ers, with you when you move home. In this way, you take your ideas and learn­ing with you through­out life. “We’ve used plants that are happy in dif­fer­ent types of soils and sit­u­a­tions, for ex­am­ple, to help in­ex­pe­ri­enced gar­den­ers un­der­stand their op­tions,” said John. In­cluded in the gar­den were low main­te­nance plants in­clud­ing Diervilla Cool Splash, Prunus Kojo-no-mai, Gera­nium John­son’s Blue, Sam­bu­cus Black Beauty and Heuchera Mid­night Rose. In­vest in the biggest pots you can af­ford for per­ma­nent plant­ings which you in­tend to take with you when you move. If you want a tree as a fo­cal point in your front gar­den, think about buy­ing a spec­i­men that will grow in a pot, which will be able to move with you in years to come. The Up­wardly Mo­bile Gar­den fea­tured a Cor­nus Venus, a flow­er­ing dog­wood with good drought tol­er­ance and a high re­sis­tance to dis­eases, in a large con­tainer. It pro­duces strik­ing white bracts up to 15cm in di­am­e­ter each May, fol­lowed by rich red au­tumn colour and grows to around 3.5m in 10 years. When plant­ing per­ma­nent plants in con­tain­ers, use a soil­based com­post like John Innes which has a bit more body than some of the oth­ers and give the plant a good mulch and feed in spring.

Hy­drangeas in pots were a dom­i­nant

fac­tor in John Wood Nurs­eries’ gold medal-win­ning Up­wardly Mo­bile

Gar­den

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