Adam's secrets for happy plants
Put the right plant in the right place and you can’t go wrong. Adam Frost shares his choices for every spot
I want my plants to be happy and healthy, so I take my lead from nature and grow things that naturally enjoy the conditions I have. There are lots of amazing plants that love each different type of site, so a little research before you buy will save you not just money but disappointment too. Understanding your soil is the first and most important step, and all you need is a simple soil testing kit from a garden centre. This will measure the pH, telling you if you have acid, neutral or alkaline soil. The next step is to get your hands into the soil and work out its make-up – is it sandy and dry, sticky clay, or silty? Then look at which direction your garden faces (also called ‘aspect’), and how much light each area gets during the day – does it bake in full sun for hours or stay mainly shady until late afternoon? This simple information about soil and light levels then drives my plant choices. Instead of moaning about the conditions in our gardens, we should focus instead on the opportunities. Search online for information on the conditions specific plants need, try the plant database at gardenersworld.com and read plant labels carefully before you buy. To get you started, I’ve put together a list of the key plants I recommend for the six most common ‘problem’ places.
To get the most from anything you plant, check the conditions it needs April 2018