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

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

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 gar­den­er­ 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

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