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Gardening Articles

This is a listing of interesting gardening articles by a variety of expert garden designers and writers - from how to start from scratch with a garden to how to make the most of it when you sell it on to another owner.

If there is a special interest topic you would like to learn more about, we would like to hear from you. Please write to us about it at customerservice@shootgardening.co.uk.

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Spotlight on plants

Recycling plastic plant pots

At Shoot we believe in keeping garden waste at a minimum. Minimise the number of plants you kill by following our 'Right Plant Right Place' guidance, compost any green waste and reuse and recycle plastic pots. 

NEW "GET THE LOOK" Barn Conversion Garden

Shoot is excited to bring you a new garden concept. 'Get the look garden-on-a-roll'. This border is inspired by Claudia de Yong's Barn Conversion garden it is as easy as gardening-by-numbers.

Shoot's Plant Biosecurity Event with Defra at Tendercare Nurseries

On 16th April 2019, Shoot hosted a plant biosecurity event with Defra at Tendercare Nurseries.

Shoot teams up with Tendercare Nurseries

Tendercare Nurseries has teamed up with Shoot to help all their customers to be successful growing the plants they buy. Shoot makes this easy for you by sending you monthly care guides for the plants you buy, straight to your email inbox.

Piet Oudolf's Top 100 plants

Piet Oudolf is a world-famous garden designer, nurseryman and writer. In 2013, he singled out the 100 plants he won't do without and we have them all listed for you here in Shoot.

10 plants for shade

By garden designer Jill Anderson. Jill gives advice about selecting plants for shade and how to help them thrive.

Container planting combinations
By London garden designer Claudia de Yong. Thinking about planting some containers? Here are some combination ideas for you.
VIDEO - A great planting combination for a sunny position
By Andrew McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries. Three shrubs that go very well together!
VIDEO - Spring plant focus on Acacia dealbata 'Gaulois Astier'
By Andrew McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries. A focus on a fragrant, pretty shrub called Acacia dealbata 'Gaulois Astier' ideal for sheltered locations.
VIDEOS - Some spring planting favourites
By Andrew McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries. As Spring approaches Andrew introduces us to some star spring plants. Click any plant name below to read more about the plants discussed and to add them to your own 'Plants I want' lists.
VIDEO - Good, reliable shrubs for any situation
By Andrew McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries. Andrew tells us about good, reliable performers and some great shrub planting combinations suitable for any garden.
VIDEO - Bulletproof plants
By Andrew McIndoe of Hillier Nurseries. An introduction to a selection of fail-proof plants for your garden. Ideal if you are new to gardening!

Through The Seasons

Glorious winter planting

By garden designer Charlie Bloom. It’s coming to the end of the season and September is the month that hails a goodbye to full summer and hello to the onset of autumn. It is also the ideal month to plant out winter interest plants and bedding schemes as the ground is still warm and frosts are still a few months away, this gives the plants some time to establish before winter. Here some of my favourites.

Summer dreaming
By garden designer Linda Regal. Summertime is a time to dream, and what better place to let your imagination run free than a private retreat in the garden.  Everyone needs a place to which to escape and forget the world for a while, so make a space for yourself amidst the greenery.
Happy New … Garden!
By garden designer Angie Barker. Let's face it - January can be hard work. Christmas shopping is a distant memory, its back to work and there are the New Year resolutions to stick to. (By the way, my New Year resolution is not to have any!)
This is the season to be ... holly!
By garden designer Angie Barker. Father Christmas will be receiving lots of letters this year with requests for everything from Iggle Piggle to Wii consoles.
Garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin goes nuts over Christmas. In these days of grow your own there is nothing more appropriate at this time of year than to think about planting some nut trees in your garden. Do it this month and you'll have your own supply of Christmas nuts next year.
Winter reflections
By garden designer John Frater. The garden in winter is wonderfully peaceful, but don't let it pass without using this valuable lull in activity to reflect and assess.
Planting ideas with Snowdrops

By garden designer Alice Bowe. Unlike most bulbs, which are best planted in the autumn, Snowdrops can take a while to establish as dry bulbs and so they are best planted "in the green" (that is just after flowering, while still in full leaf).

New Years Garden Resolutions
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. I'm writing this looking out at my garden which is full of plants that have just come back from a garden we designed for the CBI conference. It's a jungle out there - literally. There are six huge Cordylines, a field of evergreens and a meadow of mature Phormiums.
Deck the Halls
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Christmas is coming and we're decorating our houses with all sorts of flowers and plants from the traditional to the contemporary and funky.
Autumn work for your lawn
By Derek W. Walder, Turf Expert. Now is the ideal time to take a close look at your lawn after the ravages of the summer.
Spring cleaning
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. It's March and now is a great time to be out and about in your garden on a sunny day giving it a good spring clean and setting the scene for a great summer outdoors.
Tree time
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Regular readers of this column will know that I'm a bit of a tree hugger and proud of it! We're coming up to the best time of year to be planting trees.
Create your own Indian Summer
By garden designer Liz Saward. Let's face it, by the middle of September, most people's gardens are looking tired and a just a litte bit brown. 
As darkness falls
By garden designer Alice Bowe. Integrate light blooms in your planting, and see the twilight garden come alive.
Trees and hedges
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. I love the Autumn! It's a special time of year when we can start putting the borders to bed for the winter and can look forward to putting our feet up soon!
Beautiful bulbs
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Plan now for a splash of Spring colour!

Planning your garden

IGTV with Helen Elks Smith about garden site design challenges

Nicola Gammon, CEO, Shoot and Helen Elks-Smith, Elks-Smith Garden Design discuss site specific design challenges and Helen answers questions from from Shoot members.

IGTV chat with John Wyer about Roof gardens

Nicola Gammon, CEO, Shoot and John Wyer, Bowles & Wyer discuss roof gardens and John answers questions from from Shoot members.

Up on the roof: How to design the perfect roof garden

By John Wyer of Bowles & Wyer. Imagine yourself up on the roof, surrounded by buildings, but somehow slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of life below: scanning the city from your own secret haven.

Maximise your garden investment

The UK property market has changed during the recent lockdown. Now more than ever creating a beautiful garden is a great investment! As the BBC News reported on the 5th June in the "Coronavirus: Want to sell a home? Make the garden look nice" article, gardens are now at the top of homebuyers wish lists according Rightmove.

Plant delivery and supply during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

UPDATE: MAY 20th 2020. Although Garden Centres in the UK are now open again (yeah!), you may still like our list of where to buy plants and compost we compliled by county during the coronavirus lockdown. 

'Distance' Garden Design Listing

We have started a list of garden designers who can help you with garden redesign projects remotely.

Don’t risk it: Invasive plant risk information from Defra

Protecting our country from pests and diseases is vital to safeguard our environment, economy and health and the Government as invested more than £4.5 million to strengthen our border security, recruiting new plant inspectors and enhancing training. 

Scented border for a sunny garden

By garden designer Judi Samuels. This border is all about the scent!  As each plant brings their own individual perfume with flowers and leaves to delight your senses all summer long. This is a border perfect for pollinators to feast on by providing important nectar and pollen.

Planting for a Spring flowering shady border

Garden designer Judi Samuels provides a Spring flowering border plan for a shady border. This planting is suitable for free draining soil.

Survey results and what Shoot members are telling us

We just ran a survey of members in April 2014. We wanted to share some of the feedback about how Shoot members are talking about us.

Take care of children in the garden
By the Children's Safety Education Foundation. An estimated 500,000 accidents occur in the garden every year due to hazards of ponds, paddling pools, play equipment, greenhouses and electrical equipment.
Planting with Colour
Plant forLife has teamed up with fashion expert and celebrity stylist, Mark Heyes and garden designer Chris Collins to help you choose your colour personality, work out your dominant colour and the plants that compliment them.
Garden plants for fragrance all year round
Planting suggestions to create a fragrant garden twelve months of the year.
Low allergen garden plants
Allergy UK tells us that 1 in 3 people are affected by an allergy at some point in their life with symptoms ranging from irritating sneezing through to potentially fatal anaphylaxis. Around 40% of children suffer from one or more allergies, but allergies can also develop later in life and have wide ranging effects on an individual's standard of living.
The Most Fragrant Roses
Fill your garden with sweet scents and beautiful blooms with these amazingly fragrant flowers. Here are our top 10 picks. Click on the plant names to learn more about them.
Garden Landscaping and Design Forums

Spring is here at last, and the green fingered amongst us will be busy trying to make their gardens look beautiful. 

Gardening Which? BEST BUY! Shoot's Online Garden Design Software

Garden design online, diy landscaping, planting plans, gardening tips, gardening makeovers, gardening ideas, garden layouts, garden design software, the online garden designer...we have it all!

First Impressions
By PlantforLife. Create a positive first impression at the front of your property with these planting ideas.
Layers and Layers of Planting
By garden designer John Frater. Sitting quietly in a very large and mature garden in Norfolk recently I was struck by how more and more kept revealing itself to me as I looked.
Sensitivity to colour in the garden
By garden designer John Frater. The question of colour in the garden is a perennial one that causes a lot of confusion, and stress, amongst many gardeners and even some of the pros. I've just returned from a painting holiday in the Scottish Highlands where my eyes were opened to a new way of relating to colour.
Flood tolerant rain gardens
By garden designer Alice Bowe. A lot is being written about the effects of our changing climate on the way we garden.  Simply search for 'drought tolerant planting' on the internet and you will be swamped with plant lists and information.  A far larger concern for me as a garden designer is the brutally damaging effect of flash floods and heavy rainfall.
Mature gardening
Garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin explains how the older gardeners among us can get the most from their garden.
Two to Tangle
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. We often forget that a good climbing plant can turn the barest new wall or fence into a riot of colour and fragrance in just a few months.
On your doorstep
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. There's one area of people's gardens that seems to be the most neglected and I can never understand why.
Starting from scratch
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. We all lead busy lives these days and only the few are DIY'ers keen enough to attempt building a whole new garden from scratch.
Colour in the Garden
By garden designer Alice Bowe. Colour is one of the most emotive aspects of any garden and although garden history has a long association with artists as garden designers, its importance and effect upon the garden's audience is often underestimated.
Just add water
Garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin shows how the tiniest ponds can improve a garden.
Selling your garden
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Every month seems to bring a new gardening magazine or television programme these days as more and more people are getting turned on to the benefits of having a great garden as an extension of their living space.
Top Tips to transform your garden for the summer

By Problem Solved. After months of neglect and with summer creeping ever closer, many people will be in a rush to bring their gardens back up to scratch. Those lazy days sipping Pimms on the patio are just not the same if your back yard is a tangled mess of weeds and broken flower pots.

Enjoying your garden

Keep safe, healthy and calm during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government is asking us to stop all non-essential contact with others and to work from home where possible. 

How does your garden heal?
By garden designer John Frater. For millennia nature and gardens have been associated with health and well being. However, somewhere in the late twentieth century the main stream health care establishment lost sight of this.
Austerity Needn't Be Dull…
By garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. 'Grow Your Own' …In An  'Arabella' Kitchen Garden
Garden Keep Fit
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Early Spring is a great time for getting out in the garden and doing a lot of groundwork.
Football madness
By garden designer Sarah Layton. For parents of sports-mad children the garden is a challenge.
Food from your garden
By garden designer Catherine Heatherington. For many, food in the garden stops with the barbeque. But what could be more satisfying than picking your own rocket and lettuce, tossing in a dressing and eating on the spot?
The garden by night
By garden designer Catherine Heatherington. Light, sound and scent combine to create the atmosphere of the night garden. As dusk falls the city recedes and the intimacy of the space is magnified.
Art for gardens
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. The last five years of garden design have all been about bringing the outside in and the inside out, making rooms out of the garden and connecting the two spaces in every way imaginable. Has it been successful?

Wildlife and Eco Gardening

Gardening for bumblebees

By Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Wildflowers have become scarce in the countryside because we've lost  many traditional habitats like hedgerows, hay meadows and chalk grassland. Wherever you live in the UK you should be able to attract at least 6 bumblebee species to your garden, and perhaps as many at 10.

Grow Your Own Butterfly Garden
Attract butterflies to your garden. Whether brilliant orange, yellow, blue, or even black, butterflies can rival any flower for breath-taking beauty. Butterflies are particularly attracted to purples, mauves and pink flowers.
Gardening for Wildlife...
By Plant for Life. Encouraging butterflies, birds and other wildlife into the garden is a joy in its own right and goes a long way to protect the survival of many creatures within our environment.
Recycling and harvesting water
By garden designer Alice Bowe. Hints and tips for creating more eco-friendly and sustainable garden designs.
Sustainable garden design materials
Green, sustainable and eco-friendly garden design does not mean you have to compromise on good garden design. In fact careful, considered thought about materials and how they are used often lead to better design and better results.
Gone to rot
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. One of the most enjoyable parts of gardening for me is making compost.
Hosepipe ban do's and don'ts

By the Horitcultural Trade Association. In February, the water companies said that a hosepipe ban could only be averted by above average rainfall in the south east. Since then rainfall has been above average, but still the restrictions came. Here are 10 things can and cannot do under a hosepipe ban.

All dried out
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. I was going to start this month by giving some handy ways to beat the hosepipe ban and keep your trees and shrubs alive but before I got there I started thinking about the reasons for a hosepipe ban.
Whatever the weather
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. This winter has seen a heated debate about whether our climate is changing for the worse or whether we're just having a decade or so of seasonal adjustment.
Centre stage
By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Andrew Fisher Tomlin looks at improving your front gardens whilst being aware of the environmental impact.
Welcome wildlife into your garden

By garden designer Sarah Layton. As a child I remember the joy of watching garden birds feeding, or bathing with their delicate feathers all fluffed up, of watching a butterfly flit from one colourful flower to another drinking nectar in the sun.

Recycled garden

By garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin. Someone approached me the other day and said they were fed up with seeing all these crisp new concrete walls, bright colours and fancy flooring in relatively ordinary gardens. It got me thinking about how some people are fast getting into a cycle of replacing gardens every few years, almost as often as we replace kitchens and re-decorate our homes.

Grow your own

My greenhouse by Nicola Lindsay
The Potager: Gardening from the past, made for the future

By garden designer Charlie Bloom. A Potager by definition is an "ornamental kitchen garden", its intrinsic beauty being that it is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

National Trust land for allotments
The National Trust is creating 1,000 allotments for people to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Crops in Pots
By Plant for Life. It is a common misconception that you need a lot of space to be able to grow vegetables.
A simple guide to propagation
By John Molyneux. Although some think that propagation is complicated, there is nothing mysterious about it and it is worth the effort. Seeds and cuttings need 3 things; heat, light and moisture.
Water works

By John Molyneux. Hydroponics is a bit of a mystery to many growers but it is simply growing without soil and it has been used for centuries to help growers achieve better results than conventional soil growing.