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  • Spring’s promise…..

    Posted on: March 13th, 2017 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    IMG_1343The sight of crocuses and daffodils in the countryside are the harbingers of spring and the promise of warmer weather on the way. Those little parcels of yellow sunshine lift our spirits and turn our thoughts once more to our gardens and the outdoors. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus and our garden Daffodil's ancestors came from areas around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Spain, Portugal and Turkey. Daffodils are perennials with at least 50 species and many hybrids. In a moderate climate, they will be amongst the first spring bulbs to flower and bloom in clusters. They were widely grown by the ancient Greeks and the Romans but became almost forgotten until, around the 17th Century, when a group of Englishmen took the Daffodil out of the “wild” and introduced them into gardens. Daffodils were originally brought to Britain by the Romans who believed that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers. Actually, the sap contains calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the skin. These crystals also clog the stems of other flowers, causing them to wilt if placed in the same vase. Enjoy vases of daffodils in your home, just don’t combine them with other flowers. Daffodils symbolize friendship and are some of the most popular flowers…..simply for their unmatched beauty. Even Wordsworth was inspired to write about these beauties…. I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd A host of dancing Daffodils; Along the Lake, beneath the trees, Ten thousand dancing in the breeze. So, head out into our burgeoning countryside for a walk and let their pretty yellow faces brighten up your day.  
  • Cold comfort

    Posted on: February 8th, 2017 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    With20130211-193246.jpg most of us now well ensconced into the new year, we hope that you have made the most of the chilly winter months and been dipping into those seed catalogues, gardening magazines and finding inspiration on-line to crystallize the plans for your garden. Gardens provide us with constant interest all year round with the ever-changing light, landscape and weather… each season brings its own pleasures and whilst they may not always be so apparent in the winter months, there is beauty in the frost-rimed grasses and cobweb strewn seed heads which dazzle with frost in the early morning light. We can also see the bones of the garden in sharper outline and it is a great time to review the structure and layout of hard landscaping, beds and planting. Armed with plenty of winter woollies and a hot cup of tea, it’s a good time, now, to venture outdoors and to prune shrubs, climbers and evergreen hedges to create a defined structure to serve as a backdrop to the new perennials and leaves as they push their way up through their winter “coats”. Repairs to garden fences, pergolas or paving can be done too, as well as treating outdoor furniture in preparation for dining ‘al-fresco’ once the warmer weather arrives. The garden has become an extension of our living area during the summer months and planters, loungers and a place for dining and cooking can be added so that when that summer sunshine finally appears we can fling open the doors and take ourselves outside. In the meantime, with snow forecast for Southern regions this week….. keep warm and keep dreaming.
  • Welcoming in the New Year

    Posted on: January 5th, 2017 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    january-post Whilst it may be tempting to remain curled up on your sofa looking out onto a chilly winter landscape, January is a great time to tackle a few important tasks in the garden...planting dormant trees and shrubs, pruning rose bushes and cutting back ornamental grasses in anticipation of spring. Or you can simply make a cup of tea, settle into that comfy chair and plan for Spring.... order seeds, plan a new border or just give us a call .... At OpenView Landscape Design, we are back to work after the festive break and keen to be out in the countryside, doing what we do best.... visiting clients and preparing inspired designs, building beautiful and unique gardens and furnishing them with nature's bounty.
  • What’s in your March wheelbarrow?

    Posted on: March 17th, 2016 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    WheelBarrow 1 If you haven’t already its time to start pruning and filling your wheelbarrow, weather permitting. If you love Delphiniums now is a good time to go and check to see if they are showing signs of growth. It is also time to start protecting your emerging plants from slug attack. There are various methods and we all have our preferred way but if you are protecting treasured plants one of the most effective is slug pellets. Less is more, so a level teaspoon (NOT heaped) of pellets will be enough for 2 to 4 plants. Sprinkle around the plant and fork into the soil. This will help it reach the small slugs that are just under the soil as well as those that move above. Other more organic deterrents include crushed egg shells, sharp sand, grit, copper bands and beer traps and you may find yourself using a variety of methods in different areas of the garden. If you have ornamental grasses now is the time to cut them back. Check for new growth it will be pushing out from the old grass sheath and new shoots in and around the edge of the plant. Cut just above the new growth so as not to damage them. Pampas grass can also be tidied up now. The best method I’ve found is to use a hedge cutter. This is a particularly hazardous job and protective clothing is needed both for the machine and the very sharp edges of the grass! Put rubber bands over your trouser legs around the ankles to stop the blades of grass from climbing up your trouser legs which they will do! Long sleeves, gloves and goggles are also a must. Cut into a mound shape and remove the dead flower stalks. This will make a mess. Any apple or pear trees that need pruning must be done before the buds burst so there is only a short time left to get this job done. The RHS Web site gives good step by step instructions for those who are unsure of what to cut.  http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=90 Plums, cherries and apricots should only be pruned when in full leaf. Otherwise you run the risk of ‘Silver Leaf’, a fungal disease, affecting the tree. Now is also a good time to check for weeds. Removing small weeds now will mean you may be able to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labours later on in the year. HAPPY GARDENING
  • Bare root planting

    Posted on: March 8th, 2016 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    What with waving catkins, popping pussy willow and the unfurling of silver birch leaves the end of February or early March brings us to the beginning of spring. Spring also brings us rapidly to the end of the bare root season. If you’re quick you may be able to find a bargain as nurseries sell off some of their winter stock. So if there’s still a hedge you need to plant or a specimen tree or shrub that you yearn for and you haven’t made the time, best hop to it before those leaves start bursting! You should also note that when planting bare root specimens this late it’s best to add some slow release fertilizer to really give your trees and shrubs a good start. Happy planting!
    Bare root planting

    Bare root planting

  • Seasonal Essentials: Bare Root Hedges

    Posted on: January 8th, 2016 by admin

    Posted in Blog Entries
    We are very fortunate to work with a whole myriad of wonderfully talented people that ultimately help create your garden. Diana, our leading horticulturist, talks this week about getting that new hedge in that you have been thinking about, specifically taking advantage of bare root stock. It's time to plant bare root hedges (and shrubs)! But what is what? Purchasing bare root or open ground whips is a cheaper way of planting a hedge than using container grown plants. A whip is a plant of 18 months plus - they often look more like a stick than a plant but they will establish more quickly than a large specimens. A feathered whip however is larger and has a branching stem. A root ball plant on the other hand is usually 2 years and older, the plant is lifted in the field retaining the soil around it and is usually wrapped in hessian to keep the root and soil intact. Planting a new bare root hedge is straight forward; if possible a few weeks before the hedging arrives spray off the area to be planted. alternatively it can be strimmed but the weeds will be more of a problem as the hedge begins to grow. When your hedging arrives it will be wrapped for protection, after checking make sure it is kept wrapped in wind proof covering, a plastic bag of some description is perfectly fine. If you leave your plants out in the open they can become dried and damaged quite quickly by wind or sun even on a dull day! If the roots look dry drench in a bucket of water for 15 – 30 mins before planting, an excuse for a cuppa if ever I have heard one! There are a couple of simple methods, digging a shallow trench, no deeper than the plants roots, is one method. You will need to then hold the whip up right while you back fill and then firm in. Another method is to dig individual holes which need to be wide enough to give the root room to grow and again as deep as the root. Once in the hole, cover with soil make sure the plant is firmed in to make a good contact between roots and soil - easy peasy. Beware, do not plant on waterlogged soils, this is common on clay soils in winter.  If the hole fills with water in the time it takes to pick up a whip then it’s better to put the whip back in the bag! Any plants that are waiting for drier conditions can be ‘heeled in’. Again this is very straight forward; dig a trench in the veg patch or garden and place in bundles or single whips. You then back fill making sure the soil gets between the bundles roots and firm in! Plants can also be placed in large pots and back filled with compost and water in. Plant as soon as conditions allow and before leaves appear. Happy hedging!

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I am very very happy with the garden. Every time I walk through the back gate and see it, it’s almost as if I see it for the first time every time and somehow it’s a surprise that it’s there and it’s so beautiful.

Miranda Golding (Leatherhead Garden)

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