This week marks what would have been the biggest event of the horticultural calendar and for the first time since its inception in 1913, Chelsea Flower Show will be going virtual.
In celebration, we’re pleased to share a selection of exclusive tips from celebrated florist, Rosemary Livingstone. Rosemary creates bespoke arrangements for occasions and venues all year round – including at The Arts Club. Here, she shares simple steps for a glorious garden – whether you’re working with acres, balconies or window boxes.
From city balconies to cottage gardens our outside spaces have been a sanctuary to us during the past few months, both physically and mentally. With the risk of frost passing it’s time to focus on planting pots and containers, ready to enjoy an abundance of floral delight over the summer.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show week acts as a timely reminder that we need to be planning our summer gardens. This iconic event will be missed, but we’re looking forward to experiencing it online, as we await its return in 2021 - bigger and better than ever!
Lockdown has led many people to develop their green-fingered skills and no space is too small to enjoy a burst of floral colour or grow herbs. So whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice, here are a few key tips to help you make the most of your pots this summer.
Plan Before You Shop
The temptation of a garden centre can quickly lead you in 100 tempting directions and if you can’t shop in person, your online ordering needs to be planned if you don’t want to spend all day flicking from screen to screen!
Wherever you source your plants from, remember these key considerations:
Colour scheme – anything goes here from clashing colours to subtle whites
Pot size – how many plants will you need per pot?
Sunshine or shade - check plant labels to make sure your chosen plants are well suited to the space you plan to put them. Geraniums are a good all-round choice - and try to incorporate trailing plants, especially in hanging baskets
Maintenance – if you are likely to be away over the summer buy water retaining gel
We often get asked the secret to long lasting flowers and I attribute it to three simple ingredients. Stones, planting and maintenance.
Three steps to ensure your pots look fantastic all summer long:
1. Put stones in the bottom of the container. You can use lica stones from a garden centre, DIY shop or online. In the past people used old cracked terracotta pots for their drainage base which will still work if you can’t access to lica.
2. Add soil, not to the top, but just enough so that the plant can go in. You can add moisture retaining gel to the soil if you are not able to water your plants daily.
3. Gently remove the plants from the packaging, making sure to handle them carefully and place them in the pot deep enough to cover the roots, yet high enough so that the stem is exposed. Fill with more soil to make the plants secure and push gently around each plant to settle them in. Make sure to water well straight after planting. Check containers daily, being careful not to over water or let them dry out. Use a liquid feed once a week.
There is nothing more rewarding than stepping back and seeing the first stages of what will be an amazing floral feature in the weeks and months to come.
This year more than ever it is time to really appreciate any outdoor spaces we have at home. We have been given a valuable opportunity to get outside over the past months, even if just for a short while. Embrace your inner garden designer this year and have fun expressing your personality in your planting.