Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27

Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27

Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27 – Join Monty Don in his lush garden as he diligently plants garlic and onions, enriching his Bog Garden with the elegant touch of camassias. Witness the careful planting of bulbs in pots, a promise of spring’s vibrant beauty. Follow along as he transplants delicate foxgloves and meticulously prepares his strawberry bed for the winter’s embrace, ensuring a bountiful harvest in the coming year. Take a delightful journey to Dorset, where three sisters unveil the inspiring story of transformation. Discover how the collapse of an old greenhouse sparked a splendid opportunity to breathe new life into a section of their garden, turning desolation into bloom.

Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27

Embark on a trip to Kent with Joe Swift, exploring the unique gravel garden where resilient and vibrant plants thrive with minimal watering. Marvel at the gardener’s expertise in maintaining year-round color and texture in a landscape designed for sustainability and breathtaking beauty. Journey with Tom Brown to the prestigious RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford. Gain exclusive insights into their rigorous plant trials and unravel the intricate process through which plants are honored with the esteemed award of garden merit.

Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27

Delve into the world of permaculture in a Hertfordshire kitchen garden, exploring its manifold benefits to both humans and the vibrant wildlife that calls it home. Uncover the holistic approaches that foster a harmonious balance, promoting sustainability and flourishing life. And there’s more to explore! Engage with films sent in by our dedicated viewers, offering a diverse array of gardening adventures and insights, expanding your horizons and fueling your gardening passion.

Join us in celebrating the profound beauty and boundless possibilities of gardening, and let your garden flourish and thrive.

Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27 – The Ultimate Guide to Flourishing Gardens and Thriving Life

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1 Gardeners World 2023 Episode 27 – The Ultimate Guide to Flourishing Gardens and Thriving Life

Revitalizing Neglected Spaces with Ingenuity and Imagination

In the lush countryside of Dorset, three resourceful sisters embarked on an inspirational journey of garden transformation. After the collapse of an old greenhouse, a forgotten corner of their sprawling garden lay barren and neglected. Seizing this misfortune as an opportunity, their ingenuity and imagination breathed new life into the dormant space.

They began by visualizing possibilities, sketching designs, and gathering materials. With enthusiasm and energy, they reshaped the terrain, built raised beds edged with bricks, and erected handcrafted obelisks. Choosing plants that would thrive in the microclimate, they sowed an array of flowers and herbs. As their lush oasis emerged, a feeling of deep contentment bloomed within their hearts.

The story of their success demonstrates the power of perceiving possibility within difficulty. With resourcefulness, flexibility, and vision, virtually any neglected space can be revitalized. Gardens hold immense potential for sparking creativity, fostering community, and infusing our lives with beauty. When we approach setbacks with an eye for potential, even the most dormant areas can flourish with vibrance and energy.

The Art of Growing Garlic and Onions for a Bountiful Harvest

In his renowned garden in Herefordshire, revered horticulturist Monty Don has honed the art of growing garlic and onions over decades. As autumn approaches, Monty diligently plants garlic cloves and onion sets, enriching his soil with organic matter to foster vigorous bulbs beneath the ground.

For optimal results, garlic and onions should be planted in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. The ideal time is mid-autumn, allowing the plants to establish deep roots before winter dormancy. Spacing is crucial – overcrowding impedes development. Monty plants cloves and sets 2-3 inches apart in evenly spaced rows, covering them with 2 inches of soil. Throughout winter, a protective mulch of compost or straw insulates the developing bulbs from frost. As spring arrives, remove mulch and apply a balanced organic fertilizer when shoots emerge. Consistent watering is key during the growth and bulbing phases. In mid-summer, mature bulb foliage begins yellowing, signaling readiness for harvest. Loosen the soil with a fork, gently lifting bulbs and allowing them to dry in the sun before storage or consumption.

When grown with care and expertise, garlic and onions generously reward the diligent gardener with a bountiful, flavorsome harvest. Monty’s astute guidance illuminates the intricacies of cultivation, from soil preparation to planting techniques and beyond.

Enriching Shaded Areas with Vibrant Spring Ephemerals

In a shady corner of his rambling garden, Monty enriches his Bog Garden with dazzling spring ephemerals like camassias and bluebells. In autumn, he plants bulbs of these moisture-loving beauties to herald spring with a burst of vibrant color.

For optimal impact, Monty recommends grouping at least 15 bulbs of a single variety. He digs holes and backfills with compost for nourishment. For proper drainage, raise beds if the site is soggy. Top-dress bulbs with rich compost or well-rotted manure and sprinkle in bone meal for phosphorus. Add a thick mulch layer for insulation and moisture retention. Come spring, a carpet of vibrant blue camassia blooms and bluebells emerges, followed by vibrant orchid-like foxgloves in summer. Other enchanting options include snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths. By combining early, mid, and late-season varieties, shady beds can display a succession of colorful spring blooms before trees leaf out.

Through thoughtful plant selection and care, even the darkest, moist corners of a garden can be brightened with delightful spring ephemeral flowers. Their fleeting beauty heralds the rebirth of nature and brings joy after winter’s gloom.

Caring for Strawberries to Maximize Harvests

In his productive kitchen garden, Monty Don pays close attention to his treasured strawberry bed. To maximize next year’s harvest, he trims back the strawberry plants after fruiting, removing old leaves and wood. This stimulates new growth and prevents disease.

Monty spaces his strawberries 12 inches apart in rows separated by 18 inches. This allows for air circulation and easy picking. He maintains the soil’s fertility by applying 2-3 inches of compost or well-rotted manure annually. Along with fish blood and bone several times a season, this nourishes the heavy-feeding berries. As autumn arrives, Monty clears debris and applies slug repellent. To protect the crowns from frost, he covers the bed with straw. In spring, he removes the straw and watches as white flowers emerge, promising a bountiful berry harvest in early summer.

With attentive year-round care, strawberry beds will keep producing fruit abundantly. By providing rich soil, proper spacing, winter protection, and spring renewal, gardeners can enjoy bowls overflowing with juicy, home-grown strawberries.

Designing Low-Maintenance Gravel Gardens

Not all gardens require intensive upkeep and ample water. In Kent, gardener Joe Swift explores a fascinating gravel garden, showcasing drought-tolerant plants that thrive with minimal care. With its unique textures and earthen hues, this landscape demonstrates sustainable alternatives to thirsty lawns and borders.

Gravel gardens favor sturdy, resilient plants with silver or gray-green foliage that withstand drought. Examples include lavenders, sedums, santolinas, curry plants, and ornamental salvias. Hardy succulents like agaves and sempervivums also flourish. Mix varieties to create visual interest. Group plants densely to suppress weeds. Good drainage is essential, so excavate beds to improve subsurface flow. Fill with a 4-inch gravel base topped with a 2-inch layer of gritty soil. Nestle plants into the gravel, watering until established, then allow them to fend for themselves. Scatter more gravel around plants as mulch.

With their minimal demands and quiet elegance, gravel gardens offer freedom from weekly mowing, deadheading, and watering. Their foliage interplays beautifully with stone, concrete, and gravel. By embracing resilient plants adapted to drought, we can create stunning landscapes aligned with nature’s rhythms.

Exploring Permaculture – A Sustainable Gardening Approach

Permaculture is an enlightened approach to designing gardens, homes, and communities that synchronize human habitation with nature’s patterns. It employs ethics of earth care, people care, and fair distribution of resources. Through thoughtful observation of natural ecosystems, permaculture gardens mimic ecological relationships to create an abundant, self-sustaining habitat.

In a kitchen garden in Hertfordshire, gardener Tom Brown demonstrates permaculture principles like companion planting, closed-loop systems, and biodiversity. Vegetable beds follow forest dynamics with a canopy of taller plants over understory layers. Fruit trees are underplanted with shrubs and herbs that deter pests and benefit pollinators. Curving beds, arbors, compost bins, and water features are creatively incorporated.

By gardening in partnership with nature rather than attempting mastery, permaculture allows us to sustainably harvest nature’s abundance while nurturing the living world that sustains us. Thoughtful design reduces labor through beneficial plant associations. Maximizing biodiversity creates a resilient, thriving ecosystem. With care and creativity, permaculture enables plentiful harvests and ecological harmony.

Nurturing Biodiversity to Make Gardens Wildlife Havens

Gardens sustain more than human communities – they are vital habitats for birds, pollinators, amphibians, and other wildlife. Through thoughtful design, our gardens can shelter and nourish the living world.

The permaculture garden in Hertfordshire abounds with life. Shrubs like honeysuckle and hazel provide nesting spots and food for birds who feast on pests. Wildflowers and undergrowth offer shelter and sustenance to hedgehogs, frogs, and toads. The miniature wetland filters water and breeds dragonflies and damselflies.

By planting native species, eliminating chemicals, and providing diverse habitats, any garden can become a haven for local wildlife. Welcome creatures by installing birdhouses and insect hotels. Let areas rewild to create mini-meadows. Add a pond or bog garden with marsh plants. Your garden will soon abound with thriving life, completing nature’s circle.

Key Takeaways: Revitalizing, Nourishing, and Sustaining Life through Gardening

This episode of Gardeners World highlighted inspirational stories of turning difficulties into opportunities to nurture new life. We explored transforming neglected spaces, enriching soils, and planting for year-round color. Alternative approaches like permaculture and gravel gardening illustrated environmentally friendly techniques. Wildlife gardening demonstrated how our gardens can become thriving habitats when designed in partnership with nature.

The gardeners modeled perseverance, resourcefulness, and compassionate care. Their wisdom can guide us in envisioning new possibilities and implementing holistic solutions to create beautiful, vibrant gardens that sustain and nourish the living world. Though gardening has challenges, it offers infinite potential for positive change if we approach it with courage, creativity, and an open heart.

Questions Home Gardeners Frequently Ask

What is the best time to plant garlic and onions?

The optimal time to plant garlic and onions is mid-autumn. Planting them around October allows time for the cloves and bulbs to establish roots before the cold winter months. The roots remain alive underground throughout winter and resume growing in early spring.

Plant them too late in autumn and the ground may freeze before the roots take hold. Too early, and the cloves may sprout before winter arrives, leaving them vulnerable to frost damage. Mid-autumn hits the sweet spot for the successful cultivation of garlic and onions.

How do I plant spring bulbs?

Spring bulbs produce a spectacular floral display when planted properly in autumn. Choose a site with well-draining soil and full sunlight. Dig holes 2-3 times as deep as the bulb’s height. For proper drainage, raise beds if the site is soggy.

Place bulbs in the holes with pointy ends, spaced 3 times their width apart. Backfill holes with soil enriched by compost or manure for nourishment. Top dress with more organic matter. Mulch overplanted areas with 2-3 inches of bark chips, leaves, or straw. Water bulbs well and they will bloom come spring!

What is a gravel garden?

A gravel garden is a landscape filled with ornamental plants that thrive in dry, lean conditions. Instead of fertile garden soil, these tough plants grow in a 4-6 inch base layer of gravel, sand, or grit that ensures excellent drainage.

Gravel gardens suit desert-like climates or drought-prone areas. The stone mulch helps retain moisture while inhibiting weeds. Silver-leaved plants like lavenders, cistus, santolinas, senecios, and sedums intermingle, providing year-round textural interest. With their minimal need for watering or fertilizing, gravel gardens offer low-maintenance landscapes full of interesting textures and colors.

What is the RHS Award of Garden Merit?

The Award of Garden Merit is the highest honor bestowed upon plants by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). It serves as a mark of quality to help gardeners select excellent plants. Awards are only given after extensive trialing at RHS Gardens to assess performance under UK growing conditions.

The Award of Garden Merit highlights plants with outstanding attributes like long flowering/fruiting, resistance to pests/diseases, novel color, structural form, or culinary value. Recipients can display the AGM logo, confirming their credibility to gardeners. The award is rigorously assessed annually. Plants may lose AGM status if their performance declines. The current AGM list contains over 8,000 plants trialed for excellence.

What is permaculture?

Permaculture is a sustainable approach to designing human settlements like homes, gardens, and even entire communities. It aims to create an environment that provides for human needs while regenerating the natural world. Permaculture is inspired by the relationships and flows observed in natural ecosystems. By mimicking these patterns, permaculture allows us to sustainably harvest nature’s abundance. Key permaculture principles include closed energy loops, zero waste, multifunctional design, and maximizing biodiversity. Companion planting, forest gardens, integrated water management, and reciprocal relationships are common practices. This harmonious approach allows people to inhabit earth while caring for plants, animals, water, soil, and air – creating an abundance that can be shared equitably.

What are the benefits of gardening for wildlife?

Inviting wildlife into our gardens through thoughtful habitat design brings many joys along with environmental benefits. The sight of butterflies fluttering amidst flowers or hedgehogs snuffling in leaf litter delights the soul. The cheerful chorus of birdsong creates a pleasant soundscape.

Gardening for wildlife also restores vital habitat connections in urban areas. Bees, bugs, bats, birds, and other species find food, shelter, water, and nesting spots in wildlife-friendly gardens. The diverse ecosystems allow natural pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal to thrive. By supporting local biodiversity, wildlife gardening helps threatened species survive. And spending time observing wild creatures relieves stress and fosters a sense of harmony with nature.

How do I design a permaculture garden?

Designing a permaculture garden involves thoughtful observation of your site’s unique characteristics. Consider sunlight, wind patterns, soil qualities, and hydrology. Observe how the space changes through seasons. Identify existing beneficial relationships. Mimic patterns are seen in nature like forest canopies and edge habitats. Maximize biodiverse edible and ecologically beneficial plants. Design curving, multifunctional beds and zones based on use frequency. Integrate structures like ponds, arbors, trellises, and compost bins.

Draw inspiration from natural patterns like spirals and fractals. Select low-maintenance native species. Include habitat features like brush piles, birdhouses, and insect hotels. Focus on creating harmonious connections and closed, self-sustaining loops just like a thriving ecosystem.

What are the best plants for a gravel garden?

The lean, fast-draining environment of a gravel garden suits tough, drought-tolerant plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions. Some excellent options include:

  • Succulents like sedums, sempervivums, and agaves
  • Silver-leaved shrubs like lavender, curry plant, and sage
  • Evergreen santolinas, senecios and cistus
  • Ornamental grasses like Stipa, miscanthus and Pennisetum
  • Hardy herbs like thyme, oregano and rosemary

Choose various plants with contrasting textures, forms, and foliage colors for visual diversity. Group them densely to suppress weeds. Situate them well in the gravel and water until established. Then let them fend for themselves!

How do I care for my spring bulbs?

Caring for spring bulbs properly is crucial to achieve a dazzling floral display year after year. After blooming finishes, allow foliage to die back completely before removing it. The leaves manufacture food for next year’s flowers.

Stop deadheading faded blooms once the lower flowers drop pollen onto the upper buds. This enables a seed set that produces daughter bulbs. Water bulb beds regularly if rainfall is insufficient, especially during active growth. Apply organic fertilizer or compost when foliage emerges. Let foliage ripen and yellow entirely before cutting it back. After foliage removal, mark locations to avoid accidentally digging up dormant bulbs. Add new bulbs in autumn for an expanded, spectacular spring show.

How do I grow garlic?

Growing flavorful garlic begins with sourcing plump, healthy bulbs for planting in mid-autumn. Separate the head into individual cloves, keeping the papery skins intact. Plant cloves 3 inches deep and 6 inches apart in soil enriched with compost. Garlic thrives in full sun and well-drained fertile soil with a neutral pH. Mulch beds for winter insulation, then remove mulch in spring when shoots appear. Water during growth and bulbing phases. Stop watering once the lower leaves yellow.

When the majority of foliage is yellowed and dried in mid-summer, loosen the soil with a fork and lift each garlic head gently. Allow to dry for 2 weeks before trimming roots and stems. Store bulbs in a cool dark place with good air circulation.

How do I grow onions?

Onions grow best from small bulbs called sets rather than seeds. Plant sets 1-2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in late autumn in nutrient-rich soil. Place sets vertically with pointy tips facing up. Onions prefer full sun and consistent moisture during the growing season. Side-dress with nitrogen-rich fertilizer when bulbing begins around mid-summer. Stop watering when the majority of tops fall over and wither.

Loosen the soil and lift mature onions gently by their dried necks. Lay them on screens or newspaper to finish curing for 2 weeks. Store cured onions in a cool, dry spot enshrouded by stockings or pantyhose which allows air circulation while containing the bulbs.

How do I transplant foxgloves?

Foxgloves self-sow readily, producing new plants from dropped seeds. Transplant the volunteer seedlings while still small. Carefully dig up the young plants, retaining some soil around the roots. Replant immediately at the new location. Space foxgloves 18-24 inches apart in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Water the transplants thoroughly. Apply mulch around the seedlings to retain moisture. Keep the soil consistently damp as the roots reestablish.

Stake taller varieties to provide support in windy areas. Transplant in early spring or early autumn to minimize stress from heat and cold. Handle the seedlings gently and transplant promptly for the best results. Soon your foxgloves will thrive and flower in their new home.

How do I prepare my strawberry bed for winter?

Preparing your strawberry bed properly each autumn ensures vigorous growth and a bountiful harvest next season. Trim back the strawberry plants after fruiting, removing old leaves, stems, and runners. This rejuvenates the crowns. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart. Clear all weeds and debris from the bed. Mix in 1-2 inches of compost to replenish nutrients. Apply an organic strawberry fertilizer according to the package directions.

Surround each plant with fresh straw mulch, mounding it over the crowns to insulate them from harsh winter frost. Replenish mulch if it becomes thin. Remove the straw after the last spring frost to allow new growth.

How do I maintain year-round color and texture in a gravel garden?

Achieving a year-round interest in a gravel garden relies on strategic plant selection and placement. Combine evergreen and deciduous plants for winter structure. Use conifers, ornamental grasses, and red-twigged shrubs. Include early bloomers like hellebores for winter color. Add bulbs like crocus, grape hyacinths, and alliums that emerge early. Include lavender, sage, cistus, and thyme for spring through fall.

Incorporate plants with colorful berries for fall and evergreen groundcovers. Use contrasting textures like spiky grasses with succulent rosettes. Complement silver foliage with purple tones. Group plants densely and situate them attractively within the gravel.

What are the different types of permaculture systems?

Permaculture design applies ethical principles universally, but different types of permaculture systems exist:

Forest gardens mimic woodland layers with interconnected food plants, trees & shrubs.

No-till gardens minimize soil disruption and utilize sheet mulching, to cover crops and zones.

Aquaponics combines hydroponics and aquaculture in a closed loop.

The natural building utilizes on-site, eco-friendly materials.

Urban permaculture transforms cities into sustainable habitats with rooftop gardens, water recycling, and energy efficiency.

Community resilience organizes groups by neighborhood to share resources and skills.

Financial permaculture applies permaculture ethics to personal finances and investing.

Regenerative agriculture focuses on restoring degraded land and soil health.

The diversity of permaculture systems reflects the adaptability of its core ideology to create solutions specific to the environment and community.

How do I attract wildlife to my garden?

Transforming your outdoor space into a welcoming habitat for wildlife simply takes thoughtful planning and plant selection. Focus on providing the essentials of food, water, shelter, and places to raise young.

Plant native flowers, shrubs, and trees that provide pollen, nectar, seeds, and berries to feed wildlife. Leave areas unmowed or till the soil is less to encourage insects. Install a small pond or bird bath for drinking and bathing. Compost and leaf litter provide insects and shelter for amphibians. Leave dead wood and piles of pruned branches for nesting mammals and invertebrates. Avoid pesticides and herbicides so creatures can safely eat and inhabit your garden.

Let your garden become a little wilder and you’ll soon notice more birds, bees, butterflies, and other fascinating creatures flocking to it!

What are the best plants for a permaculture kitchen garden?

A permaculture kitchen garden aims to maximize productivity and usefulness while fostering an ecologically balanced system. Some excellent multifunctional edibles include:

Fruit trees & shrubs: Apples, plums, currants – provide fruit plus vertical layers.

Vining crops: Beans, cucumbers, squash – grow vertically on trellises.

Dynamic accumulators: Comfrey, borage, lamb’s quarters – mine nutrients and enhance compost.

Legumes: Peas, beans, clover – fix nitrogen.

Companion plants: Carrots & tomatoes, basil & tomatoes, onions & brassicas – mutually beneficial.

Herbs & spices: Rosemary, lavender, thyme – repel pests.

Edible flowers: Nasturtiums, calendula, and borage – attract pollinators.

Green manures: Clover, vetch, buckwheat – improve soil fertility.

By thoughtfully combining plants, a permaculture garden intensifies abundance.

How do I grow my food sustainably?

Growing your food sustainably requires adopting regenerative practices that improve, rather than deplete, your garden’s ecological health.

  • Enrich soil with compost, manure, and cover crops to foster microbial diversity and water retention. Use organic fertilizers only as needed.
  • Promote pollinators and beneficial insects by avoiding pesticides and interplanting flowers. Encourage natural predators like birds by providing habitat.
  • Conserve water with rain catchment systems, drought-tolerant plant selection, and mulching to prevent evaporation.
  • Follow permaculture zoning and companion planting principles to maximize productivity in intensive beds.
  • Allow some areas to grow wild to create biodiverse habitats connected to your garden.
  • Compost all plant waste, use organic materials for mulch and fertilizer, and recycle greywater to close resource loops on-site.

By improving soil health, boosting biodiversity, enhancing ecosystem connections, and closing resource loops, gardens can sustain us indefinitely.

What are the challenges of permaculture gardening?

Adopting permaculture principles presents some unique challenges:

  • The design process requires long-term observation and planning for ideal implementation.
  • Letting areas rewild to enhance biodiversity may seem counterintuitive.
  •  Integrating animals for closed-loop fertility demands more inputs and management.
  • Establishing complex companion plant guilds takes time and close monitoring.
  • Finding optimal zoning based on slopes, sun patterns, and access paths involves trial and error.
  • Building soils naturally with cover crops and mulch takes patience compared to quick-fix fertilizers.
  • Relying on diverse native species reduces the ability to control garden outcomes.

With thorough observation skills, perseverance through setbacks, creativity in design, and maintaining ecological ethics as the priority, permaculture success will come.

How do I get involved in the permaculture community?

An active global community swaps knowledge and collaborates to expand permaculture. Ways to get involved:

  • Take a permaculture design certification course, online or in person.
  • Join permaculture groups on social media to exchange ideas and inspiration.
  • Volunteer at local community gardens practicing permaculture methods.
  • Attend permaculture conferences and events to network and learn from experts.
  • Visit local permaculture sites; ask if owners offer consultations.
  • Start small by applying permaculture principles in your yard or patio.
  • Share your experiences and assist others new to permaculture.
  • Donate to permaculture organizations that provide education and opportunity to people in need.

Permaculture’s collaborative community offers camaraderie and support for both experienced practitioners and newcomers seeking to gain skills. Sharing knowledge empowers positive change.

Conclusion: Creating Abundance through Mindful Garden Design

The art of gardening, as illustrated by the diverse stories in this edition of Gardeners World, can profoundly enrich our lives if we approach it with purpose and care. Each gardener demonstrated principles like perseverance, creativity, resilience, and harmony that we can emulate. Their wisdom can guide us in implementing solutions tailored to local ecology and community needs.

Gardens hold immense potential for sparking meaningful change in how we relate to each other and the living world. Through mindful design aligned with nature’s wisdom, we can transform neglected spaces into thriving habitats. We can maximize productivity while restoring ecosystems. By gardening regeneratively, our cultivation becomes a source of empowerment and abundance that ripples outward in countless ways.

The path of regeneration has its challenges. However, by showing compassion for ourselves, our communities, and the planet, we can progress through setbacks. If each of us implemented even small regenerative changes, together we could restore health and balance everywhere. May the gardens we nurture today become the forests of tomorrow, so that in giving life we find life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the five key principles for designing an eco-friendly garden?

The five key principles for an eco-friendly garden design are:

1. Maximizing biodiversity with native plants.
2. Boosting soil health through compost, mulch, and organic methods.
3. Conserving water with rain collection systems and drought-tolerant plants.
4. Avoiding pesticides and chemicals harmful to ecosystems.
5. Inviting wildlife by providing habitat for birds, pollinators, and other creatures.

How do you plan and layout a permaculture garden?

Planning a permaculture garden involves thoughtfully observing your unique site and local ecology. Design curving beds based on optimal solar orientation and hydrology patterns. Create zones from the most frequently used spaces to wilderness areas. Maximize biodiversity and companion plant guilds for productivity. Integrate structures like ponds, arbors, and compost bins. Allow rewilded areas. Connect your garden habitats to surrounding ecosystems.

What are five low-maintenance plants suitable for a gravel garden?

Five low-maintenance plants well-suited for gravel gardens include:

1. Sedums, like Autumn Joy and Dragon’s Blood, for evergreen ground cover.
2. Santolina for its silver foliage and yellow button flowers.
3. Lavender for fragrant purple blooms and drought tolerance.
4. Rosemary for its edible and medicinal qualities.
5. Agave for structural impact and ability to thrive in dry conditions.

How do you prepare a strawberry bed for optimal fruit production?

To prepare a strawberry bed for optimal fruit production:

1. Space plants 12″ apart in rows 2′ apart.
2. Cut back runners and old leaves after fruiting.
3. Clear weeds and add 2-3″ compost.
4. Fertilize with organic strawberry fertilizer.
5. Mulch around plants with straw before winter.
6. Remove mulch after spring frosts for new growth.

What are five flowering bulbs that thrive in shady gardens?

Five flowering bulbs that thrive in shade include:

1. Snowdrops for their early white blooms.
2. Scilla for their purple-blue flowers.
3. Camassia for tall spikes of blue or white.
4. Species tulips for their short, vivid blooms.
5. Crown imperials for regal, multitiered flowers.

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