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Oh, the joy of growing your own vegetables! Whether you choose to just grow a few tomatoes in pots and some herbs for cooking, or go the whole hog with soft fruits, an allotment – even chickens – there’s nothing to beat the taste of fruit and vegetables you’ve grown yourself. Yes, your carrots may be less than straight, and your potatoes might be a bit knobbly, but they’ll be so big on flavour you won’t notice. To help you enjoy the thrill of grow your own (we are big fans ourselves), we’ve thought of everything you might need for your own vegetable or fruit garden, found the best suppliers and the best prices – so you can concentrate on the good stuff. Enjoy!
No matter what else you put in your garden you must have flowering plants. All that hard landscaping - decking, paving, lawns, garden sheds and fences, make up the garden's structure, but it's the flowers and plants that really steal the show. Elsewhere on The Gardening Website you can search for all manner of gardening tools and equipment including landscapers, garden designers, grow your own, mail order plants, gardening courses, and even search for garden centres by county or city. Here on this garden plants and nurseries page, you will find all the flowers, trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables, bulbs and seeds you need to make your garden beautiful. .
You have read the books, seen the DVDs, watched the TV programmes and decided what plants you want for your garden. Now here are all those plants listed with the names of the nurseries where you can find them. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a plant and not knowing where to buy it. Our top Gardening Website solves that problem, and with one click you'll be able to see contact details for each nursery so you know where they are and how to contact them.
What is better for your garden: perennial or annual plants?
Gardens may often look like the products of nature’s unadulterated beauty, however, gardeners know best all the careful planning and efforts that go into this seemingly spontaneous charm. After all, it’s precisely this planning and efforts that make gardens a true reflection of their creators’ style and personality.
Perhaps the most important question to consider before starting a garden is whether to use perennial or annual plants, and again, the choice depends on what you’re looking to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Whatever you choose though, you can at least rest assured that astroturf for gardens complements both options beautifully.
Perennial are the plants that grow for more than one season and live for at least two years without needing to be replanted. Their usual life span is between 3 and 5 years, with some making it even way past that.
This means that once you plant a perennial plant, you don’t have to worry about buying new seeds and/or small plants of this type for at least two years. You do need to plant them in the spring or fall, however.
To make perennial flowers even more convenient, besides their life being longer, it’s also one that’s easier to maintain. They don’t require too much pruning and forgetting to fertilize them once in a while probably wouldn’t have a devastating effect. It’s sometimes even advisory if they start getting too big.
Perennial plants’ roots have a wider range than annual plants, they often spread by default and just fill your garden with undemanding beauty, especially for gardening standards.
That being said, no garden can even thrive without care, so you still need to water and fertilize perennial plants regularly.
One of the main reasons why people love gardening so much is that it’s somewhat of a metaphor for life and its principles as a whole. In that spirit, being able to live for so long without needing to be replanted, perennial plants are generally less flashy and vibrant than annual plants.
For some people, this might be an actual advantage as they might prefer perennial plants more unassuming, but usually still very pretty appearance. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that they get better with time, and while they may look somewhat underwhelming in their first year, by the third, they should have blossomed into their full potential, if you’ve taken care of them properly. In that sense, perennial plants require patience in their own right and make for a long game that can be highly satisfying.
Clearly, the low maintenance is certainly one, if not the most beneficial aspect of perennial plants. For people who want to have a garden they can admire, but don’t necessarily have the time and energy to tend to something really demanding, perennial plants are certainly the better option.
The longevity of perennial plants also allows gardeners to get better acquainted with the optimal conditions for their needs, even if those needs aren’t that intricate, and thus cater to them in the best possible way without much unpredictability.
Furthermore, even if time or energy aren’t a concern, but experience is, perennial plants are great, if not a must, for newbie gardeners who need to learn the ropes.
Annual plants only live for one growing season, meaning they go from growing, to blooming, seeding, and finally dying, in the span of the same growing season. Somewhat paradoxically, you can plant annuals anytime.
There’s something poetic about annual plants’ short life span. Just like they say the brightest flame burns the most quickly, annual plants fill your garden with magical colors that require more maintenance, yet will still be gone before you know it. This fleeting nature is actually what makes some people so in love with annual plants as it reminds them of life as a whole.
For some gardeners, especially the more experienced and passionate ones, challenge spells reward, and in that sense, annual plants are like a hard, but fun to play video game which never ceases to intrigue.
Besides their more captivating appearance and colors, annual plants actually bloom for longer, accentuating even further the poetic nature of their fleeting, but saturated existence.
Furthermore, annual plants’ short life span means something else – a new beginning, year after year. This actually give gardeners a chance to experiment and explore their preferences. For people with more changing and/or diverse tastes, this freedom is an unmatched benefit.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to choose only perennial or annual plants. While sticking to only one kind may make for more consistency and predictability, mixing them up can not only feel more exciting, but also give you a blooming garden year-round.
As long as you can give plants the necessary care, there’re no wrong choices.
Weed Allies - Surprising Garden Friends
Weeds - we all have a different pet peeve when it comes to weeds. Some gardeners hate them with a passion - they like their garden neat, tidy, and their vegetables completely competition free.
If you’re one of those gardeners, it may surprise you to know that weeds can tell you important things about your soil composition. They may also help you with a particular composting problem? Some weeds even help you maintain healthy soil.
Or maybe you can use them just like your vegetables? Add them to a salad, or pickle them or dry them for a relaxing herbal tea that smells of summer.
Don’t believe us? Here is a list of plants that might surprise you!
This is the king of all weeds - it’s generally considered a menace by most people who own a lawn, and is removed as soon as it’s jagged little leaves appear. There gardeners who adore this little yellow flower for a variety of reasons.
It’s a salad plant - if you have ever wandered into a high end organic store you might have seen dandelion salad greens. It is the very same dandelion that you might have pulled out of your garden bed that very morning.
In fact, it contains a ton of nutrients like vitamins A, K, E, and C and has a ton of antioxidants. It contains folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Its root can be used as tea when dried and is full of inulin. Might be better for you than that lettuce you’re trying to keep Dandelion free!
The stinging nettle is a feared weed both inside and outside of the garden. But it is one of the most useful weeds that we can hope to put to use in our garden.
In the early spring, when the nettles just poke their stingy little heads out of the ground, it’s the best time to get those fresh young leaves and use them in a soup or a green sauce. They lose their sting after blanching, and they are an amazing source of just about every mineral and vitamin you can imagine.
Let’s go down the list - Vitamins A, C,K, and several of the B vitamins. Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sodium, as well as all of the essential amino acids and many antioxidants. It promotes liver health and is a natural diuretic. Whew.
When they grow and get tougher, it’s time to cut them back - after all, they pose a constant danger of being stung! This is the time for making nettle fertilizer. Just fill a bucket with cut nettles and fill it with water. You can beat them down with a shovel to break down the cell walls.
If you have a greenhouse or a potting shed , it’s a perfect place to conduct this sort of “experiment”. Potting sheds can be an ideal mix of a greenhouse and storage area combined. They will provide shelter from the wind and cold - and is perfect to keep nettle fertilizer in because...
...The fertilizer will ferment, bubble and be very infamously smelly. This type of fertilizer is known well among both experienced gardeners and their neighbors alike. Don’t let that discourage you - it’s an amazing source of nutrients for your garden, and it really works.
This stingy little friend is a powerhouse of nutrients not only for you but for your plants - have a heart for it and allow it to grow through the spring.
Lamb’s Quarters is known to every farmer and gardener. It is the bane of agriculture and pops up just about anywhere there is soil to grow on.
This pesky little plant is also a great addition to stews and salads. It may surprise you that it’s actually cultivated in some areas for purposes such as animal feed. It’s actually a delicious herb, with a taste that is very similar to spinach.
There is scientific and archeological proof that it’s been eaten by humans for millennia, and only relatively recently it fell into disuse and ill repute. It’s true that it can be competitive, especially in crop fields of plants like soy, beets or corn.
If you control it by cutting it back and not letting it grow to full size (they can get pretty impressive if you let them), you can use it to your benefit in the garden. It will attract leaf-eating pests, and help you in cultivating an organic garden without pesticides.
It is very resistant to disease and easy to cultivate - some die-hard organic farmers even support ditching the demanding cabbages and lettuces all together and instead, going back to harvesting this little guy.
We recommend experimenting with wild pestos, pates, stews, and salads!
This plant is a fascinating little guy, once you forget the fact that it’s often also an uninvited garden guest.
Did you know that this strange looking plant is considered a “living fossil”? It’s a survivor of the Paleozoic era, and was one of the most common plants found in the ancient forests of that period. It’s the only existing genus of the class Equisetopsida - that makes it more that 100 million years old.
The Horse Tail reproduces by spores, much like a mushroom. And early in the spring, you can see white and gray fruiting bodies poking out from the earth long before the green shoots appear. You may have wondered what those are - mushrooms? Aliens?
These hollow, white asparagus looking shoots are actually delicious and nutty when stir-fried. They can be eaten in the same way asparagus can.
The Horse Tail has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years, and is especially known for being great for hair growth and shine. If you boil horsetail for over 15 minutes, the silica and selenium are released and can be used in shampoos or herbal rinses.
..And Many More
There are many more useful and edible weeds to explore. Some will help stop soil erosion, others will pull up water and help to condition the soil. And some - most, in fact, will prove to be a delicious edible green.
Before you insist on having a perfectly manicured lawn, consider letting it grow a little wild and natural.