Planting for Spring
Tulips, Daffodils, Snowdrops, Crocus, Fritillarias to name a few; if you want a garden full of colour next Spring you will need to plant your bulbs in Autumn between August and December before the first hard frosts, they require a prolonged dormant period of cold temperatures to provoke root development. If you want to have good results choose healthy bulbs that are not soft, shrivelled or mouldy, but are firm. Good drainage to prevent bulbs rotting and a sunny spot are both fundamental, so select bulbs according to location and soil type.
Flowering bulbs generally prefer full sun. In the main bulbs should be planted two times their own depth and width apart, but if you check on the pack it will give instructions. Mix some bone meal into the soil (not too much as it will burn the root structure) and remember the top of the bulb should be pointed upwards when planting, after placing in position replace the soil and firm in gently. Once your bulbs have finished flowering resist the temptation to cut them back whilst the stems is still green. Let them die back and then cut back to ground level. It is important that they have time to produce food reserves for next years flowers.
Hardwood furniture is perfect for any garden and patio. It is not unusual for cracks and splits to appear in wood; this is a natural occurrence and should not cause concern as it is part of the natural weathering process. If you leave your hardwood furniture untreated it will turn a soft silvery grey, and can be cleaned occasionally with soapy water. If you would prefer to maintain a rich finish that enhances the look of the wood there are a number of specially formulated care products with which you can treat your furniture which can be found in most Garden Centres. Always check with the manufacturers instructions to ensure that the product is suitable for the type of wood.
Timber treatments are specifically formulated to help protect and enhance the natural beauty of most types of hardwood. These can generally be applied more than once during the year, however you can also apply a timber sealer once a treatment has been applied, this eliminates the need to apply further treatments. Timber sealers should still allow the wood to breathe as they are micro porous. There are many different types of hardwood and the durability of each will vary.
Teak combines strength with a high proportion of natural oils and a good Teak has durability lasting in excess of 25yrs. Other good hardwoods are Iroko which shares many of the characteristics of Teak. Mahogany is another favourite which has a warm honey brown colour. Remember you will only get what you pay for, so it is worth spending that little bit extra to have years of enjoyment.