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How to design your country garden

Design your country garden

The country garden is a beautiful and romantic place brimming with colour and interest.

The planting is loose and informal with small drifts of vibrant flflowers and pockets of delicious scent. Paths are curved and winding and made of brick, gravel or even bark chippings. It's relaxed and unstructured with that touch of charm all year round. Plant both perennials and annuals to give interest throughout the year.

The Country Garden

Contemporary garden

Click on the image above to enlarge.

H = Height | S = Spread

1. Clematis 'The president'
in early summer. Deciduous. Prefers well drained soil. Partial or full sun but roots should be shaded. H2-3m. S1m. Frost hardy.

2. Delphinium Excalibur Pale Blue
Herbaceous perennial with tall blue spires on strong stems from June onwards. Prefers well drained soil in full sun. H160cms. S60cms. Frost hardy.

3. Lavender Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote'
Evergreen shrub for borders, low hedges and containers. Aromatic foliage and blue/mauve flowers from July to September. Needs full sun and well drained soil. H50cm. S30cm. Hardy.

4. Rose 'Peace' Hybrid tea rose with large fragrant double flowers. The pink flushed yellow blooms are borne from July to September. Requires full sun and fertile well drained soil. Fully hardy.

5. Cape Daisy Osteospermum 'Stardust'
An evergreen perennial, suitable for borders, pots and hanging baskets. Daisy-like flowers throughout summer and autumn. Requires full sun and well drained soil. H45cm. S45cm. Half hardy.

6. Lupin Lupinus 'Gallery Blue'
Dwarf perennial with long dense flower spikes in shades of blue borne during summer. Ideal for small gardens or windy conditions. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. H60cms. S45cm. Hardy.

7. Paeony Paeonia lactifl ora 'Karl Rosenfi eld'
Large, fragrant, deep red, double flowers borne on glossy foliage from late spring to early summer. Plant in fertile, moist but well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. H80cm. S80cm. Fully hardy.

8. Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff'
Bushy perennial with bronze-green leaves and single dark red flowers 78mm across borne in summer and autumn. Requires a sunny position and well drained soil. H1m. S45cm. Half hardy. Lift and store tubers in winter.

9. Apple Tree Malus 'James Grieve'
Crisp, juicy desert apples from September to October. Partially self-fertile but more productive with another variety nearby. Plant in sun or partial shade. On MM26 rootstock. H2.5m

10. Sweet Pea Lathyrus odoratus 'Royal Carmine'
An annual fast growing tendril climber. Strongly scented flowers during summer and early autumn often used for cutting. Requires full sun and well drained soil. H3m.

11. Stonecrop Sedum herbstfreude 'Autumn Joy'
A succulent perennial for beds and borders attractive to butterflies and bees. Salmon pink umbrella-like flower heads turning copper red, borne in August until fi rst frost. Full sun and well drained soil. H60cm. S60cm. Hardy.

12. Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'
Climbing evergreen or semi evergreen honeysuckle. Woody stem and very fragrant white flowers in summer and autumn which age to pale yellow. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. H10m. Fully hardy.

13. Star Magnolia Magnolia stellata
Deciduous bushy shrub. Starshaped fragrant flowers from March to April. Requires fertile well drained soil in sun or semi-shade and shelter from strong winds. H3m. S4m. Fully hardy.

14. Broom Cytisus (x) praecox 'Allgold'
Deciduous shrub with grey-green leaves and an abundance of yellow pea-like flowers borne from mid to late spring. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. H1m. S1.5m. Fully hardy.

15. Box Buxus sempervirens
Evergreen shrub with dark green glossy leaves. Ideal for hedging, screens and topiary. Plant in sun or semi-shade and avoid waterlogged soil. Eventual H5m. S5m. Fully hardy.

16. Montbretia Crocosmia 'Spitfi re'
Clump forming perennial with fiery orange flowers from August to end of September. Prefers well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. H80cm. S8cm. Hardy.

17. Dwarf Pincushion Flower Scabiosa columbaria 'Pink Mist'
Herbaceous perennial for bedding or borders. Clump forming, with pink pincushion flowers from June to October. Prefers sun or semi-shade in well drained soil. H45cm. Hardy.

18. Oriental Poppy Papaver orientale 'Beauty Of Livermere'
Vigorous perennial with large crimson flowers in early summer. Prefers full sun and moist but well drained soil. H1m. S1m. Fully hardy.

19. Mophead Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla
Bushy deciduous shrub for beds, borders and patio. Flowers borne in July and August. Blue or purple flowers are produced in acid soil whilst in alkaline soil the flowers will be pink. Requires full sun and shelter from cold winds. H1.5-2m. S2-2.5m. Frost hardy.

20. Silver Birch Betula pendula
A deciduous, fast growing columnar shaped tree. Beautiful silver-white bark developing black rugged cracks from the base with age. Yellow catkins in spring. Prefers a sunny position and moist well drained soil. H25m. Fully hardy.

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Compost - what's it for?

Compost not only contains many enriching nutrients but its bulky quality improves the structure of the soil. It can help to increase water retention in dry, chalky or sandy soils and improve natural drainage in heavy peat or clay soils. At B&Q we have a complete range of multi-purpose, specialist, peat-free composts and growing bags for every type of garden and every type of gardener.

Multi-purpose compost

This a general-purpose compost that may be used for sowing, rooting of cuttings, re-potting, and for filling containers. It contains a balance of nutrients to give plants the best start in life. It is not recommended for use with ericaceous plants.

Specialist compost

There are many specialist composts available and each has its own individually tailored recipe. Composts for hanging baskets and containers for example have greater moisture retaining properties that help plants through dry periods. If you are growing Rhododendrons and Azaleas on the other hand, they will need Ericaceous Compost with its lime-free formula for acid-loving plants.

Peat-free compost

Developed from sustainable sources, this compost is the best possible choice for gardeners who want to support the environment as it's 100% peat free. It has been specially formulated to nurture your plants without any compromise in quality or performance.


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Soil improvers - what do they do?

Good soil structure is vital for healthy root growth. Without good structure, a weak root network will develop, which may lead to poor drought tolerance, nutrient defi ciencies and unhealthy plants.

Farmyard manure
Manure not only fertilises the soil, it conditions it too. It's the ideal choice for roses and other heavy feeders as well as fruit and vegetable gardens. Fork some manure into open beds in the spring, three weeks or more before planting, or use it for top dressing around existing plants.

Organic soil conditioner
A long lasting alternative to farmyard manure, this is the ideal product for those that want a soil improver that's free from animal material. Produced from composted bark and green waste, it has a rich, dark appearance and can also be used as a surface mulch. When mixed with soil it conditions it to allow stronger root growth.

Top soil
You will need a good quality top soil if you want to create new beds and borders, replace old depleted soil or need extra soil for turfi ng. Ideally, top soil should be 30cm deep for a bed or 15cm deep for a lawn. Our top soil has been screened to remove weeds and debris and sterilised to kill any bacteria.

Weed control
The last stage after planting is mulching – this extra step will keep weeds at bay, give roots some extra thermal insulation and help keep moisture in the soil. For shrub beds and other permanent planting areas, consider laying a permeable weed-control fabric, planting through it and then spreading a mulch (or bark) on top.

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