The English Garden A Year in the English Garden 2021

Enjoy over 60 beautiful gardens a year with The English Garden. Every issue features country, city, cottage and coastal gardens, with advice on how to recreate them. Be inspired by articles written by the country's top garden designers and discover the best plant varieties for your garden, chosen by expert nurserymen and plantspeople.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

Many gardeners make their first forays into gardening driven by wanting a nicer outdoor space to spend time in during summer. But then the gardening bug bites and the urge to keep your garden looking as beautiful as possible for as long as possible starts to kick in. And that’s where the fifth edition of our annual, A Year in the English Garden, supported by Bloms Bulbs, will help. Our guide to the gardening year brings you a selection of each season’s most beautiful gardens, a handy monthly checklist of key gardening tasks, and inspirational planting suggestions to help you create a garden that looks good not only in summer but all the year round. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself outside on a damp February day, happily pottering with…

2 min
a word from bloms bulbs

A Year in The English Garden is dedicated to helping its readers achieve their dream year-round garden. And one of the easiest ways to bring that about is by growing bulbs. Visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show will know that Bloms Bulbs is renowned for spring-flowering tulips, but this established specialist offers a huge range of other bulbs for year-round colour. Set up in 1860 by Walter Blom in Holland, Bloms started out selling hyacinths. Helped by Walter’s son, Anton, this expanded to include other bulbs and mail order to England. In 1913, Anton’s son (another Walter) set up a nursery in Surrey to restart trade with England after the hiatus caused by World War I. But during WWII, when The Netherlands was classified ‘enemy occupied territory’, Bloms’ UK nurseries were confiscated…

6 min
sensory delight

If you need some inspiration to keep your garden looking good right through the colder months, a visit to the Winter Garden at Wakehurst in West Sussex is an absolute must. Also known as Kew’s ‘Wild Botanic Garden’, Wakehurst is owned by the National Trust, but is used and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As well as being the home of the Millennium Seed Bank, which houses and protects seed from the world’s most threatened and useful wild plants, it’s a lovely place to visit. The Winter Garden, which opened in January 2019 and is now maturing nicely, has been designed using specially chosen plants and planting ideas that make the most of winter scent and colour. All this is brought to life by the special kind of…

1 min
work with the season

A good rule of thumb for any garden is to design with three tiers in mind: it’s an approach that works particularly well in a winter garden where you have limited colour to play with. I used several different plants as groundcover, planted en masse for maximum impact, including pink and white heathers and pink cyclamen. Then I worked in a series of small shrubs and, finally, small trees for height. Use shape and texture to create impact, since you will find yourself restricted in terms of colour at this time of year. Add colour sparingly, making sure the colours balance and complement each other. Keep your palette of plants to a minimum. Avoid the temptation to try to create a stamp collection of winter specimens!…

1 min
plants of the month

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ Vibrant scarlet stems make this easy-to-grow dogwood stand out in winter, but remember to prune annually for a fresh crop of vivid bark each year. Its colourful stems will be all the brighter for being grown in a sunny position. Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen’ Creamy variegation gives this reliable evergreen shrub a soft grey-ish hue. It makes super year-round groundcover and will look fantastic surging around the base of the cornus, acting as a simple foil for its vibrant colour. Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’ Beneath and around both shrubs, try planting this dark-leaved lilyturf where it will gently cover the ground. Its slender strappy leaves have the most dramatic colour when it is grown in full sun. Pink flowers appear in summer. Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ Weave this early snowdrop among the ophiopogon for winter’s ultimate monochrome…

2 min
things to do

MAKE a hedge The dormant winter period is the best time to establish a new hedge in your garden, especially if you use bare-root, deciduous hedging plants If you have the space and the opportunity, always opt for a hedge over a fence when it comes to garden boundaries. It’s obvious that a barrier of dense greenery will create a home for wildlife in a way that a panel of shiplap timber can’t, but recent research by RHS scientists has also shown that hedging plants are superb at capturing airborne pollutants and retaining rainwater, to help reduce flash-flooding. Hedges with smaller leaves were the most effective at absorbing pollution, so look to species like hawthorn (right) and cotoneaster. Deciduous hedging species such as beech, dog rose and hornbeam can be planted as bareroots…