Gardening: Preparation is key before holiday

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The month of August continues to see many of us jetting off to warmer climates for some relaxation and sunshine (well deserved after the terrible wet weather!) and leaving our gardens to fend for themselves. But before you get packing the sunscreen and beach hat, spare a thought for your soon-to-be-neglected garden and leave it in the best possible condition for your return.

Luke Chamberlain, horticultural manager at Dobbies Garden World in Edinburgh, says that the most important thing is to keep your garden hydrated through the long, warm summer days.

He says: “Before I go on holiday I always make sure I stand all of my hanging baskets in buckets of water in a support which is sheltered from the elements, allowing them to absorb water when they need it.

“I also transfer my potted plants from small pots to larger ones as the extra compost will hold more water and stop them from drying out, and place them in shade. Before you head off make sure you also mow your lawn and coax a friendly neighbour into watering whilst you’re away.”

Luke also suggests that once you’re back, the first thing to do is to begin dead-heading your baskets, tubs, bedding, roses and other plants to breathe some life back into your garden.

For those of us who aren’t getting away, August provides the perfect opportunity to sit back and enjoy the garden and get a head start on preparing for autumn. Dobbies Garden World has everything you need to create your own little summer paradise including chimneas, barbeques, gazebos and nautical-inspired products which will allow you to create your own little piece of the seaside in your garden.

n Dobbies Garden World, Edinburgh is offering free advice through its Garden Grow-How talks, taking place throughout the summer every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 2pm. Each chat will be followed by a Gardener’s Question Time, where customers can ask Dobbies’ gardening gurus about any of their conundrums.