Summer Flowering Border

Click here to download a full size version of this planting design

This fantastic display was designed and planted by landscape architect, Alistair W Baldwin for the areas in front of our natural swimming pool in Harrogate. Each time we visit during the Summer there are splashes of colour across the border, note how Alistair has repeated the same plants randomly throughout.

Other plants used here but not labelled are Alliums (a good choice would be Purple Sensation), Purple Fennel, Stipa gigantea, Sedum Autumn Joy and Knautia macedonica.

All these plants thrive in free draining soil and will come back year after year.

To print from a PDF, download here summer flowering border

Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn

Plant of the month for December is Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn, characterised by its numerous and densely packed clusters of rose, pink or blush white flowers. It flowers in winter, from October through to March depending on how cold the winter is. Harder pruning will keep it compact.

This hardy plant likes full sun or partial shade, and is fairly easy to look after.
Preferred soil type is well-drained/light, moist. Grows to a height of around 300cm with a 200cm spread.

What to do in your garden in December

It’s December now and despite some mild spells, it’s getting much colder. After our unseasonably mild autumn we seem to have been sent straight into the weather you would expect to see this time of year: frost, rain, strong winds and even the odd bit of snow. Sunshine hours are now much reduced and it can be bitter with a risk of snow. You don’t want to be working outside if you can help it, but thankfully there’s not a lot to do in December in your garden.

Make sure any winter protection you have isn’t disturbed by the wind and rain, and if you have a greenhouse, check that the heater is working. One thing you can do in December is prune any apple or pear trees you have, do this now to get a better harvest next year.

Here are a few things you can be getting between Christmas shopping and looking outside at the horrible weather!

  • Make sure any winter protection structures you have are securely.
  • Make sure that any greenhouse heaters are in working order
  • Protect ponds and outside water pipes to protect them from freezing
  • Prune apples and pears trees
  • Harvest any remaining root crops as well as leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage and sprouts
  • plant and transplanted deciduous trees and shrubs
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Reduce watering of houseplants

Need more advice? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

What to do in your garden in December


As Christmas preparations take over, gardening often has to take a back seat in December, but if you can steal a moment or two in the madness of the month here is our best advice on how to spend your time wisely.

Looking good now
Be the envy of friends and family this Christmas with a garden that looks as good in December as any other time of the year. Plants looking their best this month are Galanthus – Snowdrop, Cylcamen Coum, Mahonia, Holly – Ilex varieties, Erica – Heathers and Cornus – Dogwood.

Protect, Protect, Protect
This time last year the UK was hit by a blanket of snow and sub-zero temperatures, so it is vital now to protect frost sensitive plants from damage. If you wish to protect plants such as palms in situ place straw around the base and wrap in fleece. Alternatively bring in sensitive plants in pots.

Prepare for spring
Before the hard frosts set in dig over empty beds and work in nutrients to prepare your soil for new planting. As you sit back and take a sip of your favourite Christmas tipple why not grab a pen and paper and start planning your garden for the year ahead? If you need inspiration pop along to Garden Style Garden Centre and have a chat with a member of our team.

Need more advice?
Talk to a member of our experienced garden team on your next visit to Garden Style.

Here are our top tips list of things to do in December…


  • Avoid walking on soil if wet.
  • Look out for attractive winter plants such as hamamelis (witch hazel), viburnums and sarcococca (Christmas box.)
  • Feed the birds with a range of seeds to attract different species.
  • Choose your Christmas tree early for the best selection.


  • Protect hellebores from slugs.


  • If the weather is fine, plant out trees and shrubs.
  • Now is an ideal time to move trees and shrubs into new positions.
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs but leave evergreens until spring.
  • Protect newly planted evergreen shrubs with fleece to prevent frost damage.


  • Protect winter vegetables from pigeons by covering with netting.
  • Winter wash fruit trees to clean up any over-wintering insects and pests.
  • Prune gooseberries, red currants and white currants.
  • Cover rhubarb with compost or manure.
  • Check stored fruit and vegetables, removing any that are diseased.


  • Keep off the lawn if the weather is wet.
  • Remove leaves off the lawn.
  • Apply winter seed if you haven’t already done so.


  • Spring-flowering bulbs can still be planted.
  • Protect crocus bulbs from mice by covering with netting.
  • Continue to ventilate if the weather is fine to keep down disease via air movement.
  • Sow onion seeds and sweet peas.

Need more advice? Post a question on our Facebook page or pop into the garden centre and talk to a member of our experienced garden team.

How to Prune Lavender

This month our How To video is all about how to prune your Lavender plant.

This short video shows you how to prune your Lavender – Lavender bushes should be pruned back every year during winter while the plant is dormant. This stops the lavender plant getting too woody and will promote more flower growth.

If you have any further questions why not pop into our garden centre and talk to one of our staff.

November Plant of the Month – Cotinus

Cotinus is also known as ‘smoke bush’ – shapely rounded shrubs or small trees, looking good in summer and autumn.

Known and loved for their incendiary change of leaf colour in autumn to an increasingly brilliant orange-red. In summer they are found in green and purple-leafed forms, both of which are covered with a smoky haze of soft open flower plumes.

They can tolerate a variety of positions in your garden, from full sun, to partial shade, and even some of the more shaded spots. They are hardy and can be planted in well drained/light, acidic or chalky/alkaline soils.

They grow to a height of around 600cm with a 400cm spread.

What to do in your garden in November

As autumn progresses and we head towards winter now os the time to clean up and prepare your garden fro the harsh winter months to come. There’s plenty to do so make the most of the daylight and prepare the garden for next year: prune, sweep, mulch and plant tulips, the last of the spring bulbs.


  • If you haven’t done so already get your bird feeders set up and buy a good supply of wild bird food to feed your birds over winter
  • Bubblewrap or fleece round individual vulnerable plants to protect from frost damage
  • Use autumn leaves to cover bare soil and protect it from winter rains and frosts.
  • Don’t stop weeding! Weeding done now will save time in the spring
  • Plant spring bulbs as soon as possible
  • Plant trees and shrubs to give them time to settle in before spring
  • If you do need to clear beds in the garden, mulch once the soil is moist again and certainly before frosts
  • Add old crops and bedding to the compost heap
  • Spike lawns then brush grit into the holes


  • Plant garlic from now until late November, but the sooner the better.
  • Sow broad beans – Broad beans are traditionally sown in autumn (late October to early December) for an early summer crop.
  • Sow hardy peas – Round seeded, hardy varieties of pea can be sown now for a June crop.
  • Check your leeks for pests


  • Continue harvesting and storing sound fruit and check apples and pears in store and remove any that are rotting
  • Check tree ties, stakes and rabbit guards on fruit trees
  • This is a good time to lift and re-plant soft fruit bushes
  • Begin planting fruit trees, bushes and canes as soon after leaf fall as possible
  • Buy fruit trees and bushes now
  • Prune vines as soon as possible after leaf fall.
  • DON’T cut down autumn fruiting raspberry canes now. Leave them till February.
  • Winter prune apples and pears between now and next March

Need more advice? Post a question on our Facebook page or pop into the garden centre and talk to a member of our experienced garden team.

White & Green Planting Scheme

Part or full shade and fairly heavy soil would suit these plants best. You will get flowers from April through to October and although the Pulmonaria is a blue flower, the silver foliage looks good all season and nothing else is in flower at the same time.

You will get a second flowering from the Astrantia if you cut it back immediately after the first flush of flowers has finished. Protect the crown of the Zantedeschia in freezing weather by covering with straw or a thick mulch of compost. This planting scheme with white flowers is perfect for heavy soil.

Download this PDF to print out: White & Green Planting Scheme

What to do in your garden in November

October continued as a mild month with just the occasional reminder that winter is fast approaching. However, as we enter November, the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in. It’s a good time to take stock, get those autumn jobs done and start planning for next year. Here is our rundown of things to keep you busy in your garden through out November.

General jobs to do this month

  • Clear up leaves from lawns, ponds and beds – use them to make leaf mould which will add structure and organic matter to your soil
  • Make sure that any containers and pots are raised onto pot feet to prevent water-logging as the weather gets wetter and colder.
  • Plant tulip and hyacinth bulbs for a spring display next year – this is really your last chance to do this
  • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock
  • Plant out winter bedding
  • Put insulation around outdoor containers and pots to prevent them from being damaged by frost – bubblewrap works well
  • Put grease bands around the trunks of fruit trees to prevent winter moth damage
  • This is an ideal time to put out bird food to encourage winter birds into the garden and help them through the coming months
  • Plant shrubs, roses and hedging plants sold with bare roots
  • Move deciduous trees and shrubs once they have lost their leaves
  • Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and roses
  • Clear the moss or weeds from any areas of grass and give the grass one last feed before winter sets in, this will help it to stay alive
  • Introduce mulch or wood chippings – Laying mulch or wood chippings between plants and shrubs before winter can help to protect the soil as well as keeping in vital nutrients.

Need more advice? Post a question on our Facebook page or pop into the garden centre and talk to a member of our experienced garden team.

October Plant of the Month – Schizostylis (Kaffir lily)

Schizostylis, or Kaffir lilies, are great additions to any late season borders. They produce beautiful copper red flowers that start the day weighed down by dewdrops and as the day progresses open up to face the midday sun. They are perfectly suited to the mixture of seasons we often see at this time of year; cold mornings, a burst of summer by midday, then slipping back to autumn later on.

Schizostylis is a hardy plant that likes full sun and a moist, but well drained soil. Suitable soil types are: Sandy/Light or Chalky/Alkaline. It will grow to a height of around 60cm with a spread of about 30cm.

Stiff upright stems with copper/orange and pale pink flowers that grow out from clumps of sword-shaped mid-green leaves. It can also provide a nice supply of cut-flowers for use indoors.