GARDENING: The Valley in this week’s Clitheroe Advertiser

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To turn the garden into something spectacular throughout the year a little planning can go a long way!

In gardens, whether it’s a flower bed your thinking of revamping or maybe a traditional border then it really is worth sitting down and planning out a planting scheme.

Now is a great time of year to consider doing this because it’s a chance to see all the plants in full growth and they are all fresh in your mind, because in the spring suddenly everything is back to two inches tall, and you can’t for the life of you remember what it is.

So write a list of all the plants you are going to include in your new scheme, label them up and mark where they are with canes and look at removing any that you don’t fancy.

A good planting scheme should provide interest all year round, as well as having times of the year where it really stands out.

At the nursery we believe in planting a mixed border, meaning that you incorporate a few shrubs, especially evergreens, to help with the winter colour.

When coming up with your plan firstly draw out where your shrubs are going to go and allow space for them getting bigger! This will give your border some structure.

Start by mapping out where the tall perennials need to be, as it is the perennials that give you the exciting colours through all the seasons, and putting the tall ones towards the back of the border helps, as they can grow among the shrubs, which will protect them from strong winds and will mean you don’t have to worry about staking them as much.

Now for the middle. It is worth thinking about which plants you have that like to stand bolt upright, like for example Phlox, Astrantias and other stocky plants. These are great for mid planting, but also look at bringing some of these within about one foot from the front. This will then create alcoves, or little planting pockets in the border. At the front is a great place to introduce Heucheras, again to provide some winter interest, but also you may decide on some bulbs, and other short perennials.

Now with it all being planned out, it gives you time over the winter to ponder on your design and make any tweaks, but more importantly you will be starting next spring with a head start!