The best ideas for gardening gifts.

Relaxing in the garden is the perfect and enviable way to relax and unwind especially when the sun is shining and the birds are singing. You could be taking in the sun’s rays while reading your favourite gardening book or magazine or just taking in the peaceful sounds of nature while digging a bed, pruning the roses or watering the flowers. Having a great garden, allotment or space is the secret to being able to relax and de-stress.

No matter what the size or shape of your garden be it for your parents, sister, brother, friend or even neighbour gardening gifts make the ideal present for all occasions. Having the latest accessories and garden gadgets will make them or you the envy of the entire neighbourhood!

A great example of gardening gifts for women

A great example of gardening gifts for women

Shopping for gifts for gardeners couldn’t be easier whether it’s gardening gifts for men or gardening gifts for women your local gardening centre is a haven of ideas as is the internet with websites to suit all, gardening tools alone could keep you in gift ideas for years. Remember a simple rule of thumb when giving gifts – give a present that can be used by the person you are giving it to. Not only will it be well received and appreciate but they will feel that you have put a lot of thought and effort into finding the perfect present for him or her.

Every Mother deserves a wonderful gift from time to time and if your Mom has green fingers, gardening gifts for Mom can put you in the good books and put a smile on her face. From gardening gloves to garden statues, garden sheds to garden gnomes,

Solar light garden gnome

Solar light garden gnome -peekaboo

or even getting personalised gardening gifts like a tool belt embroidered with her name or initials or tools with her name on them give that personal touch an added sense of caring. Of course gardening gifts wouldn’t be complete without plants, flowers are the most popular gift for woman so why not go a little bit further and present her with some seeds so she can plant that perfect rose and give it its own name.

Often a lot of people enjoy the garden but not necessarily gardening, like I said earlier relaxing or unwinding in the garden listening to the birds or just the peace and tranquillity getting away from the mundane chores. Choosing gardening gifts for men or gardening gifts for Dad can be harder so for that special occasion perhaps garden furniture will best suit his needs and aid in the time spent in the garden admiring his garden water features or garden statues that he or you have built up over time with the endless hours spend on and in the garden.

A look at some of the great affordable garden water features on the market

Some of the affordable garden water features on the market

Affordable gardening gifts

Affordable gardening gifts – free standing garden fountain







Probably the most unique gardening gifts that I have come across as of late are gardening holidays.

These are designed for people of all ages who have a great interest in gardening but not the best knowledge with the main emphasis on having a relaxing time chatting with people with a mutual interest rather that formal teaching. Visits are usually planned to local gardens – big and small, some open to the public others not, where you get a change to meet the owners or head horticulturists and pick their brains. If you have run out of ideas this will make an ideal

I could go on and just list a ream of ideas for him or her but we all have those nature loving friends or family who are happiest just pottering in the garden, for those special people they deserve a gift with a lot of thought and effort. Many regular gardeners are always on the lookout for new quirky garden accents such as garden ornaments or garden statues or an unusual knick knack to brighten up their garden or become a talking or focal point. Unusual gardening gifts might go along the lines of a sun dial, rice bag planters, outdoor wall clock, garden flags, a flower press, hanging tea light holder, metal or copper flowers, and weathervanes. Some unusual garden furniture might be hanging chairs or hammocks to outdoor giant bean bags I suppose it all depends what you class as unusual.


The ultimate of garden accessories

The Ultimate of garden accessories – man’s best friend.

I cannot believe that I have spoken about gardening gifts for this long and not yet mentioned the word BBQ – man’s favourite garden accessory. With the old stereotype of men as grill-masters still living on. But as it happens women put in up to 70% of the BBQ leg work – like buying the food and preparing the salad/food and then the men take all the glory by cooking it! Or in most cases burning it. BBQ accessories can make great gardening gifts for men.

Thanks for s reading and I hope you find some nice gardening gifts – if you would like similar tips or advise direct to your inbox subscribe below.

Why do we need garden fencing in the first place?

Fencing plays a very diverse role in landscaping and can help solve problems and also create opportunities within the home or property. Garden fencing can act as a partition to keep neighbours or unwelcome guests out and children and animals in, plus in the landscaping world they can help define a space and have more of an aesthetic appeal.

Garden fencing ideas should be the easy bit once you know the function the fence is to play.

With so many materials on the market to choose from options are endless. The cost of lumber plus the high upkeep of wooden or timber garden fencing has led to some truly innovative materials for fencing with the likes of vinyl or plastic garden fencing reappearing. Of course chain link and chicken wire fencing have their uses but wrought iron or metal fencing has more character and architectural appeal and especially in severe weather conditions has its advantages however budget will play a major role in the type of garden fence and garden fencing panels used.

Example of a Vinyl yard fence panel

Example of a Vinyl yard fence panel

A roll of cheap plastic garden fencing

A roll of cheap plastic garden fencing







Before I continue and you go running to your local garden center or landscaping center to get your garden fencing to keep nosy neighbours at bay be aware that there are bye laws in place that have height restrictions on garden fencing. Restrictions are on the location and not on the type of fence. For front and side gardens or yards it is 4 feet in height or 1.2 meters. Also for front gardens there are may be certain guidelines or restrictions depending on the area or estate/complex you live in. For back or rear gardens or yards the height restriction is 6 feet or 1.82 meters. Lattice panels on the top are included in this height. There are some exceptions depending on the view or an unsightly view that is incompatible with residential use.

The innovation of materials plus the sudden new emphasis on security in and around people’s homes has brought with it an explosion of video cameras and front and garden gates with buzzers and intercoms. What I suppose I am getting at it that in this modern world the possibilities are endless in terms of requirements. Personally I wouldn’t class these types of security fencing and modern intercoms as a landscaping requirement but more as functional fencing much like deer fencing or if you live on a large farm or ranch boundary or perimeter fencing.

Make sure you know your boundary lines before you go getting fencing off these expansive areas!

My home is the total opposite to having these vast spaces to fence off. When we moved in we had a typical rural house postage stamp garden with a cavity brick boundary wall separating us from our neighbours in our detached house. It was functional no doubt and standard issue low maintenance for housing estates but wasn’t the most attractive on the eye. Once I got my green fingers in action I decided to go for the decorative garden fencing option and choose wooden garden lattice fencing to cover the now irritating plain brick walls. I still needed garden stakes to secure to the wall and then mount my fencing. I got a bit carried away in the process and as we have a trampoline in the garden plus a dog I wanted to be able to cordon off the area to the trampoline so my young children couldn’t get on it if I wasn’t around plus the idea of being able to secure the dog behind a fence was quite appealing also! Even though he has tried to chew his way through the wood and is gradually making inroads.  I have garden gates at the back so I can lock these when needed and I did all the work myself and to be honest I actually enjoyed it.

It was an eye opener in terms of the cost of fencing wow and I only needed about 15 fencing panels and some garden stakes plus garden gates. I would recommend using gardening gloves when handling and lifting the fencing , school boy error the first few times and I spent some time picking splinters out of my fingers, lessons learned. Some friends of mine who were tight on money at the time did their entire garden landscaping including the garden fencing themselves by using bamboo plants that were growing wild in a neighbours garden and starting to take over. Bamboo is a strong and attractive material to make a fence from and hats off to them they saved a fortune and got a really pretty and natural looking garden border fencing.

Bamboo - a great option for cheap garden fencing

Bamboo – a great option for cheap garden fencing


If it’s cheap garden fencing that you are after or want to create something abstract or if you just need something functional to keep animals away from your vegetable patch you could try:

A Wooden fence: I’m sure everyone has bits of wood or timber lying round or if you were to take a trip to local construction site or even to some skips in your area outside houses you would soon find plenty of assorted wood to build your fence.

Construction: Yes that lovely bright orange plastic mesh fencing. You’ll be glad to hear it comes in other colours also like green and black; it is cheap and can be held up by a few garden stakes or solid bits of wood. Cheap and functional.

Stone Fencing: This might be more of a wall than a fence but effective and depending on the stone can be pretty and blend in nicely in the garden. Depending on the area that you live in stones could be plentiful or again a trip to a construction site could yield some great results. Always ask before you take.

The list goes on and a fence can be made of any solid material. The most obscure I have come across are fences made of wine bottles, old surf boards, skis, bicycle frames, car registration plates and believe it or not wardrobe doors. You can recycle old materials and use your own creativity to create a garden fence that is truly unique, at the end of the day it is your garden.

Things you should consider when choosing garden furniture.

As we all know garden furniture comes in all shapes and sizes and prices! Outdoor furniture can convert an otherwise boring space into your outdoor living room so you need to choose wisely. In this article I will run through some useful tips to consider when choosing your garden furniture and also some pointers on caring for your furniture once you have purchased to make it last as long as possible.

Where you live in the world will play a large role in choosing your garden furniture. For instance I am based  in Europe on a small island that might get 5 weeks of real sunshine during the summer months and most of the time is it cloudy or raining and damp, no weather for sitting outside. On the other hand my best friend lives in Sydney Australia where as you are probably aware the sun never stops shining and his life revolves around the outdoors, at this home he has a small pool so the garden is the main focal point where they spend most of their time eating, playing and just generally relaxing, so for him investing in or having good durable garden furniture is a must.

Outdoor garden sofa set

Outdoor garden furniture set – click on image to see more Pictures

No matter what the weather conditions some basic points still apply for anyone buying outdoor furniture – some of them are just common sense but could be easily overlooked.

Before purchase from either your local garden center or a bespoke outdoor garden furniture specialist consider these few things:

What space you have:  When choosing know what space you are going to be filling with the furniture and how many people it will have to accommodate. For small spaces individual folding chairs or compact furniture will suit best. For larger spaces you need to choose cautiously also. Perhaps larger outdoor sofa sets or garden furniture sets and for all cases the material will dictate the style. Remember to leave enough room for people to move around comfortably also.

The Furniture’s purpose: What is the outdoor space going to be used for? For entertaining? Just for relaxing in the sun or by the pool? For garden decoration or aesthetic purposes?  For dining Al fresco? Whether you like to sip a coffee outdoors or relax and read a book pick the furniture based on the use of the space. This will dictate what you buy and how much you spend.

Design & Style: I said earlier that the material will dictate the style you choose. But also try and have the overall design or look of your outdoor furniture (especially if you have a large outdoor space with a sofa set) consistent with the design or architecture of the house. Indoor space should try flow well with the outdoor space.

Which material: Personal preference is a main decider when choosing garden furniture as well as durability and price. Try pick a durable one. Depending on where you live weather conditions can be extreme, too hot or too cold. Moving furniture in and out is not feasible so when buying go for the furniture that will last the longest with little maintenance and at the end of the day give you more bang for your buck. There are natural materials like, Hardwood, softwood and stone and then man made like, vinyl, wrought iron, aluminium and rattan all of which have pros and cons.

Maintenance: following on from the above point – maintenance should pay a huge part. You want something that can cope with the conditions where you live. After investing in your garden furniture you don’t want to be spending too much time maintaining it as it is either falling apart or not weathering well.

Comfort:  Sit on all the furniture before you buy. Pull the chairs in to the table as if you were eating – is the seat height right for the table height? Is there enough leg room/space under the table? If the chairs have armrest are they designed for comfort or affect? Are the chairs back slanted at a comfortable angle? Can these be adjusted?  Generally metal furniture comes with seat cushions and wood doesn’t – how good are the cushions – do they fit the seat well and have enough padding? Is the furniture rigid or does it wiggle and shake when you eat – this really bugs me when you are cutting your food and the whole table starts to shake and vibrate! It’s no good having garden furniture that ticks every box except the most important – comfort.

Storage: With the various temperate variations the furniture has to withstand, and especially from my perspective being able to protect your garden furniture from the harsh winter weather is very important so when choosing your furniture make sure that you will be able to get garden furniture covers to fit your choice, or that the furniture can be moved or stacked neatly to enable it to be covered thoroughly.

Do you have the time and the skills to keep your garden furniture in tip top condition? Or do you prefer minimum work?  Wooden garden furniture is popular and versatile and has some great styles and choices but buyer beware that it will require regular maintenance and treatment.

Caring for your wooden garden furniture isn’t as scary as you may think and I will quickly outline what is involved below:

  To remove any stains or mildew Oxygen bleach is best to use mixed with some hot water and scrub with a soft bristle brush. To remove rust stains and to remove back to original colour before staining or painting sand lightly along the grain with a fine grit sandpaper and rinse.

Once you have sanded also to dry and touch up with paint if needed and then seal the wood. Apply a clear water repellent preservative, which contains a mildewcide. In general you will have to do this every 2 years. Never power house your wooden furniture this can cause damage.

Metal garden furniture is as popular as wood and much easier to maintain but not as versatile. Most metal outdoor furniture is finished with paint, varnish, or powder coating to prevent rust. And, while aluminium doesn’t rust—hence its recommended use in areas near salt water—it can oxidise (which can dull the finish).

Metal Garden Furniture

An example of Metal Garden Furniture

Metal garden furniture is best cleaned with a cloth or sponge using water and mild, non-detergent soap and wiped dry. When cleaning keep an eye out for scratches or any signs of rust, especially at furniture joints. Apply touch-up paint to scratches, once sanded, to prevent rust. When not in use try lean the chairs against the table to avoid any water building up or pooling. Try not to cover metal garden furniture with a table cloth – this can trap water and cause humidity and excess heat that can damage the metal.

The main player on the market at present appears to be Rattan garden furniture and I must admit I have had some garden envy when I have visited some friends in their lovely houses with their lovely garden furniture sets – but what is Rattan garden furniture and why is it so hip at the moment?

Originally, much wicker garden furniture was made from material taken from Rattan Palms, trees originating in Africa, Asia and Australasia. This material looked great, but was never very good for garden furniture, as the weather soon takes its toll – especially in changeable climates. The Natural becomes brittle and discolours over time, eventually loosing it’s shape.

Enter the modern synthetic woven rattan which makes the furniture you see here totally weatherproof. The woven material is:

1) Super durable
2) UV stable – it won’t fade over time
3) Waterproof – won’t absorb moisture
This means you can leave the furniture out in the garden year-round if you wish, and with a hose-down in the spring, your rattan garden furniture will look as good as new again.

You don’t need to stain or treat the material at all, so it’s pretty much maintenance free!

rattan garden furniture

Rattan Garden Furniture – perfect for all weather conditions.

If anyone who knows me is reading and looking for some gardening gifts for me, Rattan garden furniture please! wink wink.

Keep in mind these General Outdoor Garden Furniture Care and Cleaning Tips:

    • Always start with a light cleaning, sweeping surfaces as needed with a soft brush or cloth. Then assess if further care and cleaning is needed.
    • When it comes to cleaning products, non-detergent liquid soap (think dish soap, Fairy Liquid!) is your friend. For tougher stains and mildew, use water and white vinegar.
    • Read the manual. All outdoor furniture should come with instructions.
    • Sunscreens and bird droppings should be cleaned off as soon as possible. They can be particularly damaging and lead to permanent staining and corrosion.
    • Consider covering your furniture when not in use for long periods of time (and during bouts of inclement weather). Even if it can stand up to the elements, this will extend its life and make cleaning easier after the outdoor season begins again.
    • If you live in an area with especially harsh winter weather, try storing your furniture indoors if possible.

Check out my Youtube video on this and share with your friends:

A-Z of Gardening Terms

A-Z of Gardening Terms


Anyone listening in on any gardening enthusiasts or reading gardening magazines to try and get some gardening tips or ideas might come across a lot of lingo. Like many hobbyist, gardeners have their own terminology. If you would like to contribute to a conversation with any of your gardening buddies or even understand what the horticulturist is referring to at your local garden center then catch up on your gardening lingo or jargon below:


Acid Soil:                  A soil that has a high activity of hydrogen ions, which gives   the soil a pH value below 7 and produces a yellow, orange or                                         red reaction when in contact with universal indicator solution                                       (see pH).

Adaptable:                This means the plant can be grown indoors at least through the winter but likely to do well all year.

Alkaline Soil:           Soil with a pH above 7 that produces a blue reaction when in contact with universal indicator solution (see pH). Alkaline soils are suitable for     growing a wide range of plants, with the exception of those that are ericaceous or calcifuge (lime- hating).

Annual:                    A plant that grows flowers and produces seed all in one           season and then does not survive the winter. It must be                                                 planted each year.


Get to know your flowers


Bedding out:           This term simply means to plant bedding plants.

Bedding Plant:       Any plant that’s planted out in a bed, border or pot for a         seasonal display, usually during spring and summer.

Biennial:                    A plant that completes its life cycle over the course of two   growing seasons.

Bloom:                        A term for the flower of a plant.

Blossom:                    Flower bunches seen on decorative and fruiting trees and       some shrubs.

Bud:                             An undeveloped or embryonic shoot, normally occurring in   the axil or at the stem tip, and protected by scale leaves.


Catch Crop:              A fast-growing crop grown simultaneously with, or between, successive plantings of a main crop. This efficient use of                                                 growing space is known as succession planting.

Classification:         A method by which biologists group and categorise species and organisms.

Companion Plant:    Plants that work well together – because their colours       complement each other or they flower at different times.

Compost:                   Compost is the decomposition of plants and other formerly living materials into a soil-like substance that is high in                                                 organic matter, an excellent fertiliser, and capable of                                                        improving almost any soil.

Conifer:                      A cone-bearing tree of the pine family, usually                           evergreen.

Container grown:   Refers to plants grown and marketed in                                   containers. May be planted all year round.

Cross:                        The term refers to plants with dissimilar parents.

Cutting:                    Taken from a healthy plant by means of scissors or a knife,       and placed in a growing medium in order to create a new  plant.                                       

Cultivate:                 Dig the dirt to prepare for planting.


 Just about digging in the dirt

Start them young – cultivating…..


Dead- heading:     Refers to removing spent flowers to encourage                             plants to re-bloom.

Deciduous:            Describes plants, principally trees and shrubs that shed their   leaves seasonally.

Dibber:                    A small hand tool used for making holes in the ground to plant bulbs, seeds and plants.

Dot Plant:              A plant used to provide height and contrast in bedding             schemes, usually among shorter varieties or ground cover plants. Plants often           used include roses, dwarf trees and pelargoniums.

Drought Tolerant:    Plants that can withstand periods with little to no              supplemental water when planted and established in the landscape. NO plant in a pot is truly drought resistant; they will all need some water.

Drought Tolerant:      Plants that deal with severe drought on a regular basis,     and recover from repeated wilting. All plants will need to be watered while             getting established.


Earthing up:                  Also known as ridging, to earth up is to cover roots with a thick layer of soil.

Established:                     Established plants are those that have survived in your    landscape, despite any lack of gardening prowess. Established plants are firmly rooted and produce new leaves.

Exposure:                       The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive.

  •                 FULL SUN – 6 or more hours of direct sun a day.
  •                 PARTIAL SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE – 4 to 6 hours of direct                 sun a day.
  •                 FULL SHADE – less than 4 hours of direct sun a day.
  •                DAPPLED SHADE – areas where there is a mixture of sun and                shade, generally because a deciduous tree is nearby. Dappled                  shade is similar to partial shade.

Evergreen:           A plant with leaves that remains green and alive all year round.


Fertilising:            To add nutrition to your plants using either fertilisers or                                                  compost.

  • CONTROLLED RELEASE FERTILISER – Also called Time Release Fertiliser. Fertiliser comes in pellets and is an improved version of Slow Release Fertiliser. Fertiliser is released based on soil temperature itself (not microbe action) and tends to be more exact than Slow Release Fertiliser.
  • HEAVY FEEDERS – Plants that need a lot of fertiliser for optimal performance. Regular applications of fertiliser are necessary for continued performance.
  • LIGHT FEEDERS – Plants that do not need a lot of fertiliser for optimal performance. Over feeding Light Feeders can cause ‘toxicity’ (poisoning).
  • N-P-K – Ratio of Nitrogen to Phosphorous to Potassium in a fertiliser. These are the main nutrients required by plants.
  • SLOW RELEASE FERTILISER – Fertiliser that comes in pellets and is slowly released based largely on microbes which are more or less active based on soil temperatures.
  • TRACE ELEMENTS – Nutrients that plants need in small amounts. Common trace elements include Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc. These elements are usually included in most commercial fertilizers.
  • WATER SOLUBLE FERTILISER – Fertiliser that either comes in liquid form or comes in crystal form that is dissolved in water.
All Purpose liquid fertiliser

All purpose liquid Fertilizer

Flower:                 Also known as bloom or blossom, the flower is the reproductive structure of a plant, bearing the male and female organs. It’s often brightly coloured to attract fertilising insects.

Forcing:               The artificial inducing of plant growth by the control of heat and light. In some cases light is increased to encourage early flowering, while in others, light is excluded to encourage earlier production and more tender growth. forcing

Foliar feed:        This involves applying liquid, soluble fertilizer directly to             leaves, where it can be absorbed faster than through the roots.

Fruit:                    The ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed bearing plant.

Fungicide:          A chemical agent to control or destroy fungus.


Germination:   After fertilisation, germination is the sprouting of a seed into a     seedling.

Ground Cover:  Low-growing, fast-spreading plants often used to stabilise soil   and prevent soil erosion, as well as for aesthetic interest.


 Hardening off:       The process of acclimatising plants to lower temperatures,   usually following their raising under cover, such as in a greenhouse, prior to             planting out in open ground.

Habit:                         The general structure of the plant.

  • CLIMBING – Plants that climb fences or other structures by using roots or stem structures to grip, vines are climbers.
  • CLUMP FORMING – A plant that forms clumps of foliage, often spreading to form other clumps close by.
  • MOUNDING – Plants with a rounded appearance, they are usually wider than they are tall.
  • SPREADING – Plants that grow low and spread along the ground, rooting at nodes along the stem.
  • TRAILING – Plants that trail along the ground or out of pots but do not root at nodes along the stem.
  • UPRIGHT – A plant that is taller than it is wide with straight (more or less) edges, these plants sometimes have a somewhat spiky appearance.


Hardy:                         Plants able to withstand cold conditions, with no protection.

Herbaceous:          Non-woody plants, whose upper parts die back to the soil                                              surface at the end of the growing season each year.

Herbicide:              Chemical used to kill and control weeds.

See article on home-made options  Secrets you won’t find in a  garden center

Heavy feeder:        Plants that need a lot of fertiliser for optimal performance.


Insecticide:             Any chemical preparation used to repel or destroy insects.       May take the form of liquid, powder or smoke.

Inter planting:      The practice of planting two or more plants that bloom at          different times of the year, or which have complementary characteristics, to create  year-round interest in the garden.


 Leaching/ Leach:   Horticultural leaching refers to water percolating through   the soil and washing away good things like nutrients and not-so-good things like      salt.

Lime:                            Chemical compound calcium carbonate (symbol CaCO3).    The amount of lime in the soil determines whether it’s alkaline, neutral or acid.

Linear:                        Refers to leaves that are long and narrow.


Magnesium:            Metallic element essential in the production of chlorophyll in plants. Magnesium deficiency can stunt development, but  may be combated by   an annual application of foliar feed.

Maiden:                     A plant grown from seed or a new runner.

Micro climate:       Micro climate can be applied to a variety of things. For our   purposes, it is a spot within a garden that differs from the general environment.       Some examples would be a wet spot where water collects during rain, a spot that remains warmer in the winter – often due to a structure, a spot that is sheltered         from the wind, a spot that is affected by sea salt spray and so forth.

Mulch:                     A substance applied to the top of the soil around plants. It can  be organic or inorganic and may serve several different purposes. Mulch is often     made of bark, leaves, manure or compost. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, decreases weeds, reduces erosion, helps cool plant roots, adds organic matter          (provided organic mulch is used), increases the attractiveness of the landscape, and protects plants from adverse winter conditions.


Neutral:                 Soil with a pH of 7. It is neither acid nor alkaline. See acid and alkaline.

Nitrate:                  The result of a chemical process by which nitrogen in plant and animal waste is oxidised by soil bacteria.

Nitrogen:               A chemical element with the symbol N. Essential form plant growth. Symptoms of nitrogen deficiency in plants include the yellowing and dropping of leaves and poor growth. Flowering or fruit production may also be delayed.

Node:                        Point on the stem where a leaf or leaves grow.


Organic gardening:       Gardening without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Over wintering:                Non cold hardy plants that are taken indoors to keep them alive throughout the winter months.


 Parasite:                             An organism that grows and feeds on another. Completely parasitic plants have no leaves or chlorophyll, relying entirely upon the host for nourishment. Semi-parasitic plants have leaves and are able to produce some of their own food.

Perennial:                             Plants that are cold hardy and will return again each spring. Some will flower the first year they are planted and some will need to mature before flowering. Some perennials are very long lived and others will survive only a few years. They have roots that survive low temperatures.

Petal:                                       The leaf of a flower. The petal itself is non-reproductive, but has a role in attracting insects and is often coloured.

pH:                                          A measure of how acidic or basic (the opposite of acidic) your soil is. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Acidic soils have a pH less than 7. Basic soils have a pH greater than 7. Most plants prefer a pH between 6 and 7.

Pinch:                                      Removing a portion of the plant, often just the very tip of the shoots or growing tip to encourage branching. Often this is done by using your finger nails to pinch off the newest growth but scissors, pruning shears, or a knife can also be used.

Plunge:                                    The act of sinking a pot plant in soil, sand or cinders, to prevent roots from drying out.

Potting:                                   Transferring seedlings or cuttings with roots into pots.

Potting up:                             Moving plants from smaller to larger containers to allow more space to grow.

Pruning:                                 The cutting back of leaves or branches for four main reasons:

1) To remove dead, injured or diseased parts.

2) To control or direct growth.

3) To improve the yield of flowers or fruit.

4) To ensure premium growth conditions by allowing more light and air to reach the centre.


Rhizome:                               A creeping stem that grows along or just beneath the soil surface, with roots arising from it. Is also a storage function.

Root Bound:                        A plant that has been in a pot a long time may have roots that circle around the edges of the pot. These roots may not grow out into the soil. To encourage good root growth cut or break up the roots to separate them.

Root run:                               The amount of space that the roots take up in the soil.

Root rot:                               Fungal disease caused by several different types of fungi that causes the roots of a plant to turn brown, grey, and/or slimy. Root rot impairs a plant’s ability to uptake water and will often kill plants that are infected. Root rot is often caused by chronic over watering. The most common symptom of root rot is a plant that is wilting even though the soil is wet.


 Sandy soil:              Sandy soil is composed of many irregular to rounded tiny grains of sand, as opposed to the many tiny plate-like soil particles that make up a clay soil. Sandy soil drains very quickly and doesn’t hold on to fertilizer well.

Seedling:                 A young plant cultivated from a seed – not a cutting.

Species:                   A group of plants that share the same characteristics.

Sport:                      This refers to a plant part that is significantly different from the rest of the plant. For instance, a leaf or flower with a different colour, patterning, shape or size. Horticulturists use sports to create brand new plant varieties

Sucker:                    Suckers are sprouts that grow from the rootstock of a plant, rather than from the desired grafted part of the plant. They produce a new plant that sucks energy from the plant and should be removed at ground level. They are common on rose bushes and some fruit trees.


Thinning out:           The practice of reducing the number of plants in a bed or container to provide more room for growth.

Top dressing:            The practice of improving soil, by adding a layer of fertiliser to the surface and allowing it to settle in without digging over or Replacing the top layer of soil with compost.

Topsoil:                        The upper layer of soil that you plant in. It varies in depth from place to place, but will almost always be less than a foot deep and can be as little as 2 inches deep.

Toxicity:                       When a plant does not react well to something it is often called Toxicity. Toxicity could refer to too much fertiliser, too much sun, sensitivity to insecticides and so on.

Transpiration:         When a plant sweats. Antitranspirants are used to prevent loss of moisture from leaves. The rate of transpiration is determined by external factors, such as temperature, light and humidity.

Trench:                         Generally you dig a trench – A long, narrow ditch dug out of the ground.


Variegated:                   Foliage with different colours, usually but not always random, alternating on the foliage.


Weed:                             Any unwanted plant, or a plant that hinders the growth of more desirable plants.

Wet feet:                    When the soil in a container or the landscape stays wet, plants may be referred to as having wet feet.

Nectar Truck

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Things you can do with small gardens

More often than most small gardens are in urban locations or built into larger properties as courtyards. Your small garden needs more thought and planning than a larger space, so take your time. In one of my other articles Small garden means clever small garden ideas – tips below I went through some small garden ideas on budget and small front garden idea, in this article I will give you more tips and pointers on ideas for small gardens, water features for small gardens some trees for small gardens that you could use as a focal point and I will give you 3 simple decking ideas for small gardens. Oh and in case you didn’t already know – how to pot a plant. So once you are finished reading you will have enough knowledge and information to tackle your garden and it will add value to your house and give you an added room to relax and unwind.

ideas for small gardens

Pot plant containers make ideal ideas for small gardens and gifts!

As you are limited with space you want to try and make your garden seem bigger than it is – most importantly you need to work out what the function of the space will be and choose plants and furniture that will match your needs. The best plants for small gardens are self-contained and not prone to overgrow and ideally will need very little maintenance


 A few quick tips to make small gardens appear larger:

  • Avoid large garden furniture
  • Keep similar themes – Try and keep your house and garden similar in theme.
  • Stay small – if using paving or brick or garden stones, keep them small also decking can be a good idea and try and keep it a similar colour to your interior flooring leading to the garden if possible.
  • Choose plants carefully – consider pot plants or even climbers as this will add height to the garden and also look beautiful. Your local garden center will have plenty to choose from.
  • Lighting – consider some garden lighting, lights especially white or cream lights reflect light back into the garden and give an illusion of space.
decking lighting -ideas for small gardens

Decking ideas for small gardens – lighting

Sticking to the points above and some features I mention I will just briefly elaborate on a few of these to give you a few ideas.

On the topic of staying small I mention decking, with a small garden you want to if possible use one surface material. Decking can blend inside and outside spaces perfectly.

3 decking ideas for small gardens:

  1. Insert grow boxes into the decking – this will allow small plants, herbs or veg to grow without having to be in the ground giving a lovely affect.
  2. Add bench seating – this will serve dual purposes – seating in an already confined space plus the seating can act also as storage with the seats functioning like a chest.
  3. Integrate lighting – this will add a visual affect plus help navigate the decking, it takes up no space but be subtle with lighting.

I might just contradict myself slightly here, I stress staying small above, yes in terms of the paving and or stone you use but if you look at any garden images or pictures while trying to come up with ideas for your small garden space most will have a focal point, as well as adding character this will also take the attention off the size of your garden.  A garden statue with some up-lighting or a water feature, maybe a garden gnome! Or why not a tree.

a nice garden ornament

A birdbath an ideal garden ornament and focal point for any garden.

A water feature can be many things: waterfall, rock feature or even a birdbath. Birdbaths obviously attract birds, generally small birds like robins so this will also add some life and nature to your garden.

Having a small tree as your main attraction is a great way to brighten up the garden also and at the same time not overshadowing the design of the garden. Depending on the type of tree you choose for example if you used a small evergreen this will also give you some added privacy from your neighbours while maintain their green foliage all year round.  But to steal the show and to have that real ‘focal point’ wow factor why not opt for a dwarf ornamental tree. – like a Japanese Maple, Weeping Spruce , Persian Ironwood or a weeping cherry tree.

If your garden is more like a yard and there is no soil and the last thing you want to have to do is carry buckets or bags of soil through the house to fill some garden beds you could opt for a container garden with lots of different sized pot plants. Pot plants have the ability to let you garden in bits and you can fill all sized nooks and crannies by choosing different pot sizes, styles and colours and best of all no wet or muddy shoes traipsing into the house!

So you have bought your pots, picked and purchased your flowers from the local garden center; so how do you get the flower into the pot?

How to pot a plant

  • Give your flowers or plants a good water in advance of potting so the soil is nice and moist.
  • Get a good potting mix – garden soil is not ideal for potted plants it is too heavy – potting mix from a garden center is best and also contains certain fertilisers.
  • To remove the plant from its original plastic pot, put your hand over the top of the pot with the stem of the plant between your fingers, and then turn the plant upside down; tap or shake the plastic pot to remove the plant – make sure not to damage any roots.
  • Use one plant per pot – even if you have a large pot this will prevent overcrowding and give the plant the best chance to thrive.
  • Make sure there is a drainage hole in your pot –if it is too big you can place some stones at the base of the pot to help drainage.
  • Place the soil in the pot – fill it to about 1 inch from the top and pat it down, this gets rid of any air pockets.
  • Create a hole for the plant to be placed in to accommodate its roots.
  • Fill the pot with remaining soil to cover the plant and pat down firmly with your fingers.
  • Water well and let it drain – all done.

One closing idea that is ideal for small gardens is a living garden fence – these can be used to grow vine crops like beans, pumpkins , cucumbers  or a clematis. They will add height to your garden as well as giving your garden a contemporary look. There are plenty of ideas for small gardens if you plan in advance and above all avoid clutter and keep it simple.

Small garden means clever small garden ideas – some tips below

Having a small garden doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nice garden or the garden of your dreams, you just have to be that bit more creative and use space cleverly and efficiently. Whether you live in a house with a small front garden or a small back or side garden you can come up with some great small garden design ideas to maximise the space you have and make the most of it. Because your garden is smaller it should cost less than a bigger garden to do right?

Small garden ideas on budget can be hard to achieve and if there are existing plants try relocating them to save money. Many homes and in some cases apartments come with very limited garden space especially if you are living in or near the city centre where space is at a premium.


small garden ideas

A great book for small garden ideas. Why not buy it now ?













Garden ideas for small gardens need to be thought out carefully and you should really pace out or measure your space and see how much you really need to use for plants and bedding.

What is the climate like?

What part gets most sun, if any?

Is there an ugly spot you wish to cover up?

Wall, drain or fence?

Do you have a feature or focal point you want to incorporate like any garden ornaments or maybe garden statues?

If it is a small space does it have soil already?

Is it sandy or clay?

Remember your budget, soil can be expensive. Keep an eye on local websites as often construction companies or individuals give top soil away for free. You need to determine a purpose for your garden. Is it solely decorative, low maintenance or would you like to have a herb garden mixed with some plants? Small flower garden ideas with some nice garden furniture can make a nice retreat to get away from things and escape to the outdoors.

Because you are limed in space horizontally doesn’t mean you can’t go up!

Try your hand at a vertical garden feature or even introduce a garden arch with some climbers to add some variety and scale, like using perspective – larger objects or plants to the front and small plants, flowers further back to give an illusion of ‘more space.’

garden arch - great for small garden ideas

Limited space doesn’t mean you cant go up with a garden arch!

You can research small garden landscaping ideas but because space is limited every plant or flower counts. Small gardens or flower gardens work best with a simple colour scheme, so try pick a colour and stick to it. To be greeted by a loud splash of similar coloured flowers as opposed to a mix match of coloured flowers has more impact. Too many colours leads to visual confusion. Choose what you like and if you are on budget you can pick up flower bulbs at the end of flowering season in most local garden centers.

Small garden ideas still need to incorporate balance and a good way of doing this is by having a border or edging.  Some gardens will run vertically or horizontally so you have to choose the depth of the border carefully. Borders or edging serve a real purpose, in that they keep flowers and plants on one side and the grass, weeds or stone work on the other. Having straight edged borders can have a very clinical appearance so perhaps introducing irregular shapes with curving lines will break things up, or even fill the edging with garden pebbles for variety, the space becomes more interesting and size not so important and also the edging will determine the tone of the flower garden or flower beds. Alternative to garden pebbles could be plastic edging, raw stone, railway sleepers partially buried, bricks, or logs. At the end of the day it will be a personal choice.

garden water features

Wood barrel – Ideal example of garden water features for any small gardens

For some the garden will be something nice to look out at when it is in full bloom, others it is another room to escape to and enjoy the aromas or if you have some garden water features it will be the tranquil sound of slow running water to help unwind and relax. Water feature can provide a great focal point for small gardens with some great unusual options available. When choosing your shrubbery or plants know in advance what plants grow to what size and how quickly? Pick the plants to suit your space. You don’t want to have your nice relaxing patch over grown with plants that require a lot of maintenance and attention. Know your maintenance limits. As the small will be small so will maintenance, initially, decide in advance what you will be willing to do. Instead of grass you can get artificial grass if cutting might be an issue or you could cover the space with garden pebbles of flag stones, all low maintenance options. You could do up many small garden designs to see what might look best but also think about budget and upkeep for further down the line.

Garden accessories - hanging baskets

Hanging baskets make ideal garden accessories for small garden ideas

Not all small gardens are rear or side gardens a lot out there might have front gardens …not all of us! Trying to come up with small front garden ideas can be hard, try keep things simple, this will be the first part of your house that people see when calling or coming to visit. Try arranging some planters around the front door or even a Trellis beside the front door to ensure maximum impact with minimum effort.  Revamping or having a great front garden isn’t all about the lawn or the flowers, a posh or wow factor path can make a really big impact too. The use if tiles, paving or garden pebbles can work well. Your garden will not just be viewed during the day so if budget allows invest in some lighting, especially near the front door. Simple things to make a small front garden look great include, nice big show off pots, hanging baskets, fencing, trellises, an inviting door mat and just try a beautify the uglies- if you have any that is!