In the garden with Dan

A look into Dan's garden with all his tips and tricks.

What’s growing in your garden?

When I first moved into my house the garden didn’t really have anything done to it. There was a big slope in it so we flattened it out, then we started doing stuff but its not really a good year round garden. We have a lot of ever greens but when we have colours its lovely. We have these primroses, we went crazy planting bulbs, we have these pink and yellow primroses that are lovely. They came back maybe two or three times last year. Clematis is probably my favourite colour in the summer that lovely purple colour came back twice last year. Sunflowers. Loads of stuff in pots. In hanging baskets we have Fuchsia’s, they trail down lovely. In pot we also have lovely pink Alstroemeria. In pots we have Dahlias and hydrangeas. Hydrangea is my absolute favourite. Like music, a flower or plant can take you back to a memory. When I lived at my mums they had two big ones and my gran who is no longer with us would prune and take cuttings and she loved it. The hydrangea are a pain in the butt the colour doesn’t last that long but they do last over the winter if you leave the heads on. The dahlias you cut the head off. Clematis you need to de head that.

What’s your favourite flower that you’ve grown?

Daffodil – that’s my favourite. We’ve got bulbs, they haven’t come up yet. The thing I love is that they symbolize the start of spring, that yellow. When you’re out on a walk and you see a field of them it’s so lovely. Yellow flowers just bring a bit of peace and calm and a bit of sunshine. They’re not the most expensive to buy so they’re open to anyone. If I had children the first thing I would get them to plant is Daffodils, you plant them and they grow then they just come back.

How do you keep your gardening eco?

Well its probably, at the moment, not the most eco but definitely the direction I’m going. We try not to buy new plants in plastic pots. Generally, we try to plant our own, we took a load of cuttings from my mums to grow. When you buy a plant you don’t know when it was growing what were the practices. When you plant your own you know what’s gone into it. We also have water butts and compost heap we put cuttings in.

How does gardening benefit you?

I think the most important thing really key now, is because working from home you could easily go a week without going outside but when you look out the window and see that needs doing it pulls you outside. It gets you doing things and gives that escapism and mindfulness and that sense of achievement. It’s no conscience that parks and national trusts are filled up at the moment. If you have a nice garden, what better way to be together than to have a BBQ and bring your family and friends round. It’s a mental thing getting that mindfulness, being in that moment concentrating. We have a bird table and even seeing a bird out there is nice. Especially where you live in areas like I do it’s a new area a lot of animals have left so its nice to bring them back and I would never underplay the importance of physical and mental health from being in the garden.

Top tips?

From my landscaping days what I learnt quickly was being organised in the garden. Don’t start a big job without the tools you need. Also I think rather than a tip my advice would be is don’t over plan, don’t worry too much, it’s really difficult to mess it up the most important thing is to get out there and enjoy it.


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