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The Gardening Coach: August

PUBLISHED: 13:11 26 August 2014

The movement and sound of running water can elevate a garden

The movement and sound of running water can elevate a garden

Archant

Judy Shardlow looks at how a water feature can transform a garden

You only need look at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show gardens to see how water captures the imagination. Whether it’s the bubble of water on stones, the splash of a waterfall or the ever-changing beautiful reflections, water is a wonderful sensory feature and one that can fit into even the smallest garden; creating a magical focal point and benefiting wildlife too. 
The water features at Chelsea and other summer garden shows are impressive and expensive, but bringing water into your garden needn’t be costly. Drilled stone ‘bubble fountains’, water barrels and large water-filled containers all work by circulating water using a small pump. They are simple to install and can look magical.

The beauty of water is its movement and sound, so look for simple, natural materials like stone, wood and glass that create the perfect foil for moving water. Pumps can either use an electricity supply or a solar power to keep water circulating. 
Children love water, and bubble fountains, shallow bowls or millstone water features are perfect for playing without the risks of garden ponds.

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August gardening tips.

‘Target watering’ is important after long hot days, which can be a strain for the garden and the gardener. Focus efforts on essential watering for vegetables and newly-planted trees and shrubs and water in the evening.

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Prune spent lavender to stop it becoming woody. Cut back flexible flowering stems as far as possible without cutting into rigid older growth.

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Prune flowering shrubs that have finished showing to improve shape and encourage new flowering wood to develop next year.

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Research bulbs. September is the month for buying spring bulbs, so do your research now to help you choose snowdrops, iris, daffodils and anemones for next year.

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Take photographs of your garden and make notes. It’s a good way to record successes and helps to focus on areas to improve.

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