Enhancing the beauty of your garden
dr anna dourado - gardening consultant | home counties

Anna will design a bespoke programme of practical subjects to meet the group's needs which can include all or some of the following topics:

Know your soil. Simple soil identification techniques to help you distinguish between clay, sandy or loamy soil. Tips on how to improve soil structure and provide the best growing environment for your plants

Reviewing the different types of fertilisers including organic fertilisers and developing an appreciation of when and how to use them

Distinguishing between composts, composting and plant growing media. Guidelines on when to use composts such as the John Innes Series and how to manage the various types of growing media available on the market. Instructions on how to build a compost heap and tips to ensure the production of good quality compost

Tips on how to distinguish the diverse types of mulches and when and how to use them

Identification of the different types of material used for plant propagation i.e. softwood, semi-ripe and hardwood material and identifying when best to take cuttings of a range of garden plants. A demonstration of the propagation of a selection of plants. Demonstrations of other propagation techniques e.g. layering, bud grafting etc

Planting techniques
Advice on how large to dig the planting hole, what materials to add to the soil. and when to plant including a demonstration of best planting practice

Pruning Fruit and Ornamentals
Timely pruning demonstrations on popular top and soft fruit and some ornamentals.

Can you identify the weeds in your lawn, borders or fruit garden? A weed identification class and a discussion of control measures including organic methods of control

Common pests and diseases
Tips to help to identify some common pests and diseases. Introduction to relevant literature including websites on the topic

Organic Gardening
Developing an understanding of the concept of Organic Gardening. Advice on how to garden organically including a discussion of whether wild life in the garden is friend or foe?

Vegetable growing
Cultivation advice on a wide range of annual (e.g. peas) and perennial (e.g. asparagus) vegetables, including how to design a crop rotation

Advice on growing a range of crops under glass (e.g. vegetables and ornamentals). Details of a selection of plants to grow in the winter

Basic cultivation advice on a range of tree fruits (e.g. apples, pears, plums and cherries), soft fruit (e.g. strawberries, raspberries currants), grapes (indoor and outdoor), figs etc.

Conduct a lawn check up and advise on how to diagnose problems in lawns and a discussion of remedial measures that can be taken. Tips on how to keep a lawn healthy

Plant selection
Advice on the selection of the right plants for a given site. Examining a range of plant and seed catalogues and the best websites to purchase plants from

Exploring where to buy and plant bulbs. Detail cultivation advice and a demonstration of planting bulbs at their correct planting depth as well as planting bulbs for Christmas and Easter

Preparing plants for winter
A demonstration of how to prepare cannas, pelargoniums and dahlias for over wintering

An inventory of essential tools and their appropriate use and maintenance
Any topics raised by the group

Examining the pros and cons of a range of containers. Demo of how to plant a large container and a hanging basket. Choice of correct growing media and a discussion on water absorbing granules. Advice on plant selection and sourcing

Design principles
Exercise on how to draw a plan. An introduction to the variety of garden features and types of materials available for use in garden design. A consideration of colour, texture, shape, rhythm, contrasts and style.

gardening at home | 2004 | info@gardeningathome.co.uk