Introducing the Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

Anemone 'Wild Swan' WindflowerThe plant catalogues are being delivered thick and fast via the postman and it is at this time of year us gardeners browse them to see what is on offer for a magnificent show of plants for the coming year.

I went to the Chelsea Flower Show last year (2011) and this being my first visit was rather bowled over. Although I have attended Hampton Court and the Malvern Show on many occasions, Chelsea is certainly something special. Although you cannot buy the plants until the bell goes on the last day and then it is a mad scramble, it gives you the opportunity to see what is in fashion and the new array of plants on offer for the coming new year.

available to buy on

The catalogues are full of new and exciting plants and it is going to be difficult to make a decision of which ones to purchase. On glancing through the Thompson & Morgan catalogue I noted that they are selling the new Anemone Wild Swan which stole the show at Chelsea last year and became an award winning champion.

They do not grow as tall as many of the other anemones and were used as edging to many of the gardens. According to the literature they have a long flowering season also, from April/May to the autumn. Although on other literature I have been reading the flowering time is August to early October. So the only thing to do is buy some of these plants and find out for myself. It is being described as a free flowering plant with beautiful stunning pure white single flowers and a magnificent blue reverse to its petals. Flower height is approximately 60cm. So if you fancied a change from a Lavender edging to your garden, you could try this plant instead.

To purchase these and a wide range of plants and bedding you can go direct to the Thompson & Morgan website

How To Maintain Garden Wood Decking

Decking is a solid surface which is used in many properties across the UK. Its popularity originates from its ability to counteract uneven grounds and its ability to turn an impractical area into an area for socialising. The serviceable life span of the deck will depend on its quality and how well it is maintained and cared for.

The job of maintaining decking has two levels which should work hand in hand:

1. Prevention Maintenance – This process is meant to reduce accidental damage and is an
ongoing process. The work involves initial planning with attention to detail.

2. Cleaning and Up-Keeping – This work is needed to remove foreign materials which might otherwise damage the wood. While some wood species are better than others due to their levels of fungus, acids and alkalis natural resistance, at some point these will damage the wood.

Wood Decking – Prevention Maintenance:

1. Reduce contact with the wood – Objects which are left in direct contact with the wood can lead to pressure stains or scratches due to the object’s movement. The most common offenders are garden tables, garden chairs and of course the barbecue. These objects should all have furniture pads which will completely eliminate such damage. Furniture pads are also available with wheels so moving the object around is easy.

2. Keep high heels and heavy shoes at bay – High heels in particular can damage wood,
whether the wood is used for flooring or decking. While the most common solution for flooring is using area rugs, the same solution is not particular for decking. One suggestion is to ask people to remove high heels and heavy shoes before stepping on the deck.

3. Avoid dragging objects on the surface – The number one cause of deep gouges in wood are from objects been dragged. Always lift an object of the group, even if you are sure that it’s light enough.

Wood Decking – Cleaning and Up-Keeping:

1. Clear the deck – Pay close attention to the prevention tips above and lift objects of the
surface, leaving you with just the deck empty and ready.

2. Remove dust and dirt – Over time, these will likely build up to quite a nuisance. In addition to making the wood look old and in poor condition, they can become slippery. Start the work by brushing the surface using a stiff broom and follow up with a jet wash. Do not use an industrial grade pressure washer (above 1500psi) as it might damage the wood.

3. Remove stains – These may have been caused due to dirt, fungus, bird droppings, food
residue and other causes. One option is to use a dedicated decking cleaner and you are
advised to always test the solution on a small section, before applying on the entire surface.

The second option is to use soda crystals with warm water. Simply wet the deck with warm
water and sprinkle soda crystals. Allow the deck to naturally dry before washing it to remove any residue which has come to the surface.

4. Even if you tend to clean wood decking on your own, you should consider using a
professional garden maintenance service from time to time. Their knowledge, materials and wooden decking cleaning processes will offer a more in-depth cleaning.

Article written by FSC accredited Wood and Beyond, vendors of hardwood decking from team to ipe.