© Garden Cottage Nursery, 2017
Other Weather Effects

Coastal Gardening

We hope that these tips and suggestions help. Remember no two gardens are exactly the same and what works for one may fail  elsewhere, so you can’t be sure if something works until you have tried it. Failed experiments are all part of the fun of gardening anyway! A few last tips for choosing and planting: For really windy sites look for silvery-leaved and/or compact growing plants and they likely do well. Plant in close company, mutual protection makes a big difference, plant big groupings rather than lots of isolated small groups or individual plants. Odd numbered groupings of plants of the same type looks better too. Plant young, large mature plants will struggle to establish. Use the landscape, make use of any sheltered pockets and nooks caused by landforms and buildings, don’t plant tall growing plants where they will blot out the view in 10 years time.  When choosing plants from our online plant list or at the nursery, look for these symbols:
Sunlight, Temperature And Rainfall Closing Thoughts
Rainfall What is the average annual precipitation and how is it distributed through the year where you are. With little rain in the summer watering may well be necessary so taps may be needed in the garden. If rain in winter is more easily measured in meters than millimetres growing succulents and many Mediterranean shrubs is out of the question without exceptional drainage or protection. The west of the British Isles has a moist maritime climate with few areas with less than 700mm annually and few with much in excess of 2,300mm. Much of the northern part is towards the upper half of the scale. High rainfall does not exclude one from gardening, on the contrary,  there are temperate regions which have more than 7 meters of rain annually, and they all have lush indigenous vegetation, so if  there are plants that will grow in these extremes why not here?  But if heavy downpours are frequent, good drains are vital, particularly on steep site where erosion can become a problem and flat and bowl-shaped sites where water will naturally gather. For heavy construction work, like digging drains and ditches, and anything else that will likely involve a digger or other machinery it is best to try to get it done before any planting occurs. Temperature and Day Length The British Isles sit at a high latitude (c. 50º to 61ºN) and thanks to the Gulf Stream, coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, has a surprisingly mild climate. If one travelled due west across the Atlantic from anywhere in the British Isles landfall would be made in the tundra of Newfoundland and Labrador or even the southern tip of Greenland if you live in Shetland.  Though the Gulf Stream keeps the climate mild we still have the day length effects of high latitudes, this is especially pronounced in Scotland where in summer the sun seems to barely set before it rises again and hardly gets up in the winter. At higher latitudes the sun's energy also strikes the earth at a more oblique angle than nearer the Equator so there is less intensity to the sun the further north one travels. Winter cold is an important factor as it is a major limiting factor in what plants may be grown. It is exceptional for anywhere on the West Coast to experience more than -12ºC even in the coldest winters and some parts barely feel frosts deathly touch. The sea acts as a giant salty storage radiator and just a short distance inland is far colder in winter. The mildness of the winter climate allows us to choose from literally thousands of different varieties of plants that colder areas cannot grow without protection. On the flip side as a consequence of our high latitude and the maritime influence, the maximum summer temperature, especially in the West of Scotland, is quite low. So apart from getting sunburnt less often, plants from more Continental climates often struggle to flower or grow well.  For example many trees from the Eastern United States require a hot and well defined summer to fully ripen the wood for the coming winter and without one will lose much of the growth put on during the summer.   Greenhouse Effect Having a conservatory, greenhouse or polytunnel allows you to increase the range of plants and extend the growing season. You can protect particularly tender plants by moving them in for the winter. It allows you to grow on young plants more easily, grow Tomatoes, Courgettes and such in summer and if you have a passion for a particular plant group such as orchids or cacti you can grow them in controlled conditions. With somewhere to keep them for the winter one can make a spectacular show of half-hardy perennials and tender shrubs for the summer. This was all the rage amongst Victorians who would 'Bed-out' anything, even if it needed to be or not! It is this trend which William Robinson attacked in his seminal works 'The Wild Garden' and 'The English Flower Garden'. It is valuable for the sheer impact it can have and for brightening those dull days. The problem with polytunnels, greenhouses and conservatories is their initial cost, maintenance and also the extra work involved in the plants grown in them. ‘Protected’ plants are going to get more pests and diseases than their outdoors counterparts and are entirely reliant on you watering them and controlling their temperature. Consider also what your greenhouse is to be made of, though if you can afford it one made of glass is more attractive, in an exposed site it may be too vulnerable or even dangerous, a polytunnel is cheaper to replace and re-cover. Always site your polytunnel a bright but sheltered position for best and longest-term performance.
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© Garden Cottage Nursery, 2017
Other Weather Effects

Coastal Gardening

We hope that these tips and suggestions help. Remember no two gardens are exactly the same and what works for one may fail  elsewhere, so you can’t be sure if something works until you have tried it. Failed experiments are all part of the fun of gardening anyway! A few last tips for choosing and planting: For really windy sites look for silvery-leaved and/or compact growing plants and they likely do well. Plant in close company, mutual protection makes a big difference, plant big groupings rather than lots of isolated small groups or individual plants. Odd numbered groupings of plants of the same type looks better too. Plant young, large mature plants will struggle to establish. Use the landscape, make use of any sheltered pockets and nooks caused by landforms and buildings, don’t plant tall growing plants where they will blot out the view in 10 years time.  When choosing plants from our online plant list or at the nursery, look for these symbols:
Sunlight, Temperature And Rainfall Closing Thoughts
Rainfall What is the average annual precipitation and how is it distributed through the year where you are. With little rain in the summer watering may well be necessary so taps may be needed in the garden. If rain in winter is more easily measured in meters than millimetres growing succulents and many Mediterranean shrubs is out of the question without exceptional drainage or protection. The west of the British Isles has a moist maritime climate with few areas with less than 700mm annually and few with much in excess of 2,300mm. Much of the northern part is towards the upper half of the scale. High rainfall does not exclude one from gardening, on the contrary,  there are temperate regions which have more than 7 meters of rain annually, and they all have lush indigenous vegetation, so if  there are plants that will grow in these extremes why not here?  But if heavy downpours are frequent, good drains are vital, particularly on steep site where erosion can become a problem and flat and bowl-shaped sites where water will naturally gather. For heavy construction work, like digging drains and ditches, and anything else that will likely involve a digger or other machinery it is best to try to get it done before any planting occurs. Temperature and Day Length The British Isles sit at a high latitude (c. 50º to 61ºN) and thanks to the Gulf Stream, coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, has a surprisingly mild climate. If one travelled due west across the Atlantic from anywhere in the British Isles landfall would be made in the tundra of Newfoundland and Labrador or even the southern tip of Greenland if you live in Shetland.  Though the Gulf Stream keeps the climate mild we still have the day length effects of high latitudes, this is especially pronounced in Scotland where in summer the sun seems to barely set before it rises again and hardly gets up in the winter. At higher latitudes the sun's energy also strikes the earth at a more oblique angle than nearer the Equator so there is less intensity to the sun the further north one travels. Winter cold is an important factor as it is a major limiting factor in what plants may be grown. It is exceptional for anywhere on the West Coast to experience more than -12ºC even in the coldest winters and some parts barely feel frosts deathly touch. The sea acts as a giant salty storage radiator and just a short distance inland is far colder in winter. The mildness of the winter climate allows us to choose from literally thousands of different varieties of plants that colder areas cannot grow without protection. On the flip side as a consequence of our high latitude and the maritime influence, the maximum summer temperature, especially in the West of Scotland, is quite low. So apart from getting sunburnt less often, plants from more Continental climates often struggle to flower or grow well.  For example many trees from the Eastern United States require a hot and well defined summer to fully ripen the wood for the coming winter and without one will lose much of the growth put on during the summer.   Greenhouse Effect Having a conservatory, greenhouse or polytunnel allows you to increase the range of plants and extend the growing season. You can protect particularly tender plants by moving them in for the winter. It allows you to grow on young plants more easily, grow Tomatoes, Courgettes and such in summer and if you have a passion for a particular plant group such as orchids or cacti you can grow them in controlled conditions. With somewhere to keep them for the winter one can make a spectacular show of half-hardy perennials and tender shrubs for the summer. This was all the rage amongst Victorians who would 'Bed-out' anything, even if it needed to be or not! It is this trend which William Robinson attacked in his seminal works 'The Wild Garden' and 'The English Flower Garden'. It is valuable for the sheer impact it can have and for brightening those dull days. The problem with polytunnels, greenhouses and conservatories is their initial cost, maintenance and also the extra work involved in the plants grown in them. ‘Protected’ plants are going to get more pests and diseases than their outdoors counterparts and are entirely reliant on you watering them and controlling their temperature. Consider also what your greenhouse is to be made of, though if you can afford it one made of glass is more attractive, in an exposed site it may be too vulnerable or even dangerous, a polytunnel is cheaper to replace and re-cover. Always site your polytunnel a bright but sheltered position for best and longest-term performance.
Page 1 Page 1 Page 2 Page 2 Page 4 Page 4 Page 3 Page 3 Page 5 Page 5