Wereham Sign Gary Trouton

Passionate About Plants

February 2010

Paul advises on how to hide those eyesores, real or imaginary


Now as the "Big Freeze" has left our shores and the sun shines (however weakly) the gardener is itching to get out and about. It is now that the bare garden can reveal those ugly and distracting features, both inside and outside your plot.

No matter how well planned and successfully designed a garden is, hard features such as a concrete garage, dustbins or wheelie bins, gas and electricity boxes, even a man hole cover in the middle of the lawn or patio can spoil the whole effect. This is only half the story! Features outside the garden can spoil the enjoyment of what is inside. A busy road, a railway line, an ugly building or an electricity pylon can all be intrusive.

There are many ways to disguise ugly features or create an oasis of privacy from the road or overlooking windows, you can add new structures to the garden, modify existing ones or devise imaginative planting schemes to lure the eye away from the offending obstacle.

Before deciding on what or where to plant or build, make an initial survey to ensure the proposed building or planting scheme will do the job. For this you will need long bamboo canes to indicate likely heights and widths and an assistant to hold the canes while you move around the viewing point. If the main view of the eyesore is from the sitting area, you may be able to screen it by exploiting prospective with a comparatively small feature. A shrub or small tree planted close to the patio might just do the job. Remember excessively high or wide screens (hard features or plants) can be just as unsightly as the object being concealed.

There are many ways to achieve privacy from the neighbours and still retain the best view of the garden. An arbour suitably decorated with climbing plants, or a hedge, wall or fence erected on 3 sides can make a snug sanctuary.

Alternatively consider the design of the patio. Rather than raising it from the surrounding garden what about if it is sunk by as little as a foot? It can be just as attractive and creates its own micro climate. It will also give a new and improved perspective on the eyesore, possibly eliminating it altogether.

There are many ways of screening and blotting out eyesores, so it might be a good idea to get a professional gardener to take a look. We at Quaymount are quite happy to come and advise.

February Gardening Tips

Make sure you protect young tips in your lawn in areas where you have planted daffodils; children and dogs should now be locked in the house until November!

Prepare your vegetable plots use well decomposed garden compost and plant your potato crops, then ask yourself why you just spent seven hours digging to nurture such a cheap and boring vegetable. Next year plant an asparagus bed instead!

You have spent January browsing through seed catalogues, but now is the time to order annual and perennials for spring planting. (An annual is a plant that dies after one season; a perennial comes back year after year, if it does not die first!)

Most seed packets contain more than a hundred seeds, but do you really intend to plant 125 sunflowers this spring? I have had a brilliant idea on what to do with the excess. Save thirty or so and the next time someone asks you for money in the street reply: "I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MONEY FOR SURLY YOU WILL SPEND IT ON JUNK FOOD AND ALCOHOL, BUT PLEASE ACCEPT THIS SEED WITH MY LOVE!"

Thought for February

If a weed is a plant in the wrong place, then surely pesticides do not damage the environment as they are merely chemicals in the wrong place!

Happy Gardening.

Paul Markwell,

Quaymount Nurseries,

The Row,


01366 500691.

Paul Markwell

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