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Down to Earth: Time to take horticultural stock

If this year’s changeable weather has taken a toll on your garden, remember that September is the ideal month to take horticultural stock. Cambridge designer Robert Barker explains

September is the month to take stock, writes Robert Barker (49982741)
September is the month to take stock, writes Robert Barker (49982741)

I know that as a nation we are slightly obsessed with the weather, but this year in particular it has given us lots to talk about. Winter was colder than on average and many of us had days of sun, snow, sleet and rain all within 24 hours. Spring started off slowly but then came with record-breaking temperatures - and now here we are at the tail-end of summer, and it has on the whole been wet and wild.

In such a changeable and unpredictable year, it is safe to say that our gardens have taken a bit of a pummelling. Depending on how your garden has been designed or set out, a lot of gardens can look tired by September - this year more than ever - which is why it is a perfect time of year to question the state of your outdoor space and put a plan in place so that when spring arrives your garden can hit the ground running.

As a design practice we are fortunate to be busy all year round, but there are definitely some months when we are busier than others and one of those months is September. It is really great that the tide is turning, and more and more people are planning for the year ahead in their gardens instead of waiting until May and then demanding an instant garden only to discover that landscapers throughout the land are fully booked until the end of summer (well, the good ones anyway).

People often stop to talk to me about their gardens and frequently explain that they don’t know where to start and feel intimidated by the task. This feeling is completely understandable; I feel this way with lots of things. But if there is something that I can’t tackle myself, I call in an expert. Most people don’t think twice about calling in an electrician or a plumber but for some reason when it comes to our gardens people hesitate in contacting a professional.

The important thing to remember is that there are a number of talented garden designers nearby who will be able to help you in putting plans in place. I can’t speak for all garden designers but most of us are happy to talk about any project and we are more affordable than you think.

See robertbarkerdesign.com for more.

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