• Tracy Foster Garden Design
  • Tracy Foster Garden Design
  • Tracy Foster Garden Design

Our Latest News

  • blackberries
    07/09/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Gardening in September

    September


    There are still many things to enjoy, and plenty of jobs to do in the garden this month. Here are a few suggestions.
     
    Lawn Care
    A fresh, cool, healthy lawn can make your garden feel like an oasis in
    the heat of summer, and that living carpet of green really makes your plants
    and flowers stand out. To keep yours in tip top condition it’s time to reward it
    with a little late season TLC.

    Begin by getting rid of moss and dead material by scarifying it (vigorously
    rake it over with a spring tined rake or a scarifying machine), then improve
    drainage in areas where the ground has become compacted by aerating. There are
    special tools for this, but you can do it by pushing a garden fork into the
    lawn as deep as you can and gently rocking it to enlarge the holes a little.
    Repeat every 10cm or so over the surface of the lawn, then brush in a top
    dressing (a blend of sand and loam that can be bought ready prepared or mixed
    at home)

    Finally apply an autumn lawn fertiliser which is high in phosphates and potash
    and will help strong roots to develop.

    Wilder Ways
    Perhaps you would prefer to let part or all of the lawn grow a little longer and encourage some
    wild flowers to grow? A good way to start is to cut it very short, until it is
    almost bare in places, then rake it and sow the seed of Yellow Rattle which
    weakens grass and gives other wild flowers a chance to grow.

    On the Veg Patch
    Many plants such as courgettes and runner beans will continue to produce
    as long as there is warmth and water, and you are still picking them. If the
    weather is poor and tomatoes are stubbornly refusing to ripen, cut off the
    trusses and bring them indoors where they should ripen on a warm windowsill.
    Keep harvesting blackberries and autumn raspberries - I've been making mine into jams and jellies.


    Flowers from Seed
    Hardy annuals can be sown directly into a weed free patch of soil, where
    they can become established so that they will have a head start next year. Good
    ones to try include Calendula, Centaurea, Cerinthe, Lunaria, Papaver somniferum
    and Papaver Rhoeas, but make sure you sow them in rows so that you can easily
    identify and pull out the weeds.

     

    Read More
  • calendula flowers
    07/08/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Gardening in August

    August


    Many gardens got off to a good start this year as they received plenty of attention and some lovely sunny
    weather. New and experienced gardeners should be enjoying some successful crops
    and beautiful flowers to reward the gardening work they did earlier.

    In the Veg Garden

    Runner beans, French beans and Courgettes will keep on producing fruits if you harvest them as soon as they
    are large enough to eat, and they also taste better when eaten young.

    Carrots and Beets can be harvested when they are big enough but will keep well
    in the ground until you’re ready for them.

    Fruit and vegetables need watering every day in dry weather and crops like tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers,
    peppers and corn will appreciate a weekly feed with a high potash plant food such
    as tomato feed.

    Herbs can be given a good trim now to encourage a last flush of growth so that
    you will have plenty of leaves to harvest before the cold weather arrives in
    autumn.

    Ornamental Garden

    Everyone loves lavender, but it has a tendency to become straggly and woody. To
    keep it looking neat, give it a good trim as soon as it has finished flowering.
    Clip each bush back to form a tidy ball shape, taking off all the flower stalks
    and the tips of the green leaves as you go, but avoid cutting into old wood.

    Deadhead, water and feed container plants to keep the flowers coming. Many
    border plants respond to deadheading by producing more blooms too – Penstemons,
    Salvias and Roses included.

    Seed for Next Year

    Did you have any successes in the garden this year? Beautiful flowers or
    delicious veg. that you grew from seed or bought in as tiny plants? You can
    ensure a supply of the same plants to grow next year by collecting seed.

    For vegetables or flowers, leave a few plants to flower and then allow the seed
    pods to develop. Once the seed is dry and ripe (usually the pod turns brown and
    crisp) you can collect it on a dry day and store it in paper envelopes in a
    cool dry place – labelled with the date and the variety.

    Check first that your original plants or seeds were not labelled as F1 hybrids
    however, as these can produce offspring that are very different to the parent
    plant.

    If seed is difficult to get again next year, you’ll have plenty for yourself
    and to swap for other things with the rest of the gardening community.


    Read More
  • greenhouse
    27/07/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Gardening in July

    A few gardening ideas for this month

    Read More
  • seeds growing in old packaging
    27/04/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Start Growing Food! (even if you don't have seeds, pots or compost)

    How to start growing your own food! (even if you don't have seeds, pots or compost)
    Written for North Leeds Life by Tracy Foster

    Read More
  • tulips and spring flowers
    17/04/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Gardening in April

    Gardening tips from North Leeds Life, by Tracy Foster


    Sow:
    Courgettes, cucumbers, gourds and squash can be sown indoors now. This year I’m growing Loofah gourds – plants with long green courgette like fruits that are edible when young, and when left on the plant to ripen, turn hard and dry. These dry fruits can be skinned to reveal the fibrous Loofahs inside which are ideal for plastic free scrubbing in the bathroom or kitchen.

    You can also sow broad beans, beetroot, carrots, peas, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, chard and radishes directly outside into a prepared bed or container,
    and if you have seed potatoes, these can be planted out too.

    If flowers are more your sort of thing, ‘hardy annuals’ like Love in a Mist, Larkspur, Sunflower, Orlaya, and Cornflower seeds can be
    planted outside directly where you want to see them grow. Others labelled ‘half hardy annuals’ should be sown indoors and grown on in containers ready for
    planting out in late May when there is no risk of frost. These include Zinnias, Snap Dragons, Cosmos and Nicotiana. Imagine gathering bunches of cut flowers to bring into the house in a few months time!

    Collect:
    Branching sticks with plenty of twigs attached make perfect climbing frames for peas and good supports for many garden plants. Next time you are out for a
    walk, keep a look out for fallen sticks, ones from trees like Hazel and Silver Birch would be perfect. Prunings from plants like Dogwood, Forsythia and Willow
    from your own garden can also make good supports.

    Regular Jobs:

    Some tasks to continue doing throughout the summer include weeding, watering in dry spells, tying in the new growth of climbing plants and staking tall perennials.
    It’s also wise to keep an eye out for any evidence of pests and diseases so that you can take action before they do any serious damage to your plants.

    Enjoy:

    Things to harvest this month include Rhubarb, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Leeks from the vegetable garden, and Tulips from the cut flower patch.

    Read More
  • planting plans
    18/03/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Planting Plans On-Line

    WE ARE NOW OFFERING PLANTING PLANS ON-LINE

    Read More
  • pergola in a garden
    14/02/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    BEST OF HOUZZ
    Tracy Foster in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK on Houzz

    Delighted to announce that we won Best of Houzz Service 2020!

    Read More
  • seven design ideas gardens
    05/02/2020 - Tracy 0 Comments
    A reminder of the Blackwatch Lecture

    For all the Blackwatch passengers who asked about the principles of garden design that were featured in my lecture 


    Read More
  • show garden flowers
    27/11/2019 - Tracy 0 Comments
    Another Show!

    We're thrilled to announce that we have been selected to create another show garden in 2020 - more details to follow soon!

    The work for the show along with our existing customers and projects, horticultural touring commitments mean that we are unable to take on any new commissions at the moment - please check again in the summer.

    Read More
  • van with plants
    06/08/2019 - Sam 0 Comments
    New Look For Our Van!

    Our van is now sporting eye catching new graphics - keep a look out for us! This month you might spot us working in Leeds, Dewsbury and Abingdon (Oxfordshire)

    Read More

Website powered by BT