Garden Goings On

This is not a blog but a library of the facebook posts that got the most interest each month. I post every day about what I am doing, what problems I am solving, how I am helping clients. Do take a look at

G​arden Goings On

An ongoing series of informational entries

Hampshire Gardens Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor gardening trouble

Badger​ Troubles

12 November 2018

Yesterday I was working in my garden when I realised that our dogwoods weren’t the red and green they should be.

On closer investigation I saw a hole, as I was walking over the flowerbed to investigate further I suddenly sank knee deep into the ground as a tunnel collapsed! All more excitement than you need on a Sunday afternoon.

My research suggests that a badger has tunneled under the fence into the raised bed to get to the wild bees nest leaving an area the size of a standard square pallet decimated.

Today I am sad that 5 years of hard work has been destroyed and the bees are gone but give me a few days and I will be weaving plans on how to replant the area.

Winter gardening Surrey Garden Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor pruning


15 November 2018

Working with a client last week I was asked why my secateurs were so much sharper than hers?

Well at this time of year I'm using my strongest secateurs suitable for making woody cuts and I sharpen them regularly.

I like the  Okatsune secateurs available from Amazon which cost £47. They have a smooth action, razor sharp blades and they have one bright red  handle and one white handle so don't go missing.

If you are not sure how to sharpen secateurs there are plenty of videos online choose one from a horticultural society to get the best advice.

Winter gardening Hampshire Garden Susan Bonnett Garden Advsior

Are all your leaves down yet?

6 December 2018

Ours won't be finished until late January as we have 4 mature oak trees that hold onto their leaves so I am always grateful that we have long handled leaf grabbers which make the job so much easier and a hippo bag which is great for shipping great mounds of leaves off to the leaf pile.

We always have more leaves than there is room for so someone has to get into the bay and trample them down, thankfully not me!

Gardens Hampshire Surrey Berkshire Spring Summer Autumn visits

This book is on my Christmas wish list

13 December 2018

... the National Garden Scheme Visitors Handbook 2019

Whilst the information is available on the website by buying the handbook you are supporting the charity even if you don't get to as many gardens as you would like to.

I find it really useful for advising clients where to go and see gardens local to them so they can get ideas of what plants grow well in their local climate.

If you would like to know more about the charity their website is

Winter gardening Hampshire Garden Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor  gardening


27 December 2018

Back in October I discovered that one of my flowerbeds had a very low PH of 4. I dug wood ash into the top 8" and today when I checked the PH it has come up to 6.5 so I could plant it up.

I will be continuing to check the PH of the soil and monitoring the health of the plants to make sure the soil has stablised.

Hampshire garden planting Winter Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor

Garden Revam​p

18 January 2019

Not a very glamorous photo of my garden which is in the middle of a major overhaul. The bottom tier has been dug over and replanted, the top tier has been dug over and is in the process of being replanted this weekend and the main beds are next. All the plants we are keeping will be labelled and potted up and then the beds will be dug over, conditioned and replanted. We are installing a colour block scheme so each tier will be a different colour starting with white by the house, softest lilac - deep purple over the main beds and acid green with dark red accents in the top bed.

Spring flower Hampshire Gardens Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor gardening

White Roses

22 February 2109

With the first royal wedding last year white roses where pitched into the limelight. Particularly the varieties Desdemona and Tranquility which featured in the floral decorations around the church doors.

These are both beautiful roses but they grow on substantial rose bushes that need support and full sun. If you are limited for space and want to add white roses try Margaret Merrill which will is much more compact, will cope with some shade and flowers its head off all summer.

spring gardens Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor planting  flower garden

Fake Snow

1 March 2109

Did you give in to temptation and buy a plant covered in fake snow at Christmas?

I did, Tesco's were selling topiary cones at £15, not a price I can get from a wholesale nursery so I gave in, bought them and let everyone enjoy the snow effect over Christmas and then I rubbed the white flock off and planted them up in planters by the front door. There are a few patches where some of the leaves have died off but they will recover given a regular feed.

Spring gardens Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor planting  flower Garden


25 April 2019

Rain, we wait weeks for it and then we curse it when it arrives before night fall. I am grateful that I finished surveying a clients garden before it arrived and I know that tomorrow I will be pleased that the garden is looking refreshed but the part of me that wanted to move a kniphofia this evening is frustrated.

Spring plants flower garden Hampshire Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor

Trying out new plants

20 May 2019

I have the best kind of day, working in my garden, planting out various plants that I am testing before I recommend them to clients.

The ones in the picture are Ammi Majus a very fashionable umbel.

I have planted them in a sunny spot, in partial shade, in full shade, with support, without support. I have even tried different heights of support all so that I can tell my clients what will work best for them.

Summer flower gardens Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor Hampshire


27 June 2019

My Agapanthus are opening.

This one is a new one called Fireworks which the growers claim will flower for 10 - 12 weeks.

I have just written an article on Agapanthus for the July issue of Fleet Life do look out for it

Plants Hampshire garden Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor nursery order

Transporting plants

3 July 2019

How many plants can you get in your car?

I found out today I can get 77 perennials, 5 shrubs, 8 roses and 3 clematis that makes 93 in total!

I had a photo to show you but Facebook didn’t like it🙁

Hampshire garden Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor planting Summer

Trying out new plants

10 September 2019

Desdemona my favourite of the white roses we planted this year, it opens shell pink and fades to white as the day progress, magical to watch.

Autumn Susan Bonnett Garden Advisor Hampshire  garden

Carving Pumpkins

29 October 2019

Carving Pumpkins for Halloween?

Treat them with bleach to create a sterile interior and they wont collapse in so quickly. Either dip them in a bucket containing 3 gallons of water and 3 teaspoons of bleach or if there are no small children you can use a stronger solution of bleach (10%) and water in a spray bottle to soak the inside of the pumpkin. Then air dry before putting candles, LED lights etc into the space.

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