Sunday, 27 July 2008



“Your garden is home to an astonishing variety of creatures that spend 24 hours a day eating plants and each other, mostly without ever being noticed.”

“We supply up to 10 different types of finishes, including quartz, sandstone, granite, limestone and slate” John Ward- Dolmen Stone.

“We have a fantastic sale with big discounts on both shrubs and perennials. There has never been a better time to plant.” John McDermott – Macs Garden Centre.

“For all round practicality it has to be the Eco Quad Diesel 400 - in stock now.” Leonard from ATV sales.

“Hard landscaping gives you all year round access to the garden” Gary McCluskey


Everything in your garden depends on everything else, through a web of interactions. The greenfly sucking the sap from the soft parts of your petunias are food for a hoverfly, which is in turn attacked by a wasp. When a spider eats this, it could become food for a fledgling blue tit, which is eventually eaten by a sparrow hawk.

All things are linked together in the garden in one form or another, and that goes for the plants and hard landscaping too.


What is hard landscaping?

Hard landscaping is all of the features in the garden that do not grow or have roots. The patio, fencing, driveway, walls, raised beds and structures all fall into this category. For a good all year garden, a balance of hard landscaping and soft planting is needed.

Hard landscaping enables access to parts of the garden that would be a no go area for most of the year. Simple tasks like putting up the washing, emptying waste vegetables into the compost bin and putting out the food for the birds in winter are made much easier with a hard surface to walk on.

Build to last

If you are thinking of putting in a patio, or any type of hard landscaping from driveways to walls, call the fully registered contractors advertised on these pages. They can give you advice and detailed ideas for your own garden. All of the companies source the best materials, from around the world and locally to give you the best possible choice for your garden, and, very importantly, they will value your ideas.


Without the plants, hard landscaping could become too angular and stark. Shrubs are great for softening the edges of concrete or stone. A lot of shrubs have lavish displays of flowers and colourful foliage too. In the small garden they can even take the place of trees and not take up too much room, as they can be hard pruned back every year

Plant now
Pot grown shrubs can be planted all the year round. When you snap up a bargain from John McDermott’s Garden Centre sale, keep an eye on the plant and water every day if the weather is dry. In Inishowen we can grow a large range of quality shrubs and if you are in any doubt about how and where to plant, John and the staff will be only too pleased to give you the help and advice you need to make them flourish.

Why shrubs?
Shrubs are planted in the garden for a variety of reasons other that softening the edges. They give form and structure to a design and can beautify a garden because of their shape, scent, colourful flowers, fruits and attractive foliage.


Take advantage of the sunny weather when you are sitting out in the garden. Have a pencil and a piece of paper handy to write down what you would most like to see in the garden. Draw in the new driveway, flowerbeds and borders or walls. If you have an idea in your mind what you want in the garden, then it will make the visit from the experts listed on these pages a more enjoyable experience. You can then talk over your plans and find the best possible solutions for your needs.


Of course it isn’t all sitting around in the sun and eating burnt burgers from the barbeque in the garden. Occasionally you will have to get out the machinery. ATV sales in Manorcunningham stock a wide range of top quality, motorised equipment, from hedge cutters to quad bikes, to make our lives that little bit easier.


Some common plants have hidden messages…giving someone these plants could mean...
Crocus - cheerfulness, mirth, youthful gladness.
Daisies - innocence.
Red rose - love, desire, I love you.
White rose - regard, I am worthy of you.
Lemon verbena -You have bewitched me.


Why do trees change colour?
The green colour of leaves comes from chlorophyll, the substance that helps trees to convert light, water and carbon dioxide into food. As trees prepare for winter dormancy, they stop producing chlorophyll, which lets other leaf colours come through. In other words, the bright golds, oranges and reds of autumn are there in the leaves all the time…

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