George Carter's spring update

The most exhilarating colour in spring is the fresh green of new growth, says Garden Designer George Carter. 

I have been watering potted evergreens with 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts in 10 litres of water to encourage bright green foliage. Especially good for old plants that have been in pots for years. This is an addition to regular feed in the growing season of slow release fertilisers. 

In formal gardens the edges of grass look messy after winter neglect. Even if you have wooden or metal edging cut the edges of grass now it is coming into growth to give a crisp new sharpness to the garden.

Now is the time to try and rake up moss in gravel and on paving. The birds turn it over at this time of year for nest building and that makes it easier to remove. Nothing is more encouraging than refreshing old paths with a top up of new gravel – a thin layer does the trick. It’s like laying a new carpet.

I don’t, on the other hand, remove moss from every surface, as its attractive on old roofs and walls where it adds to the patina of age.

I have been sowing seed in trays for white foxgloves – they will be planted out on the edge of woodland later to give a short-lived but spectacular effect next year. In front of where they will be I have planted drifts of Sweet Woodruff  (Galium odoratum) – hopefully they will flower together and make the margins of my small woodland a sea of white and green. 

This was in part inspired by Thomas Jefferson who had in the late 18thcentury very advanced views on woodland planting, and experimented at Monticello, Virginia, with native plant material that could be naturalised on the edge and in the clearings of his woods.

For more information on George's designs and work please visit the website here.