Our Garden of the Year competition with BBC Gardeners’ World

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Earlier this year we partnered with BBC Gardeners’ World magazine for our Garden of the Year competition, celebrating Britain’s best private gardens.

The results are in!

But there’s one final stage and this is where you come in! We’re handing it over to the public to pick the winner of the People’s Choice award.

We have the three winners from each category, and it’s over to you to pick your overall favourite.

By voting, you’ll automatically be entered into our draw to win 1 of 5 £100 prizes of Cobra equipment.

Click here to see more about the gardens and to cast your vote http://www.bit.ly/gw-garden-comp

The winners were:

Family Plot – Magda D’Ingeo, Surrey

Magda is a passionate gardener, but the arrival of her daughter (now four) made her see her 8m x 12m new-build plot through fresh eyes. Hidden among the greenery are areas for children to discover: a scented bower with rope swing and a vine-covered treehouse. It was designed as a whole, so has unity and practicality with multi-tasking spaces such as the sandpit that turns into a cocktail table.

“I wanted a natural playground to entice her outdoors, stimulate her imagination and senses, and share my love of plants with her. So in 2015 I redesigned it as a ‘garden within a garden’.”

Wildlife Garden – Pam Woodall, Dorset

Faced with an impenetrable jungle of brambles, fallen trees, rubbish and junk, Pam had a hard task ahead in creating the wildlife haven she has today. Developed in keeping with the natural environment, Pam opened up the ‘jungle’ to reveal plants, to which she added more, mainly from seed or division. The result is a tranquil place with ponds, lush vegetation and vibrant flowers, teeming with wildlife including amphibians, birds, squirrels, insects, badgers and deer.

“The garden is still evolving, but the transformation in only three years is amazing. Derek the deer and Wallace the woodpecker certainly seem to appreciate it.”

Small Space – Steve Moodey, Oxfordshire

When Steve began cultivating his 23m x 8m garden seven years ago, he first had to clear it of the old equipment, waste and debris left by its previous owners. Steve created areas of shade and micro-climates in order to grow tender tropicals in his south-facing space, and experimented with plants and overwintering techniques. The garden is overlooked by the neighbouring houses, so secluded areas were added for privacy. Steve opens his garden for charity, but most of the time he uses it as a space to “unwind, lose myself and play outside as an adult.”

 

Congratulations to all of our winners, and the runners up who were Juan Carlos Cure, Cathy Harrison, Joanne Palmer, Richard Prior, Geoff Stonebanks and Jeremy Young.

Click here to see more about the gardens and to cast your vote http://www.bit.ly/gw-garden-comp

 

What to do in the garden in October

Traditionally October is a time for clearing the garden, removing the remains of summer blooms, putting protection in place for winter, and preparing for next spring. With the clocks changing and first frosts not too far off, here are our tips to make the most of your autumnal garden. leaves.jpg

Gardens are transformed throughout October with autumnal colours creeping in. This is a thing of beauty with a new colour palette appearing in the garden, but it also means one downside for gardeners – leaf fall!

Fallen leaves, if left unattended, can cause problems for lawns. They can prevent sunlight getting to the lawn, preventing healthy growth. They can also bring disease because of the bacteria that grows amongst them. However, this is easily conquered by clearing the leaves. Regular and often is the best way to keep on top of this. The Cobra range of leaf blowers makes this task incredibly easy, particularly with the BV26C petrol powered model as it also has a vac function which sucks up the leaves once collected. We encourage you to use the leaves for leaf mould and compost, ready for next spring.

BV26C.jpgIt’s not too late for mowing either! Once you’ve cleared the leaves off there’s nothing to stop you from maintaining your healthy lawn. At this time of year, it’s usually time to start considering when your final mow will be, but the mixed summer weather that we’ve had has meant the last mow date is being pushed back so keep on mowing!

Now is a good time to give you lawn some TLC before the winter sets it – consider an autumn lawn feed to stimulate good root growth and combine this with aeration (using the Cobra S32E) to prevent water logging and soil compaction. Spend time focussing on the edges too, as you’ll thank yourself later in the depths of winter when you can still access paths without slipping!

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When the last mow does come remember to store your equipment properly. Clean it up and keep it protected, particularly petrol powered equipment, to ensure it all starts properly next season. For further advice, and an end of season service, visit your local Cobra dealer.

Don’t forget as well to protect your plants from the cold! It’s also a good time to plant spring bedding plants and bulbs reading for a beautiful bloom next year.