For superbly structured borders, Agriframes’ range of elegant frames, stakes, obelisks and supports will underpin your planting and let you show off your garden at its very best - Clare Foggett, Editor of The English Garden Magazine, guides us on how to create successful foundations for your planting.
After bulbs, the second most exciting thing about spring is the re-emergence of perennial plants. They’re dormant over winter, but as temperatures warm up they begin to burst into life. Gardens are gradually filled with mounds of fresh foliage in shades of zingy lime, mint green and even – in the case of those plants that have brightly hued stems, such as peonies – daring crimson.
Position Your Plant Supports Early
It’s a heady time of year, but gardeners can’t rest on their laurels. It doesn’t take long for perennials to grow, and getting their stakes and supports in early is crucial. Positioning supports now means new growth isn’t damaged, and it lets the plants grow through the frames so the structure becomes less visible. Most importantly, it saves the heartache of a plant that has flopped because it hasn’t been supported in time. Trying to stake a plant once it has fallen over is practically impossible, at least in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Rustic Finish to Blend into the Background
So before emerging shoots and leaves get any bigger, this is the time to get supports in place. In borders, horizontal Elegance Round Grow Through frame is a practical way to support bushy perennials, such as hardy geraniums, catmint, silver-leaved Artemisia ludoviciana, heleniums, phlox and dahlias, while the muted, rust-coloured Rustic finish melts seamlessly into the background.
Add Greater Height
The Tower Tall Plant Support is ideally suited to those back-of-the-border perennials that achieve greater heights: perennial sunflowers, eupatorium and macleaya, for example. Agriframes’ supports are all made from durable galvanised steel and come with a 10 year guarantee, so you can invest in these essential pieces of kit knowing they are made to last.
Fluted or Hooped Support For Opulent Blooms
For peonies, consider the Fluted Peony Support – its wide opening encourages peonies’ natural growth habit and allows their opulent blooms to arch gracefully outwards, as they should. The Hooped Plant Support will do a similar job.
Single Tall Stakes For Long Stemmed Flowers
For those plants that produce individual spires of flowers, such as delphiniums, or perhaps foxgloves (which do have a tendency to list drunkenly), invest in individual supports. Try our pack of four Elegance Plant Stake topped with decorative ball finials, they have a handy hook to loop around a plant’s flower spike.
Tasteful Colours For A Discreet Backdrop
Most of Agriframes’ plant supports come in a range of finishes, so in addition to the Rustic finish, there’s also tasteful Sage Green, Bluebell, Bath Stone and Matt Black, which can be very discreet against a dark backdrop such as a yew hedge.
Keep Plants Upright At The Edge of Borders
At the edge of borders, keep plants upright and prevent them from flopping over paths or lawns by using one of Agriframes’ range of supports made for this purpose. The Elegance Plant Support can easily be pushed in around the margin of a clump to ensure that it arches pleasingly without falling over. With its undulating shape, the Elegance Ripple Plant Support avoids a hard line.
Obelisks For Tall & Impactful Blooms
Roses in borders may also require support, and they can be persuaded to produce even more flowers if their stems are bent over a support such as the Rose Obelisk. These lobster pot-shaped supports are ideal for horizontally training a rose’s branches, creating beautifully decorative structures within the border.
Many of us grow climbers for height and structure, and a well-placed obelisk or two can be beautifully decorative even before it is covered by plants. Agriframes’ range includes the Art Deco-inspired, geometric Elegance King Obelisk, and the classically styled Elegance Obelisk, which is topped with a swirling finial, along with many other supports to suit any style of garden.
The obelisks work particularly well with clematis, which are always a classic choice for permanent planting. Sweet peas are another popular choice for adding height to borders, and this is the time to sow their seed or plant out autumn-sown plants. Position a tall obelisk ready to support their twining, twirling stems as they grow– the fine mesh infill in the Tricorn Obelisk is just the thing for their pretty spiralling tendrils to latch onto.