Seven fabulous gardeners to follow online for lockdown inspiration Get your plant fix from your living room… Anyone who enjoys gardening will tell you it’s always good for the soul. At Platinum Skies, many of our locations have outdoor garden spaces and balconies for our homeowners to get green-fingered. Tending to plants whether indoor or outside has been a lifeline during the lockdown for many, with the fresh air and a sense of routine. Gardening initiative Garden Day collaborated with app Candide, and found 96% of people said they felt happier when spending downtime in their gardens. While 85% of those polled said they felt gardening was more important to their mental health than their physical health. Whether you have a window box or acres of land, you’ll likely be looking for inspiration for your gardening exploits right now – and if you don’t have a garden, you might find solace in these gardeners and their plots during isolation. View this post on Instagram As you can't get out to your favourite gardens right now, we're bringing them to your homes! Featured here is @holkerhall, steeped in history yet always evolving, this 23 acre garden is one of the many audio tours you can explore through our app! Listen in on the secrets of gardens from their head gardeners, taking you through seasonal planting, histories and stories. See the link in our bio or Stories, and keep an eye on the app for more audio and virtual tours coming soon! A post shared by Candide Gardening (@candidegardening) on Apr 20, 2020 at 9:45am PDT 1. Piet Oudolf @pietoudolf View this post on Instagram Today we were invited to the “Keukenhof” our national pride to promote our bulb industry that attracks so many people every year. Today we were the only ones except a few others and the people taking care. Hope we can enjoy this with more people for the future. A post shared by Piet Oudolf (@pietoudolf) on Apr 24, 2020 at 10:34am PDT Netherlands-based Oudolf is sharing some fantastic shots of his own garden and visiting others where he can – for example, the tulip fields in his native country. 2. Peter Dowdall @the_irish_gardener View this post on Instagram There are few things more beautiful in the garden at the moment than the beautiful Clematis montana Though the flowers are ahort lived, lasting only a few short weeks they truly breath colour and vibrancy into the landscpae during this month, lifting the spirits and announcing in a loud blast of pink that the new season has started A post shared by The Irish Gardener (@the_irish_gardener) on Apr 24, 2020 at 9:54am PDT Expect lots of flower close-ups from Cork-based Dowdall, who also appears on RTE and is a gardening columnist for the Irish Examiner. 3. Alice Vincent @Noughticulture View this post on Instagram It’s the start of #NationalGardeningWeek! I’m helping @the_rhs encourage more people to get outside and get growing, and will be sharing tips this week in celebration. First up: making the most of your urban space by gardening UP. When I first started balcony gardening the place was essentially a rag-tag gaggle of pots, with lots of brick around. For a green oasis, you need to gain different levels of foliage and interest. INVEST in a tolerant tall beast for your backdrop – bamboo, fatsia japonica, tree ferns – ideally it should be evergreen and hardy. It’s going to do your heavy lifting. ELEVATE mid-sized perennials – in this case the tiarella and sambucus, but could be ferns, heucheras, hydrangeas or other small shrubs – by lifting their pots up. If you’ve got pot-stands, great. Otherwise, a good sturdy and empty pot, turned upside down, will do the trick. USE your surrounds! Get some planters up on your walls and troughs on barriers to trail non-demanding goodies – such as maidenhair vine, redwood sorrel, but ivy would work if not in rain shadow and the ever-reliable Mexican fleasbane – to create lush follows of foliage. DON’T be afraid of height! As the season goes on, these containers will boast towering Angelica and persicaria foliage. They all jostle in together to create walls of lush interest. When square footage underfoot is tight, use what you have in the corners. Big backdrops make for green escapes! A post shared by Alice Vincent (@noughticulture) on Apr 27, 2020 at 12:49am PDT Inspiring us all from her balcony garden, Vincent has been sharing videos on how to ‘garden up’, using the most of the space you have, as well as houseplant care and maintenance. 4. Charlie Hart @hartgardener View this post on Instagram Publication Day! Huge thanks to Claire, Beth, Andreas and all the others at Little, Brown. I believe gardening is second nature and most people just need to give themselves permission to get going and to trust their instincts. If this book helps others do that, and if they go on to derive half as much pleasure from growing things as I have done, it will all have been worth it ? #nofeargardening #lockdowngardening #lockdownreading #gardeningbooks #horticulture #gardening A post shared by Charlie Hart (@hartgardener) on Apr 2, 2020 at 3:33am PDT Hart’s recent book No Fear Gardening is a great tome for anyone still wondering whether to get their hands dirty in either a plant pot, or a large flower beds. 5. Timothy Hammond @bigcitygardener View this post on Instagram If you only have shaded areas left in garden don’t be discouraged. You can still grow more food you just have to plant accordingly. Some plants need full sun while others can do well with little and partial sun. While some of the plants on this graphic also thrive in full sun they can also do their thing in shade. ?? I have tried planting other vegetables besides these in shaded areas. I grew tomatoes in a heavily shaded area at an old garden. The tomatoes didn’t get nearly as large as the full sun counterparts but it did produce for a longer period of time. A little trade off. In order to create shaded areas I usually try to under plant my taller crops with any of the crops that are still able to produce in the shade. For example in the middle of the summer underneath my okra you’re liable to find carrots growing. So give the shade lovers a shot. What other shade lovers do you plant ? ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #justgrowit #alwaysgrowingfood #HoustonTexas #stayhome #homegrown #stayhomeandgarden #getgrowing #socialdistancing #citygarden #??#Jamaican #inmygarden #urbangardener #organicgardening #gardentips #shade #gardeningtips #gardening101 #youcanfindmeinmygarden #organicgarden #springgarden #zone9garden #instagarden #thehappygardeninglife A post shared by Timothy Hammond (@bigcitygardener) on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:24pm PDT Houston, Texas-based Hammond has plenty of advice, including handy wallchart-style posts to help you identify plants that’ll grow in different conditions. 6. Tom Hart Dyke @lullingstonecastle View this post on Instagram A message from Tom? Keep following us on social media for garden updates #keepgardening #tomhartdyke #theworldgarden #happygardening #plants #cactus #lullingstonecastle #kentgardens A post shared by Lullingstone Castle (@lullingstonecastle) on Mar 27, 2020 at 5:40am PDT Hart Dyke’s story is astounding – he was searching for plants in the Colombian jungle when he was kidnapped. Thankfully he returned home safe, and now opens his ‘world garden’ to the public. For now, see it online – including an impressive array of cacti. 7. Diarmuid Gavin @diarmuidgavin View this post on Instagram Through lockdown the world continues to bloom this year and though we can’t travel to appreciate gardens around the world we can enjoy them through imagery. Mifuneyama Rakuen Gardens sit at the base of Mt. Mifuneyama (quite often called Mt. Karafune which translates as Chinese ship, as it its said to resemble one). The garden was originally established by the 28th feudal lord of the Takeo Domain, Shigeyoshi Nabeshima as a holiday home with its creation having taken 3 years. Every year people visit to see the 5000 sakura cherry blossom trees, and 50,000 azaleas, which merge together in a way that looks like a traditional Chinese painting. . . . #china #gardens #azalea #trees #mountains #nature #scenic #bluesky #mountains #greatoutdoors #landscape #gardenconversations A post shared by Diarmuid Gavin (@diarmuidgavin) on Apr 29, 2020 at 11:54pm PDT Offering live Q&A sessions on his Instagram stories every week, TV favourite Gavin offers a warts-and-all feed, including mulching!