regular plant support

5 New Year Resolutions for a garden that wows!

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KelwaysPaeonia ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ has been a gardeners’ favourite since 1856 – it will benefit from a regular plant support.

tall plant support

Kelways supplied this beautiful, scented Paeonia ‘White Wings’ for our Chelsea 2019 stand. It is now happily established in a tall support.


Kelways' Paeonia ‘Bowl of Beauty’ grows taller than the 85-90cm of most peony varieties and is happiest in a Jester.

It’s that time of year again when we contemplate a list of life-style changes – few of which we are ever likely to achieve!

One thing we can do is to spend the worst of the January days sifting through catalogues, reading magazines and getting inspiration from social media.
I always have a vision of how my garden might look in the months ahead; dreams of things I can aspire to; gardens I must visit this year and new features I can try.

Here are some of the things I shall be thinking about...

Make this the year that you put in support for your herbaceous perennials, especially peonies, before they put on the growth spurt that always catches you out – do it before March when they begin to come into growth. 

Peonies are among the most glorious of flowers but wind and rain will quickly spoil the effect of a ballerina-like clump; put peony supports over your clumps now and keep the flower heads erect.

Which peony support should I use? 
Peonies will make big clumps (although they can be divided in the autumn – see advice from Claire Austin) so we always try to anticipate the growth of a plant by using at least a regular peony support. Some of the taller varieties will benefit from a tall support tall support or even a Jester

Try growing your own. Our reliance on getting to the shops has been severely challenged by social restrictions throughout 2020 and we’ve learned to do much more ourselves – especially in our own gardens. 

Having moved from a large, high-maintenance garden three years ago, I decided to simplify my new garden where I could and have put in a raised bed with a flower trough alongside it. This year we grew spinach, lettuce, broad beans, French beans, runner beans, leeks and parsley alongside dahlias, calendula, alstroemarias and lilies for cutting. The rest of my herbs and patio tomatoes grew happily in Italian Terrace pots.

If you have a warm, south-facing wall, you can grow a small espaliered tree along a stylish and sturdy trellis or put a free-standing espalier in a bed (I shall be writing a step-by-step guide to planting and training espaliers in January).

broad bean supports

Broad bean ‘Super Aquadulce’, planted in October in the raised vegetable bed, is already through;the broad bean supports are in place and a vegetable cage ready for plant-protective fleece.

Italian Terrace

Keep herbs and patio tomatoes close to the kitchen in these handsome pots from Italian Terrace.


David Harber's wonderful sculpture,‘Portal’, is immaculately placed to make a full stop as the eye is drawn down an avenue of hornbeams.

We can all dream! A stunning piece of sculpture will make a focal point in your garden. 

Here are some sculptures that seem perfectly placed in an English landscape:

Think about help with design.

Many years ago, we bought a cottage that had a steep garden, collapsing retaining walls and narrow, uneven paths between overgrown beds. I didn’t know where to start or what I wanted to achieve and I brought in a garden designer to help me clarify: 

  • what I wanted from my garden;

  • how I might use it;

  • what areas I wanted to define (entertaining area, water feature, vegetable garden, greenhouse and fruit trees were all on the list along with lots of room for planting)

  • and how we might achieve it.

I was very lucky to know a garden designer whom I trusted – and I have never regretted that first decision - but you can ask friends, search Pinterest and websites to find someone who will help you to develop and realise your vision based on the way you lead your life.
We’ve worked with a number of designers who have used our products in gardens of all sizes – we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration from them:

Garden Design

A relaxed planting scheme by Neve & Sanderson Garden Design

Luxuriant planting

Luxuriant planting in a garden designed by Juliet McKelvey

arches and tunnels

Don’t forget to use structure as well as plants to shape your design. Our arches and tunnels are a great way of leading the eye around the garden, dividing the area into rooms and making focal points. This rose tunnel makes a stunning walkway between two areas in a garden designed by B Brooks Garden Design.

Commit to spending more time out of doors enjoying your garden.

We walk round the garden every morning with our first cup of tea and again at dusk. These are the times when we discuss what we have been doing and what needs to be tackled; pause to admire individual plants; breath in fresh air and relax after another day at work. 
It is a great space for entertaining friends and family; a safe place for children and pets; a haven for peace and contemplation – there is great solace in a garden – and a canvas for your own creativity. 
You never know how it will inspire you: perhaps you will want to pick up a camera and photograph it; record it in a written or photographic diary; pick up a paintbrush and paint it or build on your new passion for learning about gardening by studying for an RHS diploma.

Whatever it is that gets you out there, make sure your plant supports aren’t the things that ruin the moment. Check out our range of stylish and sturdy supports that will be sure to wow.

Browse the complete range at

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A garden sculpture is perfectly placed in the stunning Asthall Manor garden.


A garden sculpture is perfectly placed in the stunning Asthall Manor garden.

Emily Young's sculpture

Emily Young's sculpture sits as naturally and elegantly in a landscape as it does indoors

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Time to get in the garden

Take a look at our look at our full range of garden supports or keep reading Lesley Ann's Garden Journal to see how we can support you in your gardening adventures!