Derbyshire organic garden consultant Jo Dyer shares her top tips on how to make your Deer Park garden work perfectly for you

A DERBYSHIRE garden consultant and designer who has worked with local community groups and town councils has shared her top tips for making the garden of a new build work for you.

Deer Park in Ripley is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

Jo Dyer has more than 20 years’ experience in horticulture and set up her business – Really Useful Gardens – after leaving her job as Head Gardener, where she looked after fourteen acres of organic gardens. She has also re-modelled four of her own gardens as she has moved around the country.

Jo, who prefers to use organic products in her garden, is working with Deer Park, Ripley. She said: “The beauty of a brand-new house is that the garden is a blank canvas. Take your time when thinking about your perfect garden and make it work for you.

“Visit some gardens, look through magazines and online. You might want something low maintenance but that can mean different things to different people.

“Everybody’s garden is different; some are south-facing and others have more shade.

With a new build, you need to improve the soil to successfully grow plants and shrubs so try well-rotted horse manure or chicken pellets forked into your soil to do that.

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The kitchen in the Deer Park showhome has French doors which lead out to the garden. Each Deer Park home comes with freshly-laid turf as standard. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

“Good shrubs to plant in your garden for bio-diversity and to increase wildlife to your garden include Choysia Ternata – an evergreen which has beautiful white flowers in late spring.

“Ribes Sanguiniun – known as a flowering currant – copes well in the shade and has deep pink flowers. It’s such a good workhorse, too.

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“Buddleia is good for attracting butterflies to your garden and has flowers in lots of different colours, from purple to white to magenta; there is even one which produces a globe-shaped yellow flower that Bumblebees love.”

Deer Park residents have been making the development more attractive this summer with blooming baskets and tubs.

Jo Dyer is an organic gardener who prefers not to use chemicals in her garden. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

“Tubs and baskets require a lot more care and attention,” warns Jo, “but you can make them a little less high maintenance by including hardy plants such as lavender; English is more resilient than French. Magnolia Stellata is good, too.

“At this time of year, we’re seeing Helleniums, Rudbeckia and Asters in flower -– those who belong to the daisy family.

“It’s also time to start thinking about planting for 2020. September is when you should be planting daffodil bulbs, snow drops and crocuses, too. Tulips can wait until October but you need to plant them deeper than you do daffodils.”
All 30 of the three and four-bedroom homes at Deer Park come with a fully turfed lawn as standard.

Jo advises against cutting freshly-laid turf too short for at least 12 months.

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The pond area in Jo Dyer's garden. Penguin PR: public relations, media and communications

“Longer grass collects more dew and so the lawn gets a better watering,” she said.

“Don’t mow your lawn too short for at least a year – and don’t do it too often. A brand-new lawn needs a lot of water if it’s a hot, dry day. Give it a really good soak at the end of the day, leave the hose on the lawn for at least half an hour.

“Your lawn shouldn’t need feeding but, if it is looking patchy, try a seaweed tonic mixed into your watering can. If you see a weed, act quickly.

“The most important thing, though, is to relax and enjoy your garden.”

The Deer Park development, which boasts a turnkey finish and super-fast broadband, provides views across the Amber Valley. It is just minutes away from Sainsbury’s supermarket in Bridle Lane and a short drive into the centre of Ripley and a short walk to St John’s CoE Primary School.

Each Deer Park home features high ceilings, period-style windows, open-plan kitchens, downstairs WCs and built-in storage space. It’s a five-minute drive into the town centre and has good access to the M1 motorway.

The development has recently taken delivery of several colourful planters from Ripley-based Cottage Nurseries, which were on display during their most recent Help2Buy event.

For further information on Deer Park’s three and four-bedroom homes, contact selling agents Boxall, Brown & Jones on 01773 880788 or Home2Sell on 01773 512556 or visit


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