With the long, light days and warm evenings, now is the perfect time to take a look at your garden and think about how you can improve it. If it’s currently a bedraggled wasteland, scattered with cracked pots, tatty furniture, leaning fences and questionable paving, or even if it just needs an injection of colour, now is the time to fix it. To help you out, here are five ways to transform your scruffy little garden into a space that will make you proud.
Now is the time to be completely ruthless about your borders – are they truly beautiful or do they look a little ragged around the edges? If in doubt, pull them out and start from scratch. A clean sweep will allow you to freshen the soil and begin again. This time, don’t just randomly place pretty flowers anywhere and everywhere, but instead consider the orientation and available light, before getting to work on the colour. Gardens Illustrated has some really useful articles on how to plant a border, so take the time to study these. Play around with colour, heights and flowering seasons before planting, until you have an arrangement that you’re happy with.
Trees and Shrubs
Pruning and training is a cost effective way to neaten your garden by managing your mangled, scruffy and overgrown trees and shrubs. Once you’re done, think about whether there are any new trees or shrubs that you want to plant. The UK has an incredibly forgiving climate, so you can essentially incorporate anything that you like. Think about seasonal changes – colour, blossom, fruits and berries, leaf shapes and textures – and how these will affect the look of your garden before committing to anything.
Pots and Containers
When it comes to pots and containers, the rule is ‘the bigger the better’. Plants require an awful lot of root space, water and stability if you want them to thrive, and making your plants happy, minimises the amount of human intervention they require. Think about the style you’re going for before making your choice – with everything from attractive galvanised types to plain Italian terracotta, the options are infinite. Consider where your pots will go before planting them, as they’re incredibly heavy to move around once they’ve been filled.
In Georgian times, town gardens were seen as graceful retreats from the trials of life, so it’s really important that you can actually enjoy yours. Consider getting some attractive rattan furniture from a retailer like Shackletons so that you can sit back and enjoy the view, or find a basic shed second-hand and turn it into an outdoor haven. If your garden isn’t beautiful enough to inspire poetry, then you’re just not doing it right.
Every garden ought to have water – it doesn’t matter how you incorporate it, only that you do. In Turkey, there is a tradition of musical fountains, features of great charm and distinction, and every good gardener should try to replicate the lyricism and tranquillity of these marvels in their own space. Make a tiny pool from an old washing-up bowl or splash out on an ornate water feature. As long as the trickle of water rings in your ears, your garden will have the power to soothe you.
Take advantage of the summer weather and start making some improvements today.