With the right design and mix of plants, Rattan Direct show how with minimal effort and time, your garden can blossom from an empty landscape into a bountiful landscape in six months or less.
The Seasons – Start in Spring
Winter is the time that the garden and most things in it naturally slumber. It is no fun trying to dig over frozen earth or cajoling frost-bitten plants back to life which is why any big changes to your garden should be left until the warmth of spring.
Even in spring, the garden is still at the mercy of the occasional night frost but you can start the ground work preparation until the danger of frost has passed.
Consider the Garden’s Aspect
Once spring has arrived, before you start digging and planting you must consider the aspect of the garden. This refers to the travel of the sun across the garden.
In other words, which parts of the garden are in full sun all day, which are partial shade and which are in complete shade? It is important to understand this as plants that enjoy full sun will not thrive in shady corners and vice versa.
It may seem too scientific for an amateur gardener but even if you are creating a minimal maintenance garden, you want it to look stunning as long as possible with minimal effort.
Know you have an idea of shady and, full sun and partial sun areas, you need to have an idea of the type of soil you have.
Is it acidic, lime, neutral, sandy, loam or clay soil? You can find this out by investing in an inexpensive soil testing kit, available online or from high-quality plant nurseries. Once you have an idea of your soil, you can look out for plants that will thrive in the soil.
Look out for plants that require specific soil types. It is a waste of time, money and effort if you plant an acid soil loving plant in a sandy, dry patch – it will wither and fail to thrive.
If you have an existing border and intend on starting from scratch, you will need to empty the bed of all bulbs, shrubs and plants.
Again, this is a gardening job best done in spring, although you can also get a head start by clearing the border in autumn.
Once you have removed all the plants etc., dig over the soil to aerate it and add a high-quality fertiliser or, better still add well-rotted compost from your composting bins. This adds much-needed nutrients as well as encouraging gardening-friendly bugs and insects such as ladybirds and worms.
If you are starting a new border from scratch, like other tasks, it pays to spend time and effort in preparation before you start the exciting task of adding plants.
This means adding a mix of top soil and compost, and/or fertiliser. It means ensuring that all weeds are removed as well as stones and other detritus that could prevent plants from establishing and flourishing.
TOP GARDENING HACK: on borders full of weeds, cover the ground with black plastic and leave for a week or two. This forces any remaining perennial weeds to grow looking for like. When you peel back the plastic, you will see the bleached stems of the weeds – simply dig up and remove.
Now you have prepared the border, you need to start designing the border for a lush, colourful display:
- Year-Round Interest
These are evergreen and deciduous shrubs that form the shape and character of a flowering border. Choose shrubs and trees that give all round colour, from lush green leaves in spring and summer, to colourful stems in autumn and winter.
TOP GARDENING HACK – use the height of plants as the backdrop of a border, then middle-sized plants the fill the centre and bedding plants for colour and interest around edging.
- Summer-Time Colour
Bulbs in spring are the first sign that warmer weather is arriving and is the opportune time to add colourful bedding plants. Many of these plants will keep on giving throughout the summer and into autumn providing you dead-head dead flowers. This means the plants puts energy into producing flowers and not seeds.
TOP GARDENING HACK: water your garden well, especially during dry spells thus catching rainwater for use in summer is a fantastic solution.
And finally, sit back and enjoy the colours, sounds and pleasant scents of the garden.
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