If you’re lucky enough to have a garden chances are you want it to look like a tropical paradise. Unfortunately, for around three quarters of the year it’s more likely to look like a swamp than a garden but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. When it comes to summer it’s the one time of year where we can proudly show off our land that we have so carefully looked after and prepared during spring. We want to make the most of it before the harsh winter months turn it back into bog land and everything dies and goes on the compost heap.
The first thing to take notice of is the size of your garden. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, you can still turn it into a garden fit for a landscape design spread but you will need to scale it back if it’s a little on the smaller size. Larger gardens take a lot more work and will need more features to stop it looking sparse especially as you are waiting for flowers and plant to grow. The second thing is to look at the quality of what you already have, for example, do you have any crab grass that needs sorting out first? Are your bushes getting a bit out of hand? Are there shady places where flowers simply don’t flourish? You need to have a look at any problems you could encounter in terms of vitamins, minerals, water and light if you are planning on growing things in which case you will either need to treat your grass, flower beds and soil or move areas around to give them a better chance of survival.
If plants and flowers are a bit too high maintenance for you, you might want to look at water features or using decking or wood chips if your grass isn’t growing too well or you’re having too much difficulty with weeds. Glass pebbles are proving particularly popular as a colourful feature as they can be changed according to flower season and you can keep them in with the colour theme of garden furniture, decking and fencing. Popular water features include rock pools and mini water falls which can be found in your local garden centre or set up relatively easy. Remember that you need to be thinking about how you’re going to power the water on and off and if you create an area that will collect water you may have to corner it off with chicken wire to stop children and pets falling in. Talk to local gardeners and look out for features and designs in gardening magazines that you can take to your garden centre and find something similar that will be just right for own garden space.
James Alice is a keen gardener and writes on behalf of www.gardenandbuilding.co.uk