Best Way to Achieve a Successful Garden

Gardening is both an evolutionary and innovative process. It is possible, of course, to buy a house where the garden is established and already bursting with colour. But after a few months it is inevitable that thoughts of tailoring the garden to your own and your family’s needs will come to the fore. Ideas may include adding window boxes, hanging-baskets and plants in tubs and pots to a patio, perhaps creating a cartwheel herb garden, or planting colourful summer-flowering borders.

Improving existing features

There are numerous different ways of improving a garden, but adding further plants that will grow flowers or attractive foliage throughout the year and renovating features that are already present are the most obvious starting-points. Decorating neglected patios and lawns wilt soon brighten a garden and create attractive foils for border plants, shrubs and trees.

Successful Garden Best Way to Achieve a Successful Garden

Most gardens have lawn edges that need tidying up; for rapid enhancement of the whole garden, broken ones can be repaired and ornamental edgings installed. Also, those edges alongside walls or borders can be made easier to cut by installing a mowing strip, formed of either paving slabs or a gulley filled with shingle.

When taking over a new garden it is possible that shrubs and hedges have been neglected. Often, the first reaction is to dig them up, but it may be possible to give them a fresh appearance and a new lease of life through radical pruning.

Mixing and matching plants

Creating groups of plants that produce colourful displays is essential to the establishment of a successful small garden. Attractive planting combinations can be achieved with many different types of plants, including bulbs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, biennials, shrubs and trees. Combinations of plants are suggested, from small corners sown with hardy annuals to herbaceous borders and medleys of bulbs under trees. There are even suggestions for combinations of plants that will provide colour and bring cheer during winter.

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Colour harmonies and contrasts are important in the garden, especially on patios and around houses where plants can be selected to create superb displays in the form of backgrounds to these man-made features. Colourful spring and summer combinations are suggested for a whole range of different climbers, suitable for decorating white-washed walls, grey stone walls or those built of red brick.

Seasonal and scented gardens

Gardens are usually at their best during summer, but it is possible to buy and cultivate plants that will enliven gardens from autumn to spring, some of which also offer exciting fragrances. Many trees and shrubs yield colourful fruits and some persist from autumn to late winter, while a wide range of shrubs reveal flowers during winter. Spring, of course, is a time for bulbs, and perhaps daffodils are the best known harbingers of the season. Several miniature bulbs brighten winter, such as the well-known and ever-popular snowdrop, while the goblet-shaped flowers of Crocus chrysanthus form a dazzling display when planted in large groups naturalized in lawns, or under deciduous trees, such as silver birch.

There are many plants that can be quickly and easily planted in window/boxes to produce rich fragrances and effects that are vastly disproportionate to the effort and expense involved; some of these are seasonal but by using separate displays for winter, spring and summer, scents can be produced throughout the year.

Fragrance is a wonderful medium for enhancing any garden. Roses are often chosen for their perfumes, and apart from a rich sweetness, many reveal unusual scents, such as apple, musk, myrrh, orange, paeony, primrose and sweet pea. A few climbers are known for their delicate scents, while wisterias produce a penetrating vanilla-like fragrance.

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Quick ways to brighten gardens

There are many especially quick and inexpensive ways to improve gardens Tired old lawns and patios, bumpy drives and paths, tatty old garden furniture in need of refurbishment – all these things detract massively from the overall visual effect of a garden, but all of them can be improved and enhanced in no time at all.

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