Best Way to Personalize Your Garden

There are countless different ways to personalize your garden and make it stand out, from adding a few plants in attractive pots on a patio to creating a chamomile lawn.

Creating edgings: The edges of paths need not be dull. In Victorian times ornate tiles were popular – and they are still available. Plain, rounded, rope-finished and other ornate designs are still sold; they can be quickly installed alongside a path.

Personalize Garden Best Way to Personalize Your Garden

Log steps: These are ideal for informal, woodland settings; they are quickly and easily constructed, without the need for mixing concrete. The logs are held in place with long, stout pegs which are hammered into the soil.

Retaining walls: Informal retaining walls planted with rock garden plants always create colourful features, especially in spring. Ensure that the wall leans slightly backwards and that there is plenty of drainage material behind the wall. Also, there must be drainage holes left at the base of the wall.

Rose tripods: If a trellis, wall or fence is not available, grow roses up tripods. These are formed of three 2.4m (8ft) long planed pieces of wood erected like a wigwam and about 1.2m (4ft) wide at their base. Alternatively, use a thick, single pole secured in a hole. If the pole has short sideshoots left on it, these provide further support for the rose’s stems. Varieties of roses to choose include:

  • ‘Aloha’: Clear salmon-pink and rose
  • ‘Copenhagen’: Dark scarlet
  • ‘Dreaming Spires’: Yellow
  • ‘Golden Showers’: Golden yellow
  • ‘New Dawn’: Silvery-pink
  • ‘White Cockade’: Pure white

Sundials and armillary spheres: As a centrepiece in a large lawn, a sundial or armillary sphere has few rivals. It needs to be displayed on a round dais of ornate bricks or crazy-paving.

Chamomile lawns: These must be considered as decorative features, and not hard-wearing surfaces for family use. Use the non-flowering form of the plant Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’ – when crushed, its foliage has the fragrance of bananas and apples. Space plants 10-15cm (4-6in) apart in spring. When 7.5cm (3m) high, cut off their tips.

Thyme paths: Like chamomile, thyme can be used to create an aromatic lawn; it can also be employed to form a fragrant path. To create a thyme path, dig an area 90cm wide and the path’s length. Systematically tread over the surface to firm the soil evenly; install stepping-stones along it. Then, plant thyme 20-25cm apart.

Unusual paths: When reconstructing an old path, consider medleys of different materials laid in interesting patterns, to bring greater variety to the garden.

Weeping standard roses: These create spectacular features in rose borders or as centrepieces in lawns. They are formed when two or three buds of a suitable variety are budded on to a stem of a rootstock 51cm above the ground. This produces a flowering head, packed with flowers, 1.5-1.8m (5—6ft) high. Suitable varieties include:

Personalize Garden 1 Best Way to Personalize Your Garden

  • ‘Alberic Barbier’: Cream
  • ‘Crimson Showers’: Crimson
  • ‘Goldfinch’: Yellow
  • ‘Sander’s White’: White

Wildflower gardens: Apart from creating colourful areas, wildflower gardens attract native birds and insects. Suitable seed mixtures can be bought cheaply. Wildlife ponds: These are quite different from traditional garden ponds, which usually involve simple stocks of plants and fish. Wildlife ponds are meant to be havens for native birds, fish, small mammals, amphibians and insects. This type of pond is easily made from a flexible liner spread over a hole. Create a bog garden at one end, and moisture-loving marginal plants can also be grown.

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