There’s no wonder England’s called that, as now the snow has melted and after the wettest spring/summer/autumn (there’s a theme developing here)… on record, the ground is absolutely saturated.
Who would be a gardener? I guess it’s the promise of a new season keeps us going in these dark months.
David has at least been able to pick up this week from where he left off, a couple of weeks ago, where freezing temperatures and working in snow blizzards weren’t a great deal of fun! (Nor is the rain I hasten to add!)
So as a New Year beckons, it’s a good time to look at the garden in a fresh light while it’s laid bare. Planning is key to success when embarking on any project as it ensures you get the maximum from the space and saves any unnecessary expenses.
Good questions to ask when planning your outdoor space are;
What do you want?
Sometimes it can feel a bit bewildering, but try to think realistically about how much time you are prepared to give to maintaining your garden. If time is a factor then hard landscaping and low maintenance plants will be the way to go.
Perhaps you need to make the garden more child friendly, or long for fresh home grown produce from a vegetable patch. Either way, a bit of time planning and working out exactly what you want will pay dividends in the future.
What have you got?
The space you have will determine the various elements you can incorporate, but that’s not to say things are impossible just some things are not practical at times. You cannot change the site aspect, so noticing where the sun falls and which area catches the most sun is important for planning seating areas, patios etc. Soil type, if you are on a clay soil site then unless you are prepared to excavate and remove large quantities of soil, and replenish with topsoil then it is best to work with what you’ve got. There are many species of plants that will thrive in clay soil, and although hard work it can be very fertile.
What’s your style?
Formal, Contemporary, Romantic cottage garden or may be a bit on the wild side? A garden should reflect its owner’s personality, a style or look can be created through planting and clever use of materials. Look through garden books and magazines to get an idea of the style of garden that appeals to you.
New Year, New Ideas?
Key trends to look out for this year are:
Vertical Gardening, if space is at a premium why not use the walls and boundaries of your garden to create a lush paradise? There are now many products on the market that are simple to use to achieve a “green wall” to hold anything from busy lizzies to herbs and salad crops. Some vertical gardens can be cheaply made using reclaimed materials like our beer can wall at the Autumn Flower Show.
Outdoor Kitchens the ultimate in alfresco dining, outdoor kitchens can incorporate everything from fully stocked bars to main kitchen appliances. Creative cooking areas that offer more than your cheap bbq on the patio, food areas, pizza ovens, bar and dining space customised to your location and budget.
Innovations in outdoor flooring “Cobbletech” a new driveway system from Marshalls, a cost effective way to achieve an attractive natural stone look, take a look here.