Ways to improve your garden

If you have a garden with your property, it’s important to maintain it whether it it bought or rented. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of it.

1 – Fences

Getting the surroundings right is the place to start and cheering up a dreary old fence can make a huge difference.  Choose a long lasting quality wood paint as this will hopefully mean it will be just a once a year job.

2 – Flowers

If you’re not sure about a plant or flower, take it out and replace it with something better.  Go for something colourful that will enhance the appearance of the garden. Freshen the soil and plant some new bulbs.

3 – Trees and shrubs

Pruning and training is a very inexpensive route to creating a new look by managing mangled and overgrown shrubs and trees. If it’s ok with your landlord, why not plant a tree and add a new dynamic to your garden?

4 – Pots and containers

The bigger the better! Anything as long as it’s big. Plants need a lot of root space and water and stability from wind. To make the plants happy and to minimise how much human effort is required to keep them going, choose big.

5 – Grow your own food

A garden’s not just for flowers. Growing your own fruit and veg can provide you with a great sense of achievement! Why not make veg beds and herb beds on legs like tables so they are easy to manage and away from the neighbour’s cats  It’s relatively easy – and advisable – to protect table beds with netting.

6 – Attract wildlife to the garden

Birds, bees, butterflies, foxes, hedgehogs, dogs, cats and squirrels will use the garden more than you do. There are many things on the market now to ‘encourage wildlife’ but nothing does that better than good design and intelligent planting. Thrushes like good solid hedges, especially yew topiary.

7 – Surfaces

There is more to life than cheap concrete paving and sometimes one can alter the quality of a small space immeasurably with a good floor. Decking can certainly enhance the appeal of your garden. Gravel is another favourite, especially if you have uneven ground to contend with and wish to avoid enormous amounts of levelling. But do make sure it is properly laid rather than just scattered like crumbs over the surface.

8 – Views

Boundaries are also intricately linked to views. It is vital to consider these and be very selective. My own garden only has one good view and everything else needs to fade into insignificance. Don’t block a bad view – fade it out.

 

10 – Water

Every garden must have water – it really doesn’t matter how you do it, but do it. It could be tiny pools made from old washing-up bowls, Japanese water stones or ponds of any size and shape – from formally edged to contemporary to muddy wallow. Just make sure you have water features.

Think about wall plaques – there are gorgeous ones to be had and they animate a tiny space beautifully. Save water as well; water butts and tanks are vital for the garden especially in these varied climatic conditions.