Last year we all spent far more time at home than we could ever have expected. Along with a surge in DIY, it also meant that people discovered what they did, or didn’t, love about their gardens!
After all, with nowhere else to go and not much else to do, gardens because an escape and haven from global events, an outside classroom for those with children home from school and a focus point for those feeling the strain of seemingly endless doom and gloom.
Now, in the opening weeks of 2021, it’s becoming clear that ‘normal life’ is still a way off and even if restrictions are lifted later in the spring, for many home will continue to be the epicentre of their focus for a while longer.
With that in mind, gardens will continue to play an important role in life for many of us. That is why we have decided to kick off this year’s articles by looking both at jobs to do in January and things to think about now for an amazing garden this summer.
From hedgehogs to bees, birds to worms, they are all part of Mother Nature’s wonder and all have different roles to play in your garden. Some will help control pests or assist with pollination, whilst others will keep weeds at bay.
Top Tip: If you are encouraging hedgehogs into your garden, always leave them a little meaty cat food, not milk and bread.
If you enjoy growing fruit, vegetables or even flower and plants from seed, you can start sowing them now.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, window sills and balconies can work just as well.
Sorry but as boring as this one might sound, it’s actually really important. You need to remove fallen leaves, debris and spent plants before you can start planting afresh.
If your bedding plants are from last summer, it’s time they went to the compost heap. On the other hand, if the bedding plants are winter flowers that are looking a bit tired and shabby, try deadheading them for a new lease of life.
Gather up all the fallen leaves and general detritus, clear the drains and tie back any shrubs that may have broken free in high winds. Take some time to check your garden structures for damage so that you can plan to repair or replace as necessary.
When the garden is tidy it is much easier to see what you might want to move, remove or add.
Make yourself a cuppa and think back to last summer. What was it that annoyed you about your garden?
All these problems, and many more besides, can be resolved with some carefully considered changes and a well thought out design plan.
The most important thing to remember is - just like inside your home - your garden needs to flow in a way that makes it useful and enjoyable to you.
> If you want a low maintenance space to kick back and relax, there are shrubs for that.
> If you want to hide unsightly bins or compost heaps there are clever and space efficient ways to do that.
> If you want to create an Ibiza inspired chill out zone complete with white sail sun shades - no problem.
There are plenty of places to seek inspiration for your new garden, from traditional print media and magazines, the RHS website, Pinterest and Instagram for starters.
Use your research to create a ‘mood board’ of the kind of garden you would love, right down to the planting colour scheme and your outdoor tableware. At this point, you don’t need to worry too much about how to implement it.
Once you know the look and feel you want to achieve, it’s time to start designing.
Garden design is something that Claire loves to help clients with. She will look at your mood board, listen as your describe your dream garden and then develop the perfect plan for you, your family and the space you have.
Drawing on years of experience and a passion for all things gardening, Claire will suggest a planting scheme to suit your garden, your desired aesthetic and the skills you have for future maintenance (very important).
Sometimes customers are happy to implement the design themselves but more often than not they prefer to leave it all to us. When that happens, our professional, experienced and insured team work quickly and efficiently to make your dream* garden a horticultural reality.
To find out more about our garden design service and to book a consultant, email or call. We can offer remote, video consultations or can arrange a visit.
*Design and planting schemes are developed to work with your own space and in the UK climate, taking inspiration from your mood board and ‘ideal garden’.