Sea­sonal shake-up Whip your spring gar­den into tip­top shape



main­te­nance over­haul

For in­stant sat­is­fac­tion, tackle jobs such as pres­sure cleaning, which dra­mat­i­cally im­proves the look of out­door ar­eas (above & op­po­site). Up­dat­ing plant­ing beds and re­think­ing ar­eas can also give your out­door space a new feel. “Giv­ing the gar­den struc­ture and colour can cre­ate ap­peal and im­prove grow­ing con­di­tions,” says Nick Li­vanes of Kop­pers. Timber edg­ing like Kop­pers’ Iron­wood Si­enna sleep­ers makes easy-to­build bor­ders as well as re­tain­ing walls that won’t break the bank. En­hance ex­ist­ing beds with a thor­ough weed and nour­ish the soil with or­ganic mat­ter. “I use a wa­ter­ing can to ap­ply reg­u­lar doses of worm-farm cast­ings mixed with wa­ter, then cover beds with mulch to re­duce soil mois­ture evap­o­ra­tion,” says Lisa El­lis of Lisa El­lis Gar­dens. Also clean wa­ter fea­tures – if your pond is murky, drain and re­fill it with wa­ter and in­tro­duce aquatic plants and fish. “Wa­ter lilies and pa­pyrus reeds are great as they add dec­o­ra­tive in­ter­est, help con­trol green al­gae and pro­vide food and shel­ter for gold­fish and carp,” says Lyn­dall Keat­ing of Gar­den So­ci­ety.

flower power

Spring is the time to plant flow­er­ing seedlings so they’ll be in bloom for Christ­mas, says Lyn­dall Keat­ing, who sug­gests va­ri­eties such as salvias, daisies, petu­nias, alyssum, lo­belia and be­go­nias. “An­other op­tion are suc­cu­lents, which are wa­ter-wise and easy to grow in hang­ing bas­kets,” she says. For ex­tra sea­sonal colour, Justin Nigh of Re­gen­er­a­tive De­signs Aus­tralia likes in­tro­duc­ing zin­nias, marigolds, di­anthus and im­pa­tiens, and dead­head­ing spring an­nu­als to ex­tend their flow­er­ing pe­riod, while easy-to-grow shrubs such as hy­drangea will de­liver bursts of colour in sum­mer. Don’t for­get to tackle your pots – group­ing clus­ters in dif­fer­ent sizes is a great way to cre­ate lay­ers and soften cor­ners in out­door ar­eas. To spruce up pot­ted plants that may have out­grown their con­tainer or be­come root-bound, So­phie Greive of Think Out­side Gar­dens ad­vises giv­ing them a trim and up­siz­ing the pot. “To avoid root shock and en­cour­age new growth, trim the fo­liage and roots, sat­u­rate the root ball and re-pot them into a pre­mium pot­ting mix,” she says.

green land

Ev­ery­one cov­ets a beau­ti­ful green lawn, whether it’s large or small, and one of the best ways to achieve a per­fect patch for your fam­ily to en­joy all sum­mer long (above) is with a lit­tle TLC. Grant Boyle of Fig Land­scapes rec­om­mends aer­at­ing your lawn be­fore ap­ply­ing a light sprin­kling of mush­room com­post such as Rich­gro. “The holes al­low the nu­tri­ents to get to the lawn’s root sys­tem faster for quicker re­sults,” he says. “For buf­falo lawns where thatch can build up, rake out af­fected ar­eas and sow grass seeds to pro­mote new growth – or, for an in­stant fix, lay new turf and wa­ter well un­til the roots take hold.” To en­cour­age new growth in shrubs, it’s time to pull out the se­ca­teurs and give your plants a good hair­cut. “Shrubs such as pho­tinia, In­dian hawthorn, vibur­num and camel­lias will re­ally ben­e­fit from a prune once they’ve fin­ished flow­er­ing, as it will keep them full and lush through­out the sum­mer months,” says Lyn­dall Keat­ing. Plants love a drink as the tem­per­a­ture rises, so con­sider in­stalling an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem to en­sure gar­dens and lawns are wa­tered dur­ing the warmer months. “Look for sys­tems with wa­ter-sav­ing mea­sures such as an au­to­matic rain sen­sor and a wi-fi en­abled au­to­matic con­troller linked to your smart­phone,” says Lisa El­lis of Lisa El­lis Gar­dens. A sys­tem like this is not as com­pli­cated as it sounds, and the start­ing point is a sim­ple gar­den tap.

“Keep an eye out for pesky in­sects which cause leaf da­m­age and treat fo­liage with a hor­ti­cul­tural oil like Eco-Oil ev­ery fort­night to keep them bug-free” ~ Lyn­dall Keat­ing, Gar­den So­ci­ety

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