GAR­DEN AD­VICE

Mered­ith Kir­ton shares her to-do list for a tidy sum­mer gar­den.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

“A NEW BROOM SWEEPS CLEAN”, they say and in the gar­den, the say­ing rings true. De­clut­ter­ing the gar­den can seem to be a coun­ter­in­tu­itive act, but ju­di­ciously re­mov­ing some plants, prun­ing the over­grown, weed­ing the un­wanted and then mass plant­ing in the bare spots can be a great way to breathe new life and vigour into your yard with­out a huge fi­nan­cial out­lay.

1

PRUNE Jan­uary is a time when plants are in their full sum­mer growth. Hedges may well be look­ing a lit­tle less than trim, so a quick tidy up will cre­ate or­der where there was none. Take the op­por­tu­nity to com­pletely cut away over­crowded branches or dis­eased wood, too. If the weather is fore­cast to be hot, de­lay the trim un­til it cools a lit­tle or fol­low it up with some Yates Water­wise Drought­shield to give the new growth some sun pro­tec­tion. And don’t for­get to trim lawn edges along drive­ways, paths and paving to make the yard look re­ally neat.

2

WEED Make sure you re­move the whole plant, roots and all, and pull it out be­fore it forms flow­ers and seeds. Place the weeds in a large plas­tic drum with a lid to make your very own weed soup, which works like liq­uid green ma­nure. Weed­ing can cre­ate bare soil and na­ture ab­hors a vac­uum, so quickly cover any freshly weeded ar­eas with mulch un­til you can plant ground cov­ers to take their place. It is bet­ter to wait to plant new cover in au­tumn, when the heat has re­lented.

3

MASSED PLANT­ING Gar­den­ers can be tempted to have one of ev­ery­thing. They get car­ried away with the types of plants they grow, and the re­sult can be a mishmash of plants. De­clut­ter­ing might be as sim­ple as re­fin­ing your pal­ette, choos­ing those plants that are thriv­ing in your area, and mass plant­ing more of the same. The uni­fied look of this ap­proach will

add im­pact to your gar­den de­sign. And if you al­ready have the plants grow­ing in your gar­den, it might be an easy home prop­a­ga­tion job to get more spec­i­mens.

4

HIGH-PRES­SURE HOSE Use that new broom to sweep clean or, bet­ter still, hire a wa­ter blaster. Paths and stonework will look like new after a quick high-pres­sure blast. Just be sure to back-fill paving with fresh, clean, dry sand – if you dis­lodge the pavers, weeds can grow in the cracks.

CUT­TING EDGE Fiskars “Lucy” pruner, $25.98, from Bun­nings. CUTE CUT­TER The Thought­ful Gar­dener pruner in Blue, $32.95, from Zanui.

Mered­ith Kir­ton is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, land­scape de­signer and au­thor of sev­eral books on gar­den­ing.

Freshen up

In­volve the fam­ily in get­ting your gar­den look­ing trim and tidy this sum­mer.

RUS­TIC AP­PEAL Wire bas­ket with pots set, $12, from Kmart. GROW UP Yates Weed ‘N’ Feed her­bi­cide, 4L, $14.98, from Bun­nings. KNEEL IN STYLE Home­grown & Hand­made gar­dener’s kneel­ing pad in Wa­ter­colour Odyssey, $44.90, from Hard to Find. HANG­ING GAR­DEN Sat­sumas plant stand, $69, from Ikea. SHEAR DE­LIGHT Hedge shears, $10, from Kmart TIED UP Dec­o­ra­tive twine with scis­sors, $7, from Kmart.

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