Gar­den­ing to change your land­scape

Style Magazine - - Promotion - — Ge­off Gib­son

With your new home fin­ished, your dreams have just about all come true. You have a home not only the envy of your friends, but best of all, with all the fit­tings, fur­nish­ings and colours ex­actly as you al­ways wanted. It’s per­fectly com­fort­able — lit­er­ally made just for you. Now it’s time to turn your at­ten­tion to the block it­self and how your brand new home nes­tles into its new land­scape. The next set of ques­tions that arise — how should I go about it, what should I plant — are a lit­tle more ope­nended, as your garden can change with the sea­sons or even with your mood. Talk­ing to a lo­cal land­scaper or hor­ti­cul­tur­ist would be a good place to start, and be guided by their ex­per­tise as you have done with the rest of your home. Let their guid­ance help you lay out your garden so it doesn’t af­fect any nat­u­ral drainage or underground pipes, avoid­ing plants with large in­va­sive root sys­tems that may af­fect your foun­da­tions, your drive­way, fences, or your neigh­bours. They will be able to ad­vise you on the ideal plants for your cli­mate zone and the adult size, height and root sys­tems of dif­fer­ent species. They can also sug­gest whether a par­tic­u­lar plant can be used as a screen for western sun, and which de­cid­u­ous tree would al­low more north­ern win­ter sun into your home and is there­fore best for sum­mer shad­ing. This lo­cal knowl­edge of the dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of plants will not only make it eas­ier to beau­tify your yard but will, when strate­gi­cally placed, also help with the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of your home. Armed with this knowl­edge, mark out your gar­dens, defin­ing ar­eas of garden from ar­eas of lawn. This will help with later main­te­nance. This is the time to con­sider if you need to im­port soil to raise garden beds or if top dress­ing soil is re­quired. Check the con­di­tion of your soil and see what you can do to im­prove it to give your garden a fly­ing start. This is the per­fect time to lay the pipes for your trickle or drip ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems. These types of ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems will help with wa­ter con­ser­va­tion, guar­an­tees each plant re­ceives a drink, and dra­mat­i­cally cuts back your own on­go­ing main­te­nance work­load. With plants se­lected, place your plants in po­si­tion and check cov­er­age and prox­im­ity to struc­tures. It is wise not to plant any trees or shrubs right against your home. Upon com­ple­tion of plant­ing, a layer of mulch — like hay, pine bark, etc — should be ap­plied over the garden to help re­tain mois­ture and re­duce weed growth. Then just sit back and en­joy watch­ing your whole garden bloom.

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