Natasha’s garden tips
Live with your home and its garden, your climate and its conditions before you decide to build a garden. Learn from what you observe. Prepare before you plant. Turn soil over if it’s compacted, add compost if required and prepare your garden beds so anything you plant has the best chance. Plants in compacted soils will struggle, as will those in sandy soils that haven’t had something added to hold the moisture. Work with what you have, not against it. Peonies will never grow in the wrong climate, no matter how much you wish they would. Clivias will never grow where there are heavy frosts. Dark shaded areas under trees are always going to be challenging to grow things, so instead imagine them as a beautiful shady spot to retreat to in summer. Think about your garden as an experience rather than a collection of plants. Ask yourself, how do I want to inhabit this space? This will help you get an image of how the space should work. The plants should come last.