From blank canvas to backyard paradise
Landscaping around your home can be an arduous task, made all the more difficult by the amount of decisions you have to make.
Looking out at your blank canvas there are so many visions you have for the space, but will it look right and how much will it cost? Garden magazines can be very useful at a time like this, giving you an abundance of inspiration in your hour of need. Nowadays a low-maintenance garden is popular, particularly with professional couples and those with young families. If you are not a keen gardener, you certainly don’t want to be knee deep in dirt, weeds and lawn mowing every weekend, so it is important you plan ahead. Often too, once your landscaped paradise has been created, a long-repressed interest in gardening is realised. There is certainly nothing more satisfying than watching your ideas transform from paper to landscape and as each plant grows and is nurtured by your own hands, your sense of satisfaction will continue to increase. Raised gardens are now more popular than ever, enabling gardeners a slightly more comfortable vantage point, from which to weed. Particularly practical for vegetable gardens, a raised garden ensures daily tending is no longer such a strenuous chore. These gardens are often constructed of wood in varying forms, but nowadays bricks and specifically designed blocks are also being utilised. Although weed mat and bark chips or large stones still have their place, those who enjoy a colourful garden, like those of yesteryear, are now given the option of organic or mushroom compost. This compost allows for fabulous growth while inhibiting weeds. The occasional five minute weeding session should ensure your gardens remain weed-free for as long as you require. Outside living areas and their placement in your garden should always be taken into account when planning your landscaping. Wooden decks are still popular for relaxing on a warm day and now several variations of this idea have come into vogue. Large tiled areas, slightly raised off the ground are becoming the norm and with special frost-free tiles available, problems in the winter are kept to a minimum. However, where the wooden decking is slightly flexible when it comes to a tumble, the tiled courtyard is very unforgiving, so it’s important you choose carefully when it comes to suitability. Grasses of varying shapes, sizes and colours are now a common addition to any landscape and being relatively hardy souls, they don’t require a lot of looking after. For those who prefer a bit more colour, rhododendrons and camellias are great all year round as they provide colour and greenery when necessary. Roses are of course gorgeous, particularly when in bloom, but be certain before planting that you will have the time to put into them and if so, have planted them in the correct place for their needs. Roses can be temperamental and if positioned wrong or coupled with a flower they are not fond of, they do tend to sulk. As with any plant, it is important to read the tag attached before planting and if unsure, seek the advice of your friendly gardening specialist prior to purchase. Annuals are another welcome addition to your garden during the spring and summer months and provide a colourful floral tribute at a reasonable price. Statues, water features and other such structures, also add an air of interest to your garden. Strategically positioned with perhaps a climber, these structures can lift even the dullest of gardens. Have fun with your garden, don’t be afraid to use your imagination a little because the truth is, it’s your space and as long as you enjoy the final result, that is all that counts.