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.

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

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.

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