2 Over­grown SHRUBS

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Garden Care -

PROB­LEM: The look of the house and the amenity of the front rooms is ru­ined by shrubs that have grown too big for this po­si­tion. SO­LU­TION: Re­move the shrubs and take ad­van­tage of the sunny, shel­tered spot by cre­at­ing a pretty seat­ing area here in­stead. Here’s how

STEP 1 Re­move a big shrub by first cut­ting it back to a stump and a few short branches (to use as han­dles). Clear soil and cut ex­posed roots with lop­pers or prun­ing saw. Rock stump to loosen.

STEP 2 Re­vi­talise soil with a layer of top-qual­ity gar­den mix – a blend of com­posted or­ganic mat­ter. Dig this well through the ex­ist­ing soil along with a lit­tle con­trolled re­lease fer­tiliser.

STEP 3 Re­plant with bet­ter species. Try Mag­no­lia ‘Lit­tle Gem’ at each end to frame the fa­cade and new seat­ing area. Cut back by a quar­ter each year to keep com­pact.

STEP 4 Cen­tre bench un­der the win­dow and flank with a pair of large tubs filled with small-grow­ing but eye­catch­ing plants. Try a strik­ing, black-leafed New Zealand flax.

STEP 5 Fin­ish by edg­ing with a row of Ja­panese box planted about 25cm apart. Shear tips of all branches to en­cour­age fur­ther branch­ing. These plants will be­come a lit­tle hedge.

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