2 Overgrown SHRUBS
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.