Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Travel -

1 Don’t be overly po­lite. If ev­ery­thing is too taste­ful, the gar­den will be­come bland. Re­mem­ber, there is no such thing as a bad colour, al­though there can be bad com­bi­na­tions of colour.

2 You need a few star turns – those show-stop­per plants that will get all the at­ten­tion. But you also need a bit of rice with your curry – the hedges, paths and ter­races that hold the gar­den to­gether. And if I had my time over again, I would put in more struc­tural plant­ing.

3 Sow­ing seed and prop­a­gat­ing from cut­tings are two of the best things you can do to im­prove your men­tal state. Rais­ing your own plants is tremen­dously re­lax­ing.

4 Har­vest­ing from your gar­den, whether you are cut­ting veg­eta­bles or a vase of flow­ers, is a very pos­i­tive thing to do. Reg­u­larly walk­ing through the gar­den makes you aware of its strengths and weak­nesses, and look­ing closely means you keep on top of what needs to be done.

5 Soil is ev­ery­thing. Get to know what you have and put all your en­ergy into im­prov­ing it as far as you can.

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