Plant seeds and bulbs and your garden will grow, right? Not necessarily. You need to choose the right plants for the climate as well as the soil in your garden, as well as plan your borders and beds and choose finishing decorative touches, like outdoor lighting or lanterns to pull the whole space together. The key in designing a garden is to think of it as another room in your home that you have to decorate and furnish – really the only difference is that you have to pick waterproof and weatherproof accessories and furniture.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
If you just throw random plants around the sides of your lawn and pot a few seeds, you’ll end up with a flowering garden, but it won’t be particularly successful. You need to think about which plants will work in your garden and where – some plants need shade, some need light and others need a bit of both. Some plants flourish in sandy soil while others need plenty of mulch. Get to know which plants will work in your garden then come up with a planting plan. Use grasses, shrubs and perennials to add body and texture to your borders and beds and fill in the gaps with plenty of colour. If you don’t want to be constantly in the garden pruning and pinching, look for hardy plants.
Taking Care of Your Plants
If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in your garden, you might want to steer clear of conventional pesticides and weed repellents. Make use of some natural pesticides instead to keep your garden fresh and fragrant. You can plant strongly-scented plants like rosemary, mint and lavender close to plants prone to pests, like carrots, roses and lilacs to ward pests off, or simply arrange a very fine net over plants or shrubs as an added layer of protection. Another tip is to attract beneficial pests like wasps, bees and spiders to pick off troublesome creatures by planting highly scented and highly coloured flowers and plants. You can also use things like protective collars made from cardboard or copper coins to protect seedlings.
Choosing Furniture and Lighting
Comfy furniture is really important in any garden, but most of us just use uncomfortable and rigid plastic, metal or wooden furniture. You’ll spend a lot of time in your garden in the summer (and winter) months if the furniture is comfortable enough, so make sure you use outdoor cushions and if they fit in the space, outdoor beanbags too. Don’t be afraid to use colour, either. As for your lighting, you’ll need to make sure that you have a source of outdoor lighting so that you can continue your BBQ parties well into the evening. You could choose a firepit, as its cosy and multi-purpose, or use stake lights along pathways or even fairy lights to give your garden a lovely glow.
Using Colour and Ornaments
In the same way that you’d decorate a room in a house, you can get creative with colour in your garden, too – don’t just get stuck on traditional colours like green and brown. Instead, why not choose bright colours like duck egg blue or rich purple. Use coloured cushion covers, too, and don’t be afraid to get creative with pots and planters. Ornaments can provide the perfect finishing touch – they can add to the plants and structures already in your garden and provide pointers, like “look here” or “turn here”. Lanterns are always lovely hanging off tree branches, but a curved oak bench or cast iron decorative piece will also add a nice touch.
Keeping it Comfortable
The garden should be an extension of the home, so make sure that it doesn’t look too perfectly manicured otherwise your guests will be afraid to use it! You want it to feel like you could throw a blanket down on the lawn for a picnic without worrying about getting crumbs on the grass, so don’t be afraid to let the plants grow a little taller than you had planned – it’ll all add to the look.
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