Struggling what to do with your small outdoor space? You don’t need to have a big, expansive garden to grow something spectacular. Update any compact area with these tips on how to make the most of any space.
1. TEXTURE TACTICS
Textured plants can create the illusion of depth and distance. Bold-leaved plants, such as Hostas, Cannas or Elephant’s Ears, draw the eye. Position finer leaves in the background and coarse ones in front, to create the impression that the space is deeper than it actually is. This trick works particularly well in shallow, sloping gardens.
2. GROWN YOUR OWN
Make the most of even the tiniest patch and you’ll be surprised at how many of your own fruit and vegetables you can grow. Especially in urban gardens, where there is limited outdoor space, transform a balcony, patio or garden patch into an edible haven. Patio trees, compact plants or planting in raised beds are a great way to make the most out of limited space.
3. FILL IT WITH FRAGRANCE
Scented plants are the perfect way to bring any space to life and that is only intensified in a smaller garden. Discover fragrant plants with different seasons of fragrance to provide scent all year, and grow them near the door or paths for best effect. Plant pots where you can enjoy their scent, either next to a bench or around a patio, and squeeze plants that release their scent when crushed, such as Thyme, into gaps in paths.
4. PLAY AROUND WITH POTTED PLANTS
Pots, tubs, and barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden, big or small. Plants lend instant colour and provide a focal point in the garden. Their versatility means you can place them on the ground, on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them from your porch; the possibilities are endless!
5. GET CREATIVE WITH SHELVES AND HOOKS
Vertical gardening is a great space-saving style of gardening. Instead of cluttering a compact floor space with plants, why not build garden shelves and create colourful floral walls. Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more ways to add instant colour and appeal.
6. USE DIFFERENT LEVELS
Placing plants at different heights help to broaden the view of the garden and can help break it up smaller areas, giving the impression that the space is bigger than it really is.
7. HIDE BOUNDARIES FOR MORE SPACE
To open up a small space, hide boundaries with evergreen hedges, trees or climbers. They soften unsightly features and create a super environment for wildlife.
April is a magical month in the garden; Tulips are showing their cheery faces in a rainbow of colours, the weather gets warmer and it’s the peak month for planting all your summer-flowering favourites.
To keep yourself busy in the garden this month, here’s a list of our essential gardening jobs to do this April.
Add Instant Colour
Enjoy instant colour in the spring garden by planting Primulas and Polyanthus. These pretty plants are perfect for brightening up pots and the front of border during the spring months.
Keep on top of Deadheading
With early spring flowers beginning to fade, keep on top of deadheading garden Daffodils, Crocus and Pansy flowers; this will help the plants conserve their energy for next year’s blooms.
Water as the Weather Warms Up
When it comes to watering, there are no hard or fast rules. It’s a judgement call that depends on the type of plant, the soil and the weather. Ideally, it is best to increase watering during the plant’s growth, and water in the morning to avoid evaporation loss during the day.
Mulch Shrubs and Trees
Mulch Rose and shrub beds with a 3 inch layer of organic matter. This will help retain moisture during dry spells, reduce weed build-up and over time improve soil structure. Take extra care around Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias, as their flowering will be impaired if they are allowed to dry out during their growth in the Spring.
Plant out Dahlia Tubers
Prep for beautiful summer blooms by starting off your Dahlia tubers in the Spring. From early April, start your dahlias off in pots. If you are using tubers that have been stored over winter, give them a thorough inspection and cut off any diseased or soggy pieces with a clean knife. Pot them up, keep them well watered, and after all risk of frost has passed, plant them out in the garden.
Evergreens add constant interest to the garden and can act often as a central focus point to build a garden around. Evergreen shrubs and plants hold their foliage all year around, which is why they are the perfect choice for low maintenance gardening. Since April is the best time of year to plant evergreens and there are many to choose from, we’ve picked out a selection of varieties so you are guaranteed to find one that suits you.
There are many benefits to having evergreens in the garden other than their beauty. Here are some of the overlooked benefits: