5 top tips to improve your garden

Summer’s coming, and that means we’re all eager to get out into the garden, whether it’s to get our hands dirty planting and weeding, or just to entertain on the patio. And certainly the children will be wanting to play outside.
Most gardens will be looking a bit sad after the winter. So here are a few ideas for cheering up your garden.

  • Plan What You Want

It’s important to think about what you want your garden to do before you change anything. Most gardens, large or small, have to fulfil several functions, such as flower display, entertainment space and playground.

It helps to distinguish which area will be meeting which need, but an area can do two jobs at once, such as having flower-filled urns on your patio. If you need inspiration, Liz Lake, landscape architect in UK, has a website full of ideas: www.lizlake.com.

  • Let Your Artistic Side Come Out
A garden is artistic as well as functional, for instance in the proportions of the various features or coordinating the colours of the flowers and garden furniture — whether you want the colours to match or contrast.
If you’re feeling inspired, you can be more directly artistic, either by creating garden sculptures from found materials or, as Garden Design Magazine suggests, creating a pebble mosaic surface.

  • Get the Children Involved
Most young kids love joining in with what their parents are doing, and the garden gives them the opportunity to help, learn and have fun at the same time. A few years ago we planted our own vegetable patch and grew many different types of vegetables, Emmy loved this. By getting involved, they’ll learn about plants, insects and birds, and gain an appreciation of the balance of nature.

If you want to share a project with them, the BBC website’s suggestion of making a wormery
will be fun while they learn to appreciate these vital creatures.

  • A Small Garden Can Be Rewarding
It’s easy to assume you can only have an impressive garden if it’s big, but careful planning makes the most out of the smallest space. “Using space intelligently is the key to making a small garden work,” suggests House to Home, recommending strategies such as wall-mounted flower-pots and small garden buildings.

  • Keep Your Lawns Regular
Grass helps a garden look great, as well as giving the children somewhere to play, but cutting it can be time-consuming. You can reduce mowing time considerably by keeping the edges straight, without any fiddly bits. Or even use artificial turf. If it’s high quality, it will look and feel as good as the real thing, and need no maintenance.

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