The garden must be something pleasant to look at all year round:
How you plan your garden depends on whether it is a brand new one or an existing one. It is easier to start from scratch rather than trying to change an existing one.
If you have children, you may feel that you want a lawn, however small, for them to play on. Make sure that the area is completely flat and well prepared before laying turf or seeding the lawn.
The present trend is to integrate the garden and the living area so that the transition from one to the other is less noticeable. One good way of achieving this is to have a patio area covered by a clear roof and with sliding doors leading from the house. The same floor covering, or a similar colour, could be used in both the house and the patios. Wooden decking is now very popular and is extremely versatile. Use pot plants on the patio to amplify the garden theme. Fill containers with geraniums and colourful seedlings, not forgetting herbs, if you do not have the space for a herb garden, create one in pots, they are so attractive, perfect for cooking and very aromatic.
The finishing touches to any garden are made by the strategic positioning of an ornaments: a piece of garden furniture, a pergola, a water feature, a column or an urn. Garden furniture is seen and must be chosen for its attractiveness and hard wearing qualities. Cast iron and wrought iron will last for years.
As well as lamps for lighting a patio area or path, there are garden lights for illuminating certain other parts of the garden, also available in different colours.
CHOICE OF PLANTS
CLIMBERS AND WALL SHRUBS
Climbers are the plants to start with; if you choose these first the other plants can be selected to fit with them. Some will climb up a wall or fence, others will need to be secured against walls, trellis or fencing.
Ivy provides good cover. A lovely creeper is the Hydrangea Petiolaris which is a self clinging climber with flat white flowers. Other suggestions are Jasmine and Honeysuckle.
Wisteria, clematis, and climbing roses, in various varieties and colours.
Flowering cherries, acers, ficus, magnolia, eucalyptus, orange trees, syringe and weeping trees such as the mulberry. Remember to cut back trees each spring to keep them under control.
Choose attractive shrubs and do not plant them too close together. Select evergreen and deciduous shrubs.
IN THE SHADE
Camellias, Hydrangeas, Azaleas.
IN SEMI SHADE
Griselinia, pittosporum and fuschias.
IN THE SUN
Lavender, santolina, hebes, hibiscus, New Zealand flax and yuccas for shape and structure. Use summer and winter seedlings in flower beds and pots.
Remember your garden is a way of expressing your personality, form the type of plants you choose to the way in which you set it out. Go on, express yourself and happy gardening!