5 Considerations For Your Summer Garden in 2019

17th June 2019

As we get lovely long light evenings in the summer months in Britain, it is often when we use our garden the most.

Planning how we would like our garden to look often starts early on in the year and can become a project for the dark days of January.

Maybe you have often thought about having a summer house, or a garden office to work in. A cooking area for outdoors, BBQ or a gas grill or even an outdoor kitchen if you enjoy entertaining family and friends.

Maybe a fire pit tied in with some comfy outdoor garden furniture for cooler evenings can be incorporated into your planning.

If you have a large garden you could allow room for a games area particularly if you enjoy bowls or croquet, or even a small football area for the children.

Flowers Choices

Choose flowers in any colour you like, but choose ones that will grow in your soil type and thrive well in the different aspects of your garden bearing in mind that some plants need sunshine so there is no point in planting them in a shaded part of the garden.

Growing edible flowers for salads such as nasturtiums and chives, which are colourful and tasty. Growing vegetables can be very rewarding, perhaps begin by growing easy to manage vegetables such as potatoes and onions.

Tomatoes can be very successfully grown and are much tastier than the shop bought ones! Freshly grown salad leaves are also a welcome treat.

Garden Planning

A well-planned garden will entice you outside and encourage you to spend more time surrounded by nature and enjoying the great outdoors and make every weekend feel like a holiday.

There is something very special about being outside, to watch the clouds in the sky and feel the warmth of the sun or the wind in our hair.

Being outside in the open is really good for our health and wellbeing, and this is never more noticeable than when children have been playing outside in the fresh air

Create a focal point in the garden that will draw you outside. Use spaces within your garden to create an escape where you can relax with a book and a cold drink and watch the clouds go by.

Your Garden Options

If you're an inexperienced gardener, a large number of plant and flower choices can seem overwhelming, so perhaps a good place to begin when designing your garden is to match the plants with the conditions found in each area.

Consider whether it is shady or sunny, sheltered or exposed. Check the type of soil in your garden, chalky or sandy, acid or alkaline, whether it is poorly drained or well drained, or perhaps somewhere in between, as this will make a difference to the type of plants you choose.

If you are not sure of any of these points local garden centres can be most helpful and often sell soil testing kits - some garden centres will even test a sample of soil for you.

To get off to a good start in your own garden, plants need to have been looked after properly before they reach your home. Look carefully at plants before you buy them and select the strongest healthiest specimens, checking for strong green growth and colourful flowers.

Place plants on your garden to create the look you desire before actually planting them. Choose one or two striking plants to create a focal point. Before buying your plants look at the label to find out how big each plant will be when fully grown and plant them as if they are that size now.

Any time you notice a bare spot in the garden, visiting a garden centre to choose a plant that looks its best at that moment will ensure your garden has year-round intrigue. One of the most exciting things you can do is to mark the changing seasons with bursts of different flower varieties appearing at different times of the year, beginning with spring bulbs which appear above the frosty ground telling us winter is drawing to a close and announcing that spring is here with the sun yellow blossoms of the Forsythia and the delicate pink blossom of a cherry tree.

Plant shapes can be used throughout the garden to create a subtle feel or a bold contrast. Try grouping plants with spikey defined shapes together for maximum impact or add sharp shapes amongst soft planting flower beds to serve as a focal point.

If your garden gets exposed to cold winds tender plants may die during the cold season. Taking this into account when purchasing plants will help you be prepared for winter as some plants can be planted outdoors in summer but need to be brought indoors or given protective covering over the winter, others will survive the harshest of British winters.

Check the label for the hardiness of a plant, or search online to find its RHS rating, on the ‘H’ scale (H1 being the least hardy and H7 the most ) and buy plants that will survive the temperatures in your own garden.

Creating Privacy

If your garden is overlooked look for ways to use plants to obscure eyesores or create privacy. If you have the space for a tree plant it so that when it reaches its full height it will block the view onto the garden from neighbouring windows.

Once you feel you are getting the hand of garden design break away from predictable patterns by planting plants in unusual places and add interest and individuality to your garden.

Alpines are not just for rock gardens they make great ground cover beneath roses, and can fill unsightly cracks in the patio. Climbing plants can be wrapped around a gazebo or even a bird table.

But most of all enjoy your summer garden, be it for pottering in or for completely relaxing.

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