Not everyone has the time or inclination to spend hours in the garden, or the money to hire a gardener. Quickly becoming an extension of the home, the garden is now more popular than ever for entertaining in, with stores taking notice. You can purchase just about anything for from modern, expensive BBQ and grills, to solar powered mood lighting and mechanical burping frogs . But no amount of well placed ornaments will cover a wild and unkempt outside space. As a gardener I am often asked for tips on how to turn around a garden quickly. Using five quick techniques you can guide your jungle into a crisp, manicured paradise with not a lot of effort.
1. Mow the Grass
This may sound obvious but it is the one major piece of advice I give. If nothing else, mow the lawn, and cut that waist high meadow down to size. If really long, use a strimmer to take off the initial length before going over with a mower later. If you are due to entertain make sure you plan in advance. Very long grass can look horrendous when first cut, so ideally cut the lawn a week ahead of your party. The day before you can then zip over with a mower and trim those last green shoots to manicured perfection.
2. Edge the Borders
People often don’t have time to fork out every minute weed that decides to grow amongst their beautiful plants. Edging the border of a flower bed makes a distinct difference and gives the impression that the border is well looked after. The eye will be drawn away from weeds and instead to the cleanly cut edge and the freshly turned over earth. If weeds are spotted…well perhaps they’re supposed to be there!
3. Dead Head
The problem with our eyes is that they tend to automatically be drawn to things that we’d rather others didn’t see. If you have a rose covered in past their best blooms, your visitor’s eyes are sure to go there before they notice the beautifully flowering fushia right next to it. Snip off any bloom past their best in addition to any dead and browning foliage.
4. Tame That Tree
Stand back and look across the garden, paying particular attention to tree’s and large shrubs . Are there any low branches overhanging the lawn, the flower beds, or just so near the ground they might take someone’s head off? You don’t need to get the tree surgeon in, simply take off these lower branches and you’ll be amazed how much light and space suddenly seems to have appeared.
5. Selective Planting
It’s a good idea, especially if the garden is looking rather bare, to pop to the local nursery and grab a handful of bedding plants. These will not only liven up green, and distinctively bloomless gardens, but used sneakily can cover up a multitude of sins. If you have a long garden, place the blooms at the middle and end, causing the eye to be drawn along the full length of your outside space. If you have an area which is looking particularly good, put a few extra plants here, drawing the eye towards it and off anything you’d rather hide.
Using these few simple tricks, you can easily have the garden looking better in no time at all. Don’t waste effort removing every weed from a border, or chopping back every piece of ivy that is rearing its ugly head. For the quick fix, for something that is not time consuming and will have dramatic effect immediately, follow the steps above and enjoy the results as your visitors comment on just how beautiful the garden is looking.