How to Manage Your Garden This Summer
Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
Go with what works
One top tip for managing your garden is to go with what works, rather than putting increasing amounts of time, effort and resources into growing those that don’t. If something isn’t working then let it go. Look around to see what’s growing well in your neighbourhood and take inspiration from those plants; and the landscape around you.
Low maintenance plants
Look out for shrubs that provide all year round interest and that are low maintenance. Sarcococca confusa or sweet box is a great choice, for its evergreen leaves, fragrant creamy flowers and black berries – what’s more, it has the RHS Award of Garden Merit, which means it’s been put through rigorous trials successfully. Also, try Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ for late winter flowers of a purplish pink hue and an attractive scent. Don’t forget that cottage garden favourite Lavender will give you scent and colour all summer long for very little trouble. Also, plant swathes of spring bulbs or cyclamen tubers that will naturalise, for a display that in many cases will keep coming back each year.
Easy garden maintenance
For easy garden maintenance remember that the hoe is your friend, you’ll be able to whiz in between your existing herbaceous perennials to keep the weeds down and your garden borders looking good. If it’s a dry, hot day, you won’t even need to pick the weeds up; they’ll simply shrivel up in the sun.
If you have an area of the garden that you’re having difficulty getting on top of maintenance-wise then dig or hoe it over, and then cover it with black plastic to help keep the weeds down. Alternatively, if you are planting up a new area of garden, plant through a weed suppressing membrane, water the plants well and then cover with mulch, to help them retain the moisture and keep the weeds at bay.
If you are planting up containers, then do incorporate water retaining granules and do put a tray or saucer under the containers – it’s amazing how much watering this single act will save you. When you do water, do so in the evening whenever possible to give your plants maximum time to recover before the heat
of the mid-day sun descends again.
Mowing and edging does give your garden a crisp well-maintained look but do feel you can experiment with the frequency of these jobs. Also, consider leaving some areas to grow longer and introduce some w
ildflowers into the mix, so you’ll be helping the wildlife too. If you’re struggling to keep your edging looking neat then consider incorporating some permanent edging solutions, try your local architectural reclamation year or garden centre for ideas, from vintage rope patterned edging tiles to half bricks or more modern plastic edging solutions.
So there you have a few hints and tips on managing your garden this season. Most of all we hope you have the chance to step out and enjoy your garden this summer.