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Sustainable landscape design elements and ideas
Tag Archives: garden design
Gardening, it is said, is good for the soul. Not only is it satisfying, it also helps you to be in touch with the rhythms of the earth.
A recent survey on the impact of gardening on wellbeing by the University of St. Andrews found that gardening can boost mood and help with sleep and stress relief, as well as improving eating habits.
To take full advantage of the benefits of being in touch with the Earth’s rhythms, gardeners must be able to relax into the space and be completely immersed in the space.
The good news is that gardens need not be large. Even with a small patio or front garden, you can start your own mini-garden.
But there are a few ideas that could really make the difference, not only in relaxing into your garden, but also in helping you to be completely immersed in it.
First, plan your garden around a small seating area, a place to relax. Try not to plan too large, and instead use the area for your garden or front garden. The garden itself will expand to fill the space you set aside for it, and you will be amazed at how quickly the area fills up.
Second, make sure you use plants that are easy to grow, and that are beautiful, flowering shrubs, perennials, or grasses. This way, your garden will not be overwhelming and will be welcoming to guests.
Third, make sure you plan your garden to have some sort of water feature. An area of water will add a great deal of colour, as well as soothing sound, and will attract birds and other wildlife.
Fourth, make sure you include plants that are suitable for a smaller space. While herbs, vegetables and salad greens are often used to define the “look” of a front or back garden, they don’t always take up a lot of space. Think about plant species that look good, and can be used for eating, and that are less demanding in terms of space.
And finally, if you want to be able to enjoy your garden throughout the year, plant deciduous shrubs or trees, such as maple or flowering cherry. You can always cut them down in the winter, or have a snow-blanket of bare branches.
Include plants that are hardy in the UK, such as raspberries and brambles. They will survive the winter, and return next spring.
Make sure you have plenty of compost for the garden. Compost is a crucial ingredient in a healthy garden, and you can buy bags of ready-made compost at the garden centre.
Remember to water the garden, but don’t overdo it. Water, but not too much, and wait a few days before watering again. Remember that different plants take up water in different ways. Make sure you water plants that are in active growth to encourage them to put on new growth.
Plant hardy annuals, biennials, and flowering perennials. Some annuals can be removed after the frosts and replanted in a few weeks. But leave biennials, such as nasturtiums, to grow to maturity, in order to encourage new growth in spring. Perennials come in many shapes and sizes. Think about using plants that add colour throughout the year, such as asters or lupines. You can grow them close to the house, in pots or containers, to save space in the garden.
To improve the garden, add bird feeders. Many garden centres have them in the spring, and will put out a selection of different feeders. Birds enjoy nectar and seeds, and they will visit your garden and feed on your feeders.
It might take a bit of time, but once you have a good, well-tended garden, you’ll get the most out of it, and it will become a joy to enjoy for many years.
In the last few weeks of autumn, you may be starting to look at your garden for early spring plantings. But don’t forget the summer before that, because you want a good, well-drained garden for all the warm weather, too. You’ll have to water throughout the winter to keep plants healthy.
Before you head to the garden centre, think about what you want to grow. Are you hoping to attract butterflies, bees, or birds? Or is it you that want a little haven of calm? Whatever the case, you’ll need to consider your needs before heading to your garden centre.
Here are some ideas for what you could grow in your garden, or on a balcony or terrace, to look forward to in spring.
There is no end of what you can grow in spring. Tomatoes are still growing, and now is the time to prepare them for planting in early spring. Many people like to grow them as a container-grown plant to protect them from frost, and you’ll be able to plant them once the weather warms up. When you plant them, it’s best to use tomato cages to support them, as they can get very big. If you don’t have a