To get any garden, big or small, to look amazing requires planning. And while there’s no getting away from some challenges when working with nature, there are a number of simple ways to make the process easier, helping you to create the garden of your dreams – whatever your budget and time constraints. To help you on your way, we spoke to Pieter DeVroomen – an expert in Dutch and English gardens who has been designing them for more than 25 years. Here he shares his best tips for creating a new garden…
Get to know your plants
The first step to creating a garden is to get to know your plants, as this can help you greatly when it comes to deciding where to place them. While there are a huge number of plants to choose from, the best place to start is with perennials – these are plants that return year after year and include favourites such as roses, hydrangeas and peonies. You can also consider shrubs and trees, while vines such as clematis and jasmine can be fantastic additions to your garden. When choosing plants, always keep your growing conditions in mind and try to select plants that are right for your soil type, light exposure, and climate. You can find a comprehensive list of plants on the RHS website.
Finding the right spot
While some plants can be moved and replanted, others are better off staying put. Once you’ve selected your plants it’s time to find the right spot for them. As with selecting the perfect plants, this will depend on a number of things, most notably your soil type and the amount of sunlight that area receives. If you have sandy soil, look for plants that thrive in these conditions. If you have clay soil, try to select plants that don’t require lots of water, or you’ll end up with a swamp! It’s also worth noting that plants in full sunlight will grow faster and be healthier than those in the shade, so if you can, try to find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Come up with a plan
If you’re looking to create a brand new garden or if you’re keen to redesign an existing one, it’s worth coming up with a plan. This doesn’t have to be anything too technical – although if you want to you can certainly go as far as you like. A basic sketch will do the trick, and you can always revisit it as you go along. It’s also worth noting that gardens look very different during different seasons, so keep this in mind when planning. It’s also a good idea to consider your budget when planning, as this can help you decide what plants are best for you. If you’re on a tight budget, perennials are a great option as you can enjoy them for years to come.
Add some colour
As well as featuring plants that are perfect for your soil type, it’s also worth considering what colours you like and what will go well with the rest of your garden. If you’re not sure where to start, it can be helpful to think about what your favourite colours are as these might be influenced by your personality or your interior design. If you’re not a fan of bright colours, don’t worry – there are lots of plants that come in a range of subtle shades, such as ferns and succulents. You can also use a variety of plants and flowers to add colour throughout the year, or opt for a selection that flowers at different times during the year to extend the season. DeVroomen Garden Center
Don’t forget to include greenery
While plants are absolutely central to any garden, it’s also worth remembering that gardens need plenty of greenery, too. Trees, shrubs, and hedges not only look fantastic but also provide a number of benefits, from helping to reduce dust and weeds, to providing shelter for wildlife. If you have the space, it can be worth taking advantage of these benefits – simply remember to think about the distance between your plants, too. It’s also worth considering whether you want to use cultivated or natural plants. If you’re not sure, it’s best to opt for natural plants as they’re likely to fit in better with your garden, and are better for wildlife.
Creating a garden is a wonderful way to relax and unwind thanks to the therapeutic benefits of gardening. By selecting the right plants, designing a layout that works with your space, and paying attention to details like soil type, light exposure, and watering needs, you can easily create an amazing garden that is sure to impress.
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