Gardening: 7 secrets to keeping your garden beautiful the whole year

Leigh Leigh
RHS Cardiff 2015, Best4hedging Best4hedging Modern Garden
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Our pride is our garden. It's the job that's always enjoyable, when we've managed to get away from the office! Even though we aren't professional gardeners, just being able to potter at home, roll up our sleeves and apply a little bit of effort to our garden, is fun and makes the space that we live in that much more pleasant. 

Garden work is always gratifying, especially when we plant flowers and plants in our garden that we start to care about and nurture. This is also a job that will give us fantastic results in the form of a beautiful garden. It can be perennial or last only a few months, depending on the types of plants that we sow. Planning a garden is key, ensuring that you end up with the best design and outcome based on your research on where you live and what flourishes best in your climate.

In this homify book, we give you recommendations to assist you in planning and planting so that you have a fantastic garden all year round!

Green walls

In today's day and age, having a vertical garden is an absolute joy for anyone who enjoys nature. So why not do something different and exciting in your garden? Instead of hanging pots on the wall (which is also a solution), design an entire wall as a garden. Not only does the wall separating the property boundaries look beautiful now but the annual flowering plants can be transplanted onto the wall, into the containers, to replace those that have run their course. 

This is an idea for you to analyse! Can you modify your wall to make a vertical garden?

Think about the overall design before starting

We need to plan our garden by measuring the amount of land that we have available. It is very important to know how many plants that we need to buy so that we can work out what our budget should be for our garden investment. 

Once we know how much land we have available, we figure out where we are going to place everything. For example, if you have a high tree that takes up a lot of space in the garden, you may want to place it in an area where there is grass and the grass must be a type that can survive and grow in the shadow of the tree. 

Figure out if your plants are going to be planted in beds or if they are going to run alongside the grass. It's okay to map it all out on a piece of paper, using drawings and measurements to figure out approximately where the grass should go and where the plants should go. 

Once we've planned everything, we must do some work on the land to prepare it for the plants and grass. You may need the help of a professional gardener or a landscaper, especially if your garden is large and uneven. 

Essentially you want the overall design of your garden to look professional, like this design here by Best4Hedging.

Define spaces with green areas and perennials

When you start to choose the plants that you want in your garden to make it beautiful all year round, you should start by choosing perennial plants. These are plants that keep their leaves green throughout the year. This term usually applies to small shrubs or herbaceous plants, which are precisely what we want to grow in our garden.

Perennial grass and plants have no permanent, woody stem and grow quicker when the weather is warm and then bloom. In climates that are very extreme, they usually lose their leaves in winter but in some cases these plants retain their foliage even in colder climates.

When you go to the nursery to choose your perennials, educate yourself on what plants are classified as such and how they will fit into your garden, contrasting with other types of plants. 

There is a long list of perennial plants available in South Africa including Geraniums, Kniphofias, Day Lilies, Gazanias and Busy Lizzies.

Choose varieties of local and regional plants

When choosing your plants, think about what thrives best in the area that you live in. If the plants work in a South African climate, they'll be much easier to cultivate. Also check how much sun that you get in this area of your garden before buying your plants because the types of plants that you choose need to be able to thrive and grow with the amount of sunlight available. You may need a plant that suits hours of intense sunlight or a plant that suits shadier areas. Either way you want your plants to grow and flower!

Defining the area where your garden is going to thrive throughout the year deserves some careful studying. You need to see if the sunlight is going to be strong enough all year around because consistency is important for plants. 

You also need to ensure that there is enough space for your plants to grow and develop properly after you have sown the seeds. Sometimes a beautiful garden just does not have enough room to grow like it should!

Schedule the garden according to the season of growth and plants

A really important factor when it comes to garden design is: where do I put my plants? 

First of all, you need to know how high each variety are going to grow when they are fully developed: both the perennials and annuals. Once you have this information as well as how each plant should be pruned and how wide it will grow, you can figure out where to put them. 

If you have a boundary wall then place your taller plants against the wall so that when your plants are fully grown, they will line the entire wall. This will look fantastic! However if you want your design to include plants that are more central in the garden space, then place your taller plants in the middle of the garden. This will form a bit of an irregular, funky shape where the higher plants are in the centre, and then move outwards to the shorter plants. 

A recommendation: group your plants together by colour so that you have some distinguished colour and texture throughout—this is smarter planning! Caring for the growth of your plants as well as the variety of colours that will flower will make your garden a delight throughout the year. 

Have a look through these fantastic garden products to find some inspiration for accessories for your garden!

Don't forget flowers and plants that give colour

Spectacular flowering plants can be a wonderful and striking addition to your exterior space. They an also form a lovely buffer between your perennial plants, helping you to define your garden and the different sections within it. 

While these type of flowering plants can be beautiful, just remember that they may need to be replanted after a few seasons as they don't always last forever. This isn't because you aren't a good gardener! It's just because of how long they last. 

Among these beautiful varieties are Amaranthaceae, Aster Begonia, Bethlehem flowers and chrysanthemum.

How incredible are these flowers in this design, captured by German bloggers Pflanzenfreude?

Garden furniture for all seasons

Garden furniture as well as any additional details and accessories, such as a small fountain or a bench for casual seating, can enhance your beautiful garden and provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy it. After all of your fabulous ideas are implemented, you want to be able to see the overall design as often as possible. 

You can have a look through the furniture that you already have inside of your home and possibly recycle it, using it outside. Or you may want to look for new furniture that best matches the design and style of the garden. Either way, make sure that your outdoor furniture is durable and won't wear and tear when it rains. You also don't want your beautiful cushions to fade or change colour in extreme weather so opt for furniture and accessories that are designed for the outdoors. 

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love these: Simple Ways To Improve Your Small Courtyard.

Does your garden look great in every season? How did you plan it? Share your tips with us in the comments!

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