Watching a garden grow and take shape is one of the many joys of being a gardener, but over time, gardens naturally become more cluttered and overgrown. You can give your garden a new lease of life with these three smart edits. Grab your garden tools!
This technique, also known as ‘skirting’, describes removing the lower branches of spreading trees or shrubs to open up garden or lawn areas, allowing better air circulation around plants, and letting in more light at ground level. Cut branches flush against the trunk (don’t leave any bits sticking out), and work with the plant’s natural shape. Generally, avoid under pruning shrubs more than 1m above the ground – too much more and it can look gawky.
Pots have a habit of multiplying, especially where in-ground space is limited. It doesn’t take long for those key potted plantings to be joined by a jumble of containers of different sizes, shapes and colours. The clutter is easily sorted. Invest in several larger pots and bags of potting mix, then transfer smaller plants into these new containers to create a mini garden in a pot. Aim for a tall feature plant surrounded by smaller growers, and plants that will trail over the edges.
When plants bloom, it can become apparent that they just don’t work well together. Rather than trying to ignore the garish or clashing effect, bite the bullet and move the offending plant. If it’s one that dies down over winter, such as a dahlia, take a photo while it’s in flower and put a marker in the ground. You’ll then know where it is in winter, and can move it while it’s dormant.
For more ways to refresh your garden, get a copy of the August issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.