With the Christmas tree in the front garden waiting to be collected and the first frost arriving,another year invites us onward.
And with that ice, there’s very little that can be done in the garden this month. But what we can do is make some New Year Resolutions regarding our outdoor spaces, whether we’re living on country estates or in city-centre apartments with roof gardens. So here’s a rundown of some things we think would improve your garden this year;
Test (and stay on top of) your soil
This is something that many people find themselves neglecting because of the myth of complexity, but it’s really simple and really important. Whether you’re starting a new garden or have an existing one, pick up a soil test kit from any garden centre and just follow the instructions. Some will afford you the ability to test at home, some will include lab analysis and recommendations. Either way, the resulting improvements set you up perfectly for a successful year in the garden.
Reduce the use of chemicals
Particularly apt if this comes up during your testing, reducing the use of chemicals is good for everybody. Whether you’re eliminating chemical fertilisers or finding natural alternatives to pesticides; minimising your negative impact on your local environment can only spell good things for your garden. Make a resolution to create and use your own compost – it’s cheaper, easier and far better for everybody involved.
Invite the right kind of insects
Insects are not the enemy! Invite the right kind in to help you fight the ones you don’t want, by choosing the right plants and flowers that attract the good guys. For example yarrow will bring lacewings, butterfly weed will bring ladybirds, hoverflies will be attracted by alyssum. The larvae of all these insects will get to work on your aphid infestation immediately.
Experiment with wildflowers
Just like floral dresses from the 70s have made an eye-opening reappearance in high street shops, wildflower meadows are coming back for more. Recent trends saw many households opt for neater rows, boxed beds and minimalist approaches – but nothing beats the sight and scent of real wildflowers in any landscape. It also challenges you and hones your skills, whilst also providing an interesting “sit and watch” experiment to see what nature comes up with. You can’t lose with wildflowers.
Get the garden shows in your calendar
If you already make use of garden shows, keep up the good work. If you don’t, then you’re going to have a fantastic year.
Get the local shows in your garden and try your best to go to one of the large national ones (Chelsea, Shrewsbury, Holker Hall, Woburn Abbey etc.) You will find displays, combinations and landscapes that you could never have dreamt of yourself. But now you have the idea, you can tweak it and apply it to your own environment, there’s nothing wrong with extracting a little information from the professionals.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.