I think most of us have an area in our own garden we would like to improve? With that thought in mind, I have put together a few simple solutions and ideas of how to deal with a few common problems.
Dark and Shady Areas
Evergreen shrubs and trees will inevitably create areas of dry shade under the canopy of their leaves. It is difficult for water to penetrate through leaves to the area of soil below, and what moisture does make it, will quickly be used by hungry roots which have already robbed the soil of any nutrients.
Finding a plant that will tolerate these conditions is difficult, but a few suggestions you could try would be Vinca (periwinkle) to create a ground cover, or epimediums and ferns will do well. Before planting add some organic matter to the area to give the plants a good start and hopefully they will soon romp away.
Hot Dry Borders
Any plants in this situation will need to be sun worshipers, so stick to the Mediterranean drought tolerant varieties, as a rule plants with narrow silver leaves are a good bet as they lose less moisture through their leaves. Some plants you could try would be eryngium, achillea or lavender, but remember, as with any plant, water in well after you plant them and until they are established.
Why not consider creating a gravel garden? I wrote about how to create just such a garden in a previous edition, but if you missed it you can read about it in my previous blog 'How to Create a Drought Tolerant Garden' along with other subjects I have written about.
Damp and Water-logged Areas
Some gardens, particularly those that have clay soil can become flooded during the wetter months. Installing additional drainage can be expensive, but if you have done all the usual things like adding grit and organic matter to help with the problem, then perhaps a solution would be to create a raised deck above the area and surround it with moisture loving plants?
Use composite decking that is slip resistant and requires little or no maintenance, and looks very smart. Use plants like yellow flag iris, persicaria ‘Fire Tail’ or hydrangea to soften the edges of the deck making it a pleasant place to sit.
Camouflaging those Eyesores!
All gardens have an area which is a necessity but which you don’t necessarily want to make a feature of! This could be a huge blank expanse of wall, the garden bin storage area or even the children’s trampoline!
By using trellis and a climbing plants you will soon be able to clad those walls, and use an evergreen climber to give you that all year round cover. Use free-standing trellis or contemporary screens to section off areas of your garden to hide those practical areas or children’s play equipment, or alternatively plant fast growing shrubs, evergreens work best like photina or Aucuba japonica which will soon disguise that garden shed or compost area.
Until next time