Gardening tips: How to repair and maintain your lawn
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The cost of landscaping a garden can vary considerably, so it’s worth setting a budget before deciding which features to incorporate in to the design. Martyn Williamson, director of Beeches Paving and Landscaping, has offered some valuable advice to help gardeners create their own outdoor oasis.
Garden centres provide a range of plants, but they may not always be the cheapest option when buying on a larger scale.
“The mark up can be quite large,” Martyn said. “Buying online can be cheaper and you’re buying straight from the garden nurseries.”
Martyn added that while purchasing plants online prevented gardeners from viewing them beforehand, he suggested visiting a garden centre for inspiration on which varieties to choose.
For gardeners looking for ways to keep costs down, they could purchase less mature plants which are a cheaper option, compared to fully established varieties.
Identifying areas which tend to be in the sun or shade can help to establish where plants should be placed and the conditions they need to thrive.
“It’s useful to know what should be in a shady area and which area gets the sun,” said Martyn.
Gardeners should also consider the practicality of a high or low maintenance garden.
Evergreen shrubs are a popular choice in landscaped gardens as they require low maintenance, explained Martyn, and are “green all year round”.
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Raised beds can be an effective way to showcase a range of plants. Railway sleepers can be used to create borders or raised beds.
“You can build up different layers,” said Martyn, who suggested using oak wood sleepers to achieve a more “natural” look.
Cortaderia selloana, which is a flowering plant, and more commonly known as a Pampas grass, prefers full sun, but can also be grown in partial shade.
Other plants which are effective for featuring in borders and providing ground cover, include a Hakonechloa macra, or Japanese Forest grass as it is commonly known, Sedge plants, and an Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Kokuryu’, or Mondo grass – an evergreen perennial.
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To achieve a colourful display, Martyn advised choosing a range of shrubs.
“If you just choose evergreen and grasses, you have the same colour all year round, but by mixing plants of different colours you get a variety during the seasons, so the garden is constantly evolving,” he said.
When choosing a tree which is guaranteed to provide colourful leaves, an Acer palmatum, or Japanese Maple, bears attractive vibrant leaves of yellow, green or burgundy. A Crab Apple tree is very low maintenance and bears colourful blossom and fruit.
When considering laying new lawn, it’s a good idea to receive professional advice from a turfing supplier, as there are different types of grass which suit certain conditions, for example, Fescue grasses are good for shaded areas.
For a maintenance-free option, artificial grass could be used to replace real grass.
Garden mirrors can provide “another dimension” and can be positioned in front of fences. “They can reflect light and make the garden look bigger,” said Martyn.
When considering to put down paving, the conditions of the garden should be taken into account.
In shaded areas where moss and algae can develop, permeable paving, which enables water to drain away, should be used. Another option is resin bound paving, which is a combination of stones and gravel held in place with resin.
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