I have to confess that I’ve sometimes had a love-hate relationship with my gardens in the past, but this time it’s going to be different, the plan for our new garden will be for a balance tipped in favour of love.
The key to being a contented gardener is making a garden that’s right for you. I’ve spoken to people who feel alienated by their garden and spend as little time in it as possible, others feel that it’s a big chore, always a long to-do list.
The right garden for me is one that’s:
- nicely laid out, with pleasing proportions, so that it’s not all visible at once
- has two or three different places to sit
- has vegetables, flowers and herbs for as much of the year as possible
- and as many perfumed plants as possible
Tips for being a contented gardener:
- lawns take time to mow and seem to need mowing every week for most of the year, minimise the chore of gardening by reducing the size of the lawn, or getting rid of it altogether. Please don’t pave everything instead, leave plenty of room for plants or you’ll just have a soulless space that won’t be any good for anyone
- make the space more interesting by dividing it with hedges or a screen of plants, a little nook for quiet contemplation is a lovely thing, especially if there are scented plants like herbs or roses nearby
- if you want to spend less time looking after the plants, consider reducing the number of *herbaceous perennials and annuals in favour of a higher ratio of shrubs that won’t need so much attention. If pottering around in the garden is what you love, ignore this point
- include colour, green and white for calm, burnt orange for warmth, colour lifts the spirit and makes a good back-drop for plants
- have seating near the house so there’s always somewhere to sit without all the palaver of getting chairs out of the shed. Metal furniture is good because it can be left out all year round and doesn’t need any maintenance
*Herbaceous perennials are all those plants that die back in winter [there are a couple of evergreen exceptions] and grow again the following season.
Anymore ideas for contented gardening all gratefully received.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson