Gussy Up Your Garden – Spring Garden Makeover
All the magic of Spring; a season of hope and new beginnings. It’s also the perfect time to take a fresh look at your foliage and plan a top-to-toe makeover, as Pete Goodlet shares.
Winter and its inherent bouts of laziness are behind us so it’s time to get out in the garden and gussy up the old girl for spring.
Just as you might stand in front of a mirror and see what little touches may just add a sprinkle of magic, we can also stand on the edge of our garden and contemplate ways to enhance her beauty.
Let’s start with the shoes. Or in garden terms, our paving and other ground coverings. Whip out your pressure washer and remove any signs of neglect. Let’s not have damp spots and mouldy areas; blow away the cobwebs wherever they may have gathered. Top up your garden beds with fresh mulch and give your lawn and garden beds a good feed.
How are your ankles? To make them your greatest asset let’s look at groundcovers and pots of colour. The demure native violet Viola Hederacea is one of my all-time favourite groundcovers and is perfect scattered in gravel, between pavers or rambling through the garden. It makes a fabulous lawn alternative in shady moist spots and pots of colour can lift the mood in your garden and provide a touch of sparkle!
Gardener’s knees are often neglected and certainly take a beating. You can take a little pressure off them by creating raised garden beds for veggies, herbs and flowers. Spring is the perfect time to introduce some food-producing plants to your garden. To add a touch of spice to your life pop in some chilli plants; herbs are a fabulous addition to your garden, but one word of caution keep your mint in a pot, or it will take over. There is a limit to how much mint you need and the number of mojitos you can consume. I’m yet to reach that limit but there is always a first time!
To conserve water, explore the use of wicking beds which hold a reservoir of water in their base to give you more freedom with watering only needed weekly.
Avert your eyes we’re heading to the thighs! Yes, it’s time to lift that skirt height for spring and let your heavenly garden breathe! Trim it and trim it good. Shrubs and small trees can become very cluttered with lower branches, dead leaves and cobwebs. Not a good look on anyone really. By trimming them up and even lopping off the odd limb or two you can let the light and air in and make space for new plantings underneath. You may even want to add a dab of perfume with some beautiful gardenias or similar.
Winter can leave us a little flabby and neglected around the middle. Do you have some bulk you really need to shift? Sometimes shrubs are either poorly chosen or poorly placed. Be ruthless, rip them out. You may find you can create a beautiful little retreat with some gravel and a seat in this newfound space. Dark colours are renowned for hiding the odd undesirable feature. Paint that ugly shed a deep dark colour and watch it disappear. Your fresh greenery will pop in front of a dark wall or fence.
Have you got a little top heavy? It might be time to get the arborist in and cut some windows to the sky. Sunshine really can brighten our day. A well-sculptured tree offers a stunning silhouette against our beautiful blue skies and is even more special at sunset.
Spring is all about the birds and the bees and sometimes a girl must call in the experts to highlight her assets. From full makeovers to a maintenance program for a regular touch-up, Stuart and his team at Earth Creation Landscapes are specialists in making your garden shine and making your property the honeypot of the neighbourhood. Or visit your local nursery for planty (lol!) of inspiration, the latest plants, products and advice to make your garden a magnet of magic.
Celebrate Spring! WIN Paul Bangay’s Guide to Plants
Published by Penguin Random House Aust RRP: $59.99
Paul Bangay, awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to landscape architecture, is one of Australia’s most high-profile landscape designers. His practical and bestselling comprehensive guide to plants has been expanded and updated for its tenth anniversary and features two new chapters and more than 30 new plants.