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Always a work in progress

One of the unsung joys of a garden is that it is never complete and this time of the year presents a perfect opportunity to plan ahead for the coming season. It provides an opportunity introduce elements in tune with our changing lifestyles and play around with new ideas.

I cannot recall a single year when I have not changed something in my own garden from reshaping a layout, replanting some beds or introducing a particular plant that had caught my eye last year. Add to this the urge to add a fresh feature such as new fruit trees or a pond and increase the number of raised beds means plenty of planning and detailed study of the gardening catalogues.

Along the same lines, I often get asked by readers for suggestions on what is the best approach to planning a new garden. As so many new homes have a relatively small garden, design is the very important factor so as to ensure you create an impression that not only suits your specific requirements but looks good all the year round.

One solution is to combine shrubs, flowers, and roses in multi-storey layers with plenty of perennials under planted with bulbs. But most of all it must be practical so you can walk around especially in the winter without turning the ground into a mud bath. An imperative these days it seems is a spot for the garden furniture as well as a location for cooking outdoors.

The real secret to a successful small garden is to use every scrap of space. Plan very carefully and do pay attention to detail. Make sure any planting is compatible with the space allowed.

Crucially, do the right job before everything spurts into growth and you will not have to make fundamental changes during the wrong season. If you get it right and apart from some judicial tweaking, you will have a garden to enjoy and be proud of this summer.


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