The Sunday Mail
Andrew Mangwarara —
THIS is probably the best time to put in some time into your small garden if you are fortunate to get a break from the incessant rains.
When the water is available freely, you can uproot and plant at will. Now is the time to uproot those plants that you have been mulling to uproot for a while.
There are quite a number of things you can do to revamp your garden this summer. To start with, knock out that large tree, which is in the wrong place and probably too big for your small garden. Put in a smaller tree and give it a head start with lots of manure during this time.
A smaller flowering tree like bauhinia petersiana (wild orchid tree) or dais cotinifolia (pompon tree) will look better. Choose something that is up to scale in your garden as opposed to that large avocado tree.
lf you cannot remove that large tree, perhaps trim some of those branches cascading over the yard. Do not be too lenient, it will grow again.
If your garden is small, it is best to get rid of the lawn and plant a border instead to give your garden a new lease of life. A border offers you a chance to be innovative by selecting a variety of plants that remove the mundane and come in with the exciting shades of salvias, agapanthus, abutilons, clivias, roses, asparagus and marmalade bushes.
It can also be an opportunity to screen off some ugly portions using that border. For those undefined corners, plant some low growing plants like mondo grass or the hardy liriopes. lt can also be a good idea to substitute with one of these plants on portions where lawn has refused to grow outright.
It can be a good idea to hide the durawall, particularly from inside the garden and at times even from the outside. Plant some cheeky climbers like ficus pumila (tickey creeper), hedera helix (ivy) and parthenocissus quinquefolia (virginia creeper). These will cling to the wall, though leaving it unsightly when you decide to remove them in the future.
Your garden cannot be complete without a sitting area that will allow you to soak in the beauty of the scenery and listen to the sound of birds. For that you will need to put in a bird bath and a seed dispenser, sure to attract a number of bird visitors and be certain word will spread fast.
An idea quickly catching on is that of garden rooms. Create corners that will allow one to be secluded for private’s sake. No matter the size of the garden, this will add variety and interest. Ensure that your walk ways are paved in the way that seems the shortest way to a destination as opposed to trying to force people to go around the garden. People will always take the short cut messing your design.
Finally, in your small garden choose a focul point, there you can mount some unique feature such as a fish pond, fountain, waterfall, sculpture, arranged pots, and a rockery.
It will add interest if you add lighting that will beam to the spot at night. The sound of water in your small garden haven is the way to go. When it comes to planting, choosing one colour in your garden can really be really good since your garden is small.
Remember to add an outdoor fire place for you to do your braai. Do not be too hard on yourself, a garden is meant to be enjoyed after all the hard work you have put in.
Build your garden going up if it is too small. Create terraces or a tree house to enjoy from the top. Change the way you live by revamping your small garden space and be imaginative. Although small, you can still dream big in your garden.
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