Easy ways to improve your garden

Simple ideas are often the best, and this is certainly true of the most effective design improvements. Use or adapt any of the following ideas to turn a dull corner into a seasonal highlight or a year round focal point.

Plants for Paving
Use creeping plants such as heathers, aubrieta and small grasses, to soften hard landscaping edges. Aromatic plants, such as thyme and camomile, will also perfume the air each time the path is used. By filling the cracks between paving stones with ornamental plants you can effectively prevent weeds getting a foothold.

Grouping Containers
A group of pots of the same plant creates impact and has a unifying effect. Place at the bottom of a flight of wide steps or to highlight a patio corner. Alternatively, group together three identical pots with varied planting schemes but with a common theme, such as colour or style. Grouping also lends itself to easy watering.

Architectural and Evergreen plants
Eye-catching evergreens, including phormium, yucca, cordyline and clipped box give a long season of interest. The make ideal focal points around the garden, for instance, on a patio or at the centre of a garden room. However, you will need to make sure they are sufficiently hardy in your area.

Use Wood Stains
Brighten up wooden structures such as fences, sheds, seats and trellises by applying a wood stain. Available in many colours and easy to apply, they need less upkeep than paint. For a cohesive design use one colour, but use a brighter shade of that colour to highlight any special feature.

Something as simple as cleaning the paths and driveways can bring them up like new and totally brighten up the garden. Try Patio Magic

Adding some hanging baskets or a window box can reawaken your surroundings.

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