Here at The Barton Group, we are very much looking forward to the imminent arrival of Spring, and we are proud to present our best tips, tricks and advice for a wow factor garden for your park home or holiday lodge. Now is the time for donning a pair of gardening gloves, brandishing a pair of secateurs and getting stuck into gardening once again.
Small garden – big impact
There are plenty of great benefits that can come with being the proud owner of a small but perfectly formed garden; easier to manage, cheaper to maintain and they also require much less rigorous planning should you ever want to change or adapt as the weather or mood suits.
Vertical gardens are the future!
‘Living’ or ‘green walls’ are a fantastic way of making the most of a modest garden space which is commonly found in residential parks. Choose plantings to make use of limited space by creating vertical gardens where your plants are rooted to a freestanding structure such as an arbour, an arch or a pergola.
A fence or trellis in your garden can lift all manner of flowers and foliage to show off your bright and colourful vertical displays. You can involve a variety of plants without it looking messy and overpopulated and it can also give you a little privacy when relaxing outside in the warmer months!
Low maintenance, high impact
If you’re looking for something low maintenance but high impact, there are plenty of landscaping options for small gardens such as decorative gravel aggregates, paving stone features and even astroturf and decking. Add touches of the natural world with carefully positioned plant pots around the edges of the garden, containing small flowering plants, keeping your space lively with plenty of character.
Two birds one stone!
A garden on the smaller side often means limited seating which can be a bit of a nuisance when the weather finally picks up a bit. A raised bed with a ledge gives you a place to rest your feet (and knees) and promises a colourful and beneficial gardening patch that you can fill with just about anything.
There are just a couple of things to bear in mind when making your raised flower bed.
Ensure that all the plants in your bed require the same amount of sunlight – fruits, vegetables and most herbs require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, plants such as ferns and palms prefer shady areas.
Similarly, it is important to select plants that require the same amount of water, the plants tag or back of the seed packet should give you all the information on how best to care for your plants.
When planting your seeds, make sure that they are all placed at the same depth, so they shoot up together!
It’s all about the ambience!
You can add atmosphere to your garden with some outdoor lighting, solar-powered lights are long lasting and durable, they can be left out all through the year – although they may not shine as brightly when winter comes! Hanging strings or garlands of lights from trees, fence posts or even buildings can create a lovely warm welcome to the garden.
You can create a bold and eye-catching space with plenty of contrasting sections. Separate your garden into a series of zones with distinctive materials, like patio slabs, chippings or wood stained decking which will give the illusion that the space is bigger and make your garden stand out and be the envy of your neighbours!
Welcome the birds and the bees to your garden!
Invite all manner of winged, feathered and furry friends into your garden with an offering of food and shelter. If you keep supplying the goods, they will keep coming back for more!
Butterflies, bees, moths and other pollinating insects are sadly experiencing a decline in this country, planting a few of their fond favourites can guarantee the butterflies and bees will visit your garden, which will help protect the populations.
Lavender is consistent all year round, the bees and butterflies will love it, and it smells fantastic! Foxgloves are a traditionally British looking plant, the bell- shaped flower is popular with bees and it comes in lots of colours. Wonderfully low maintenance, these plants are also one of the few that can flourish even in shady spots. Marigolds will spring to life in summer, whatever soil type you choose to plant them in, with a pleasing show of bright, vibrant colours. Select the varieties with open centres so the bees and butterflies can reach the pollen without a struggle.
There are many different species of birds that can be seen in your garden, most of them are songbirds so expect to hear a full chorus once the birds start flocking in. The best way to get a range of species is to include a range of feeders. Hanging feeders will please birds such as Tits and Finches whereas ground feeders will cater for birds like Robins and Blackbirds who prefer to feed on the ground.
Fill a few bird feeders, tables and houses with their favourite treats of sunflower hearts, peanuts and suet and let the birds do the rest!
Reap the Rewards
There is nothing more rewarding or satisfying than tucking into your own homegrown produce.
If you’re partial to an apple, plum, pear or cherry it may interest you to know that some varieties of fruit trees are available in miniature, which, aside from being incredibly cute, can also thrive in a large pot, saving space in your garden.
When planting in containers it is important to use a compost specifically designed for pots and planters, the compost will retain more water and contain more nutrients.
Your containers may tend to dry out easily, water them often but be wary of overwatering as this will kill the plants. If the compost is slightly moist to touch it is perfect.
Remember to keep feeding your plants regularly, while living in containers they will eat up all the nutrients fairly quickly, use a liquid feed one a fortnight to keep them well fed.
Many types of vegetables also have pretty flowers to offer, be sure to grow them in places where they can be seen and enjoyed. Why not plant a few flowers among your vegetables to add to the look and discourage pests – French Marigolds are good for the job!
Hanging baskets can be used for plants like tumbling tomatoes, strawberries and maybe even edible flowers if you’re feeling adventurous!
Seating isn’t cheating
Adding some comfortable garden furniture like a timber bench or a love seat can make your space something special. Pick some seating in bright colours or perhaps with a colourful pattern to tie it in with the rest of the garden, giving it the look and feel of an outside living room.
Keep your plants safe and warm
Make the perfect addition to your garden with a mini greenhouse to grow plants in a safe and sheltered environment. There is a range of greenhouses designed to fit in perfectly with a smaller garden without being too obtrusive, saving space for other elements in your garden too. Mini greenhouses can be set up against walls, fences or even be tucked away in a corner.
The tropical topic
You can introduce a big impact with a bunch of tropical plants that are tough enough to manage our changeable British weather. Tropical plants have a dramatic and contemporary feel but are secretly low maintenance. While these plants can survive cold temperatures, they don’t deal with thirst well – keep them well watered and sheltered from strong winds and you won’t go far wrong.
It’s best to plant tropical species in spring so they have time to get settled before winter arrives in full force. Palm trees such as Trachycarpus fortune and Chamaerops humilis are short and stout plants with a dramatic shape, Ghost Lady Fern and Dicksonia Antarctica are evergreen ferns which tolerate dry conditions better than other tropical plants.