Tricky Tips for Garden Perfection

 These smooth river stones are really easy to work with.
An Edgy Path

No real gardener can be a perfectionist - can they? Imagine a garden in which no shrub grows too big too quickly, no expensive little treasure gets monstered by its neighbour, no unwelcome bug dines out on gourmet foliage plants...

But real gardeners will happily spend a lifetime trying to get everything in their garden 'just right'. Here are five tricky little tips to make your garden appear closer to perfection than it actually is. This isn't really cheating - think of it as gently nudging the truth.

1. Be 'edgy'.

If your garden looks too messy, there is a simple solution. Sweep and/or rake all the paths, and make sure the path edges are well defined. Mow any lawns and cut the grass edges sharply. Introduce edging material into your garden - stones, bricks, logs - whatever suits your style.

2. If you can't beat it - celebrate it!

Some junk is annoying you - an ugly trellis, an abandoned bathtub, a concrete slab... Don't be a gardening wimp and camouflage it, celebrate it! Make the eyesore a quirky feature.

 An artistic mural stops this from looking too boring.
Celebrating the Back of the Stables

Put plants or pots around it, decorate it, paint it, place a seat nearby... Do things that say 'Look at me' I'm meant to be here.' Then tell your gardening friends it's your artistic streak...

3. Do some cosmetic weeding.

Let the weeds lurk in the interior of your garden borders, but keep visible areas close to paths well weeded. Install colourful buckets into which offenders can be popped as you wander past. And don't feel guilty that you're a cosmetic weeder. Millions of women wear face make-up, and they can't all be wrong - can they?

 And colours, and forms, and origins, and...
Different Textures

4. What's the difference?

Let differences be your guide when 'designing' a planting scheme. Contrasts make life interesting, and it's the same for gardens.

Think fat and thin for leaves, blobby and spiky for shapes. Put a refined cane garden chair next to a wizened tree trunk. Grow a feathery perennial next to a rough and tough evergreen.

5. When is the right time?

Gardeners often get terribly serious about their timing. When should they shift a rhododendron? Or put compost underneath the roses? The answer is simple.

If It's Free...

If it's free, then the time is right. A free load of rotted manure? Take it, and spread it. A free rhododendron? Take it, and water it.

However, if 'it' costs you money, then do a 'When is the right time?' Google search. Don't forget to check your garden hemisphere - for the uninitiated, north and south are upside down from each other!

 It can't easily be ignored!
Garden Cart for Weeds


The Moosey Head Gardener (me) puts all of these into practice - particularly when preparing the garden for a Garden Club visit. I think they work!