Gardening Pots, Garden Paths and Garden Water Features
Give Your Garden a New Lease of Life – Whatever Its Size With:
Colorful Garden Containers
Aged stone or terracotta is all very shabby chic, but sometimes you want a pop of colour from your gardening pots or garden containers, not just the inside them. Small, bright pots look great on a garden table; medium-sized ones will brighten a dark corner, planted up with shade-loving, glossy-leaved hostas; and a big one can bring ‘look at me’ razzmatazz to a bit of your garden that’s otherwise quite boring. Get creative with your crockery – you can colour-theme them for a sophisticated look, mix and match for funky glamour, or co-ordinate your flowers with your gardening pots.
Steal-it trick: Can’t find colourful outdoor gardening pots you like? Use indoor ones. If they don’t haveholes, put your plant in a plastic flowerpot and pop that inside. And bring the pots indoors in winter, as they won’t be frost-resistant.
Ponds, Pools and Fountains – Garden Water Features
Garden water features come in all shapes and sizes, from architectural spouts to natural-looking ponds, gentle trickles over Zen pebbles to gushing solar-powered fountains. A water feature can be the equivalent of outdoor TV, so it makes sense to have it close to where you can sit and enjoy it. A garden that gets it just right would be one where the space isn’t huge, but the shape of the pond, use of brick/stone and mix of aquatic plants provide lots of interest.
Steal-it trick: Fill the space with more than pondweed. Iris, water, water hawthorn and water buttercup all provide lovely flowers.
Chic Window Boxes
Give your house instant kerb appeal with a simple. Sticking to one or two varieties and planting them en masse is a great way to give a small space wow factor – it works in tiny gardens, as well as containers – and the display will be a real confidence booster if you’re an absolute beginner. You’ll need to secure your window box to the sill (you don’t want a passer-by suing you because the box has landed on their head) and consider how it will look from the street, rather than indoors. Choose low-growing trailing flowers that won’t block your view and a wood, terracotta or galvanised box if it’s going to be visible, lightweight plastic if not.
Steal-it trick: Petunias in window boxes work well, but trailing lobelia, pelargoniums, convolvulus and periwinkle are lovely alternatives.
Choosing your garden’s style is the first step to creating a space you’ll actually want to hang out in. If the interior of your house is clean and contemporary, chances are an architectural plot, like this one, will suit you. If you are more of a Cath Kidston fan, then a cottage-style garden might be more your thing.
Foodie? Start on thenow. Also, consider whether you want a low-maintenance plot or a demanding one that won’t take no for an answer.
Steal-it trick: Get out the paint can and add bold colour on walls and fences for instant personality. For example: anwall will be offset by the green of the foliage of any plant.
Places to Sit
A seating area is the perfect outdoor room – a pergola would provide a shady ceiling; a clematis growing over an arch could make a doorway; put flagstones on the floor and add a hanging basket to look like a pendant light. This design would prove there’s more to garden seating than a deckchair on the lawn.
What good is your garden if you can’t take a break and admire all your hard work?
Steal-it trick: Don’t assume the best spot is outside your back door. Watch where the sun falls or if there’s an area of dappled shade; it’s worth taking a few extra steps down the garden with that gin and tonic, to have the right place to sit and drink it in.
Hidden Gardening Pots
Gardening pots don’t always need to have pride of place on your decking or flank your front door. In fact, hiding them among your borders or the edges of your garden can provide an instant makeover when your flowerbeds are looking a bit tired and gappy. In addition, pots filled with bulbs can be removed when they have finished blooming. Garden pots are also useful for when you want a plant in your border that doesn’t like thein your beds – acid-loving camellias or lime-loving delphiniums or carnations.
Steal-it trick: Plant up acid-bright foliage in a pot to add interest to a dull corner. You don’t need to see the pot to get the full impact.
You can double the size of your garden by planting upwards using climbers will add height and colour. Think of it like decorating a room – even with carpet and furniture in place, it wouldn’t be finished until you’d hung pictures on the walls. Ivy will cover a wall and keep its leaves all year round, butthat add colour and scent will bring an extra dimension, especially if you choose ones that flower after each other. Try clematis with fragrant jasmine, a rose that blooms in midsummer, and a late-flowering honeysuckle, for a display that changes with the seasons.
Steal-it trick: You don’t need a bulky trellis to grow climbers. Wire threaded through metal eyes is less obtrusive and encourages tendrils to wind around it.
Secret Garden Corners
Like every great temptress, the best gardens don’t reveal all their pleasures at once. A half-hidden statue among the foliage, a water feature that’s discovered when you follow the sound of gentle splashing, a table positioned like a shrine at the end of a path – it is details like these that keep a garden interesting. Even a small patio can hide a mosaic to surprise visitors.
Steal-it trick: A white Hindu head can brighten a dark corner, while a mirror can add a sense of space to a small plot.
‘Walk-This-Way’ Garden Paths
A path is a great way of creating a sense of space in a garden – and, as long as it can take you from A to B, it doesn’t even need to be particularly lengthy. Whether short or long, gently winding or straight and formal, a path needs a focal point – something that invites you to step along to see what’s at the end. Statues, pots, benches, arches or even fruit trees work well. And think about what you plant along them – scented flowers will release their scent when you brush past.
Steal-it trick: Let your flowers cascade over the edges of your path – daisies are the perfect height to enjoy without bending down.
Bold Color Schemes
It is almost impossible to have a beige garden, but you can have one that would have the horticultural equivalent of Trinny and Susannah wincing in horror. When you’re planning colour for your garden, less is definitely more. It is better to pick two or three shades, or a theme, and take it from there – country garden lilacs and pinks; tropical reds and yellows; all white or totally green. Remember, the leaves of plants influence the colour scheme, too – silvery grey foliage looks great with violet and lavender.
Steal-it trick: Look beyond the garden for colour inspiration. Use a piece of fabric or a favourite painting as a starting point for choosing your plants.