A Guide to Starting Your New Spring Garden

If you're planning an entirely new garden or simply hoping your potted plants will live past spring, here is the essential guide for spring gardening!

Leading Horticulturalist from Garden Society, Lyndall Keating, lays down the law - and soil - when it comes to planting this spring.

The first thing you need to consider is what you want from your gardenWill those fancy floral plans work for your place? Do you need a more kid-friendly open lawn area?

Always get into perspective what you want from your garden, namely the areas you want for growth and those you want for living!

You may even want to consider dividing up any outdoor area for these different needs now as this can be costly and time-consuming to change once growth has started.

Here are some options to spruce up your backyard space this spring:

  • Hedges

Privacy doesn't have to come at a dramatic cost. Fencing around a home can often prove expensive, so you may want to opt for a 'living' fence. Just be patient with this and always plant fast-growing hedges if you need privacy in a hurry!

  • Co-ordinate Your Home Style

"Make sure your garden design complements the style of your house, so that the two sit happily together," Lyndall suggests. "Think about whether your property style is cottage, formal, minimalist or has more of a native Australian feel." Then look at some simple trends and tips aligned to that for best overall effect (and attractive re-sale potential!) 

  • Plant For Purpose

"Plants can provide practical solutions like screening for privacy or noise reduction," Lyndall points out. "However, plants are the real stars of the garden. They provide beauty through colour, texture and form, so think about whether you prefer flowers or bold foliage colour."

Some people are drawn to the structure of succulents or to native Australian plants, she adds, but always take into account how much maintenance they will need. "A garden does not need to be high maintenance to make a statement, but some passionate gardeners love taking care of plants that need a little attention."

  • Establish Exposure

Your garden is open to all the elements so make sure that your plants will thrive in their environment before planting them. This means studying the sun direction and exposure to wind and rain is paramount!  Also make sure you have the right soil as plants can only flourish if they are planted in the correct soil.

  • Pull Focus

"A good garden design has a focal point or a series of eye-catching interests," Lyndall says. "This is the easiest garden design principle to put into place." Her suggestions are a sculpture, feature plants, water features, firepits, garden benches or seating. "Incorporate decorative screens or green walls for vertical interest," she adds.

Once you have made the big decisions about design, layout, and plant varieties, read Lyndall's five fast tips for planting:

1. Fertilising and mulching is a must for all plants and lawns, Lyndall assures. "Mulch garden beds in conjunction with fertilising to help retain moisture and suppress weeds come summer."

2. Watch for pests and disease on new growth, such as aphids and snails. If you do spot them, they can be treated or prevented - but you must catch them quick!

3. Rejuvenate pot plants by repotting them to keep them healthy.

4. Watch for weeds! "If you have used a good layering of mulch then weeds should not be an issue," Lyndall explains. "But if weeds do pop up, then remove by hand or use a spray."

5. Plant your seeds for summer flowers, veggies and herbs in spring. "If you are thinking about adding any new plants to the garden, this is the time to start," she says.

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