insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 98

OUTDOORLIVING

MAKE YOUR GARDEN Beautiful cont .
SMALL GARDEN
If you do have some outside space but it ’ s on the small side , never fear . There are some plants that do perfectly well in small gardens , and there are always ways around the issue of space . In order for a small garden to look great it is best to stick to just a few varieties of plants – putting too many different types in will end up giving you a garden that feels too full , and is less enjoyable than one that is a little more restrained .
A good place to start in a small garden is with the structures that are already there . Walls , fences , ugly sheds … whatever you have in the garden can be used . If you don ’ t like the look of these things you can choose climbing plants such as ivy , leylandii , star jasmine climber , clematis or wisteria amongst many others . These could even be planted in containers if there is no space for putting them directly in the earth .
If your small garden is sunny then there are some bright and beautiful blooms that will do wonderfully there including coneflowers , geraniums , lilies ( particularly the Hemerocallis ‘ Corky ’) and catmint . For shadier land why not try tulips , narcissus , begonias or the lovely sarcococca confusa .
LARGE GARDEN
If you ’ re lucky enough to have a nice big garden then there is a lot you can do with it . It depends on how much room you want to give over to the flowers and how much lawn you want to keep . Your gardening prowess may be the deciding factor here . Once you have worked out how much space you have for planting , it ’ s time to start the choosing … always the most enjoyable , and most difficult , part .
If you ’ re a ‘ set and forget ’ kind of gardener then perennials are the perfect plant for you . These are the types of plant that come back year after year with very little maintenance . They includes foxglove , salvia , tiarella , verbenas and dianthus . Beautiful when blooming they will die off at different points in the year only to re-emerge to bring colour and beauty to the garden once more .
Having a large garden means you don ’ t have to choose between flowers and fruit and veg – you can have it all . The best edible produce to plant out when you have the space include potatoes , radishes , peas and broad beans , beetroot , strawberries , raspberries and rhubarb . And of course , with enough room you can plant out a variety of fruit trees too .
ALLOTMENT
If your space at home is tiny or non-existent and you really do like the idea of growing your own – all of it – then you should look into an allotment . An allotment is a piece of land roughly 250 square metres in size that is leased from a local authority or private landlord . They fell out of favour once people didn ’ t have to rely on homegrown produce quite so much , although there has been a resurgence of late , and you may have to go on a waiting list if you want to lease one . Most people use their allotments for growing fruit and veg , although flowering plants are welcome too .
What you can grow here will depend on the type of soil and the position of the plot , but in general you are free to plant whatever you choose . Some people even use their allotments to keep rabbits , chickens , or bees .
Allotments go back as far as Anglo Saxon times when they were more communal . Now they are a great place to enjoy some ‘ me time ’ ( whilst also attending to your flowers , fruit , vegetables , or animals of course !) and get away from the world for a while .
98