Landscaping: the garden as a canvas

For the serious gardener, gardening is an art form, just as much as it is for an artist putting oil or watercolours on a blank canvas. The serious gardener sees a wild or untended garden as an opportunity to make something beautiful that will just grow and grow.

Designing the canvas

It is a good idea to start planning for a garden overhaul on paper, as this will save time and money and help towards creating a unified design concept. Landscaping means significantly changing the look of a garden space, and can include taking up an old lawn and laying down new turf, establishing a pathway through the garden, including a water feature, and even building a patio or decked area.

When designing a garden, it is necessary to know about the type of soil it contains, to determine which plants will thrive and which will not, and to establish how good the drainage is. Radical landscaping that does not take this into consideration could result in an unintentional miniature swimming pool in the garden, with water unable to drain away.

In order to create a unified and aesthetically pleasing theme in the garden, consideration should be given to linking different parts of it, just as the rooms in a house are linked by means of hallways and doors. It is a good idea to decide upon a theme for the garden, as this can also affect the choice of plants. An Italian theme, for example, could involve olive trees, lavender, and azaleas, complete with statues and water features, while an Oriental garden could feature bamboo, magnolia, and Japanese maples. And different heights could be created in the garden, using not only short and tall plants, but also structures, such as arbours and screens. Thought should also be given to the wildlife in the garden and surrounding area: it could become a haven for insects through the plantation of flowers that bees will love.

Landscaping a garden can be a big project, and if one is adopting a do-it-yourself attitude towards it, it is essential to use the correct tools, such as those available at Pat’s Small Engine, to make the job that much easier. For example, it can be difficult to dig up an old lawn using just a spade. A turf-cutter will not only be less labour-intensive but will also speed up the process.

To keep a garden looking its best, it may be better to buy tools, such as leaf blowers and trimmers, rather than rent them and, if so, they will need to be carefully stored in a shed or other covered unit to avoid them becoming rusty and, therefore, useless. Larger machinery, such as lawnmowers and water pumps, could be covered with tarpaulin or specially designed covers.

As landscaping a garden is such a big project, it should not be repeated too often. Unlike a painting, a garden will grow, and it is important to perform regular maintenance to stop the garden outgrowing its intended theme.

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