You Don't Need Green Fingers to Create a Stunning Garden

  in  The Garden
Who doesn't want a spectacular garden? A sanctuary for lazy summer afternoons and a stunning location for dinner guests to relax and unwind. But the reality is that many people will be put off by the amount of effort required to create and maintain an entire garden.

If your current garden is lacking a little lustre and needs some care and attention, these tips will help you to breathe some life into the space with minimum effort and maintenance, so you can spend your summer days relaxing rather than weeding.

Don't Water So Much
If the thought of watering plants every few days during the summer is enough to put you off, simply don't do it! Unless you are preparing seeds or there is especially hot weather expected, most plants are surprisingly capable of fending for themselves by seeking out moisture in the soil, resulting in longer roots and stronger plants, meaning that you will only need to water every two or three months.

Don't Try and Do It All at Once
Even if you have a small garden, that doesn't mean that you have to re-plant everything in a single weekend. Instead, make a plan and focus on the garden's seasonal strengths. This way you can identify which plants are likely to flourish with minimal additional work on your part. For the areas you are not working on, consider potted plants to add colour and fill the space.

The No Dig Method
While this is a long-term method, the benefit is that you won't need to spend hours sweating over a shovel! No dig gardening is a common technique which aims to replicate nature as closely as possible by avoiding the loss of moisture and additional weeds caused by digging.

However, the benefits could take a long time to see as the best results will occur after at least a year of leaving the soil undisturbed. The longer that the soil is left, the more stable its structure will be, improving drainage and aeration and resulting in better conditions for vegetables and flowers to flourish.

To get started simply cover the plot with damp paper or cardboard and make a hole for each plant to allow the roots to reach the soil. Then cover the plot over with compost - and that is it!

Go Artificial
Having a vision, putting in the work and then discovering that the reality is not quite what you had hoped can be demoralising. To make sure your garden matches your plans to the letter, consider adding some artificial plants. The quality of artificial plants has continued to improve over the years to the point that many are virtually indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts. Whether planted or potted, they are a great way to make sure that your garden will maintain a vibrant colour all year round with zero maintenance.

Prioritise Perennials
One of the most popular ways to maintain colour in gardens is the careful use of perennials - plants that will re-emerge year after year. With cutting back only required once a year, they are a great way to enjoy a rich garden with minimal effort.

By planning strategically, you will be able to have a string of perennial beds matched to the seasons, so as one dies off, the next will be in bloom, reducing the number of areas that you will have to maintain. This might take some research, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Let Nature Take Over
If you have areas where nothing flourishes despite your best efforts, consider leaving these areas to nature. This is especially beneficial around ponds or in shady areas as it will gradually encourage the growth of wildlife living in your garden. By boosting the biodiversity, your whole garden will benefit from healthier plants and a reduction in pests.

By reducing the need for pesticides and creating new locations for wildlife to thrive, this method not only requires minimal effort, but is extremely beneficial for the environment.

It Is Not All About the Plants!
There are many elements to a great outdoor space other than gardening, so make sure that you look beyond the plants to add something of your own creativity and style to the finished garden.

A great way to impress guests is to make sure your garden has a feature that will catch the eye as soon as they come in. Depending on the space, this can be as simple as colourful planters, uniquely designed pots or some creative upcycling. Frames, decorative hanging ornaments and mirrors can also help to enhance the style or theme of your garden.

It is amazing what a difference a painted fence can make to the overall feel of a garden. Simply changing from a dark green or brown to a lighter blue can dramatically change the whole atmosphere. Similarly, furniture that was once looking tired and old can be rejuvenated with a quick coat of paint.

It might be a lack of time or a lack of confidence, but not having a natural flair for gardening doesn't mean that you can't have a stunning garden.