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Sustainable gardening - the essentials of garden editing

"A garden is like a wardrobe – sort the basics before splurging on a fancy outfit"

When I explain what garden editing is, I often use the analogy of a wardrobe refresh. We get used to being literally or figuratively stuck in a rut with our gardens, tolerating the bits that are annoying because it feels like Hard Work to sort them out. And then, when we reach the “I must do something about the garden” stage, it’s exceptionally tempting to reach for an online plant catalogue, or splash some cash on a whizzy glamorous plant that just happens to be flowering madly as you pass it in a garden centre.

Garden editing is a different mindset. It’s literally about looking at what you have already – in terms of soil, plants, things that are important to you – and working with the grain of it all. It’s about consuming less, possibly editing some things out, and choosing to add, in a more considered and careful way. So, when you are tempted to retail therapy your way out of gardening blues – STOP. Sit down, and look at what you already have. Yes, this may sound boring but it will save you money and time.

Soil - your groundwork

So – starting off with the soil. Looking after your soil is like looking after your skin. It makes everything look and feel better with a bit of TLC. I’ll share my tips on mulching, compost and generally gardening with the soil you have rather than trying to radically change it in future editor's notes. But in brief, everything in your garden grows better when the soil is right for the situation. So, investing in your soil could make all your existing plants grow that much better.

Garden basics - your dependables

Next, there are the basics of a garden to consider – the white t-shirt and blue jeans if you like. These are the unsung and overlooked green things like evergreen shrubs and perennials (basically hard working plants that will require no looking after yet are inoffensively nice to look at year round).

Without these, your garden can feel strangely empty and bleak – especially at 4pm on a rainy November evening when you are staring out of the window from the kitchen sink.”

You may also have something that is looking a little bit careworn or in need of a revamp. Just like mending an item of your wardrobe, you might have existing plants in your garden that could look even better with a bit of care and attention. An expert eye can help you get more out of what you have already.

There’s also the practicalities of daily life like a washing line, or a shed-cum- home office or somewhere to sit with friends or family to accommodate. How can you make your garden a flattering fit for you and your lifestyle? What would make your life better?

Garden heroes - your ‘out out’ additions

Then, finally, there are, of course, the hero plants: those joyous plants that can be your showstoppers and gladden the heart. We all want and love them, of course, and they can provide amazing inspiration for a refresh, which is why I always like asking my clients if there are plants they really love and incorporate them in my advice. My personal weaknesses are anything that has white flowers and climbs.

But before you splurge on the garden equivalent of a going “out out” item first, try to edit what you have already and think before you load up your physical or metaphorical basket.

Ready for a garden refresh?

So that’s it. Garden editing improves your garden, without costing the earth.

Contact me to book a free, 20 minute consultation in your garden and take the next step towards a better garden.

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