My plants took over the garden
Garden Problems – What to do if your plants take over the garden!
Sound familiar, you visit a garden centre or a flower show and see a beautiful plant and think ‘I know just the spot for that…’ The lovely specimen is then lovingly planted in said spot. A few months later it has GONE MAD EVERYWHERE!
We have a handy list of those PLANTS TO AVOID if you don’t like gardening – so feel free to browse!
In general the main problems with unruly plants are:
It grows so fast and spreads everywhere.
Some plants should never be planted in an average size garden as they just require too much work and a lot of effort to keep in check, but what do you do if you have an unruly plant?
Sadly if the plant has outgrown it’s spot really quickly, it will continue to do so forever. So your best bet is to dig it up.
It squashes everything else.
You thought that plant was going to be a pretty ballerina of a plant but instead it ends up as a large hippo – squashing all other plants around it. Well you can prune the plant into shape, but radical reshaping can either lose the beauty of your ‘hippo’ entirely, leaving it an ugly twiggy mess or you lose the flowers. So if you don’t want to move it elsewhere, then consider ‘lifting the petticoats‘. By that we mean to remove much of the lower level of stems as possible, to stop it squashing everything and see how it performs in the year. If it looks awful, you will have to relocate it to somewhere else in the garden with more room for it to expand.
It cuts out light in the garden
Sunshine is so important, it provides vitamin D and it makes us all feel better – so we don’t want too many plants that absorb light from the garden, but some plants seem to suck the light out of everything (Leylandii hedges!!) Getting other plants to thrive or grow well next to light sucking shrubs is nigh on impossible, so how to improve things?
There are 3 ways to improve light levels.
Reduce the height of the plant:
Technically if you have a hedge, it should not be allowed to grow more than 6ft high, if your hedge is taller and it cuts out light to a neighbouring property, you could be required to reduce the height. If though you want height for privacy, think – does the whole hedge need to be tall or could the height be stepped down in places?
The rule is usually hard prune the top, but lightly cut back the sides. Try to ensure the base of the plant is wider than the top also.
Lift the Crown:
This means removing the lower branches of the tree to allow light in underneath, or in the case of shrubs it’s more about ‘lifting the petticoats’.
Make a Hedge hole!
(image: C O’Brien)
Just so you don’t think we are completely batty, how much nicer is this little peephole than just a blank dense wall of green?
For a little extra helping hand …you can ‘cheat’ and buy one of our lovely ready made border designs instead – that way you know it will all work – hurrah!‘