My plants just didn’t look good

Garden Problems – What to do if your plants just didn’t look good this year


Whilst we would all love to show off an immaculate garden bursting with colour (just like ones in the magazines always seem to have), most of us tend to have something a lot less spectacular!

 But if your garden has just not performed the way you wanted – how do you sort it out?

 Firstly, you need to identify the causes,


Too much stuff!

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Way too much stuff, but ready to start again.


In this image (which is my garden by the way..) the ‘Welcome to my Home’ border is not looking it’s best. The reason there is way too much stuff packed in. As a result, nothing shows itself off, it splays out and looks unattractive. So you need to be bold – the following autumn or spring dig it all out and start again. You can replant the same plants back in just fewer of them or you can start again and move new plants in from other areas of the garden.


Something for all the seasons:


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This doesn’t look too bad in Spring, but by the Summer is looks decidedly less colourful and rather messy. So the problem is the balance of plants through the season is wrong. To remedy this you need to come up with a plan, for example in spring this border has purple, orange and contrasting yellow tints. Do you choose to carry on that into Summer, in which case relocate from other parts of the garden, plants that flower in those colours or buy some new ones. Or you can change the colour scheme for the summer. However, don’t just buy pretty flowering plants, they tend to fade away, look for foliage colour that will fit the scheme and also plants with interesting shapes or textures or scent. In this instance, the border needs a backbone, all the planting is the same height, so planting a larger evergreen shrub will provide a bit more body as well as height variation.


No planning:

peoples gardens (41)

The planting in this image is lacking something, it all seems rather dull and uninspiring – the plants that have been added don’t work well there. The colour of the shingle, with an unpainted grey fence and the pale red walls all seen to suck the green out of the plants. The grasses have flopped and everything seems to have been plonked into place – along with one rock. It has been planted without a plan….so you need to decide, the colour of the ‘furniture’, what goes well with pale greys and reds. In this case it would be better to go for a bold contrast rather than complimentary colours. Think of the overall look you want to create, tall and dramatic (it hides a boring fence..) or one that moves with the wind (which draws your eye away from the boring fence!)  And remember plants don’t always come with green leaves!


Check the environment:


Finally, all your plants don’t look as though they are thriving – the most common problem is the plant has been put in an unsuitable place and so it struggles. So check to see where it might be best suited – (if you need some help send us an email ) The second most common is usually down to poor soil and drainage. Click here for more tips on soil and planting problems



       thriving     taking over     flops



Or you can ‘cheat’ buy one of our lovely ready made border designs instead – that way you know it will all work – hurrah!