Making the most of what you have

Small Garden Design: Banish Boring Bits!

Not everyone is blessed with beautiful houses in stunning locations, in fact most of us in the UK live in towns or cities in road after road and they all ens up looking the same. So how do you go about improving the look of your house, without spending a fortune!


Improve what you have


Two problems arise here, firstly, the rose does look a little lonesome, as well as a little sickly, but also,this house looks as though the architect thought “Oh cripes we haven’t left room for a downstairs toilet, quick build a box on the front of the house!”


The owners are saddled with a rather clumsy looking front entrance, with what looks like the toilet window welcoming guests up the path. You can easily improve this, by a: drawing your eye to something nicer and b: softening the square shape.

Add a trellis and climber to the end wall, but the main problem of planting climbers against walls is a failure to thrive, as the rose here demonstrates. This is caused by poor air circulation, lack of water and possibly soil contamination from the cement when it was built.


Agapanthus and geraniums


So when adding planting to a wall you must plant away from the wall, a foot away would be good.  Secondly make sure, when you plant, the soil is rich and dark brown


with lots of creepy crawlies in it (this is the sign of healthy soil) if not then you need to enrich it with manure, compost and possibly new topsoil.

Also check the soil is not full of builder’s rubble, as this won’t help either.


Finally,  the trellis, paint it a colour that will compliment the wall, (after all this is the first thing people see when they arrive), attach suitably strong brackets to the wall and hang the trellis on these, that way the trellis sits away from the wall allowing air round your plant, then, if you need to get to the wall, you simply unhook the trellis and lay it down.


The trellis has been planted with a blue climber which will soften the harshness of the porch, but in addition remove the grass, and added cobble stones instead, these will help retain the moisture in the ground around your new climber, as well as requiring no mowing!


A feature pot has been planted with an Agapanthus, which is what draws your attention . This plant will flower blue all summer and thrives on a bit of neglect and so will look lovely in a pot, lastly, I have added blue geraniums in the cobbles, to soften and add a little more interest.



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