Creating Focal points in the garden
Rather than chatting about plants this month I thought we could look at a creating focal points in your garden. Focal points are used to draw and direct your eye to a part of the garden. If you garden is just a border of plants your eyes look around the garden and do not stop at any one thing. If you now think of a garden you have seen which has a wonderful water feature, an interesting sculpture, a cosy seat or an eye catching architectural plant you are immediately drawn to this and your interest is concentrated there, then you slowly look at the rest of the garden.
Using focal points can also draw your eyes away from unsightly items such as compost and wheelie bins or oil tankers. For example, avoid having your main path up to your garden shed if this is only used for storage, lead your path to another more interesting area of the garden – your focal point, and have the shed hidden with plants or trellising.
Have a look around your garden and see if you can enhance it by adding a focal point if you don’t already have any and see the difference it will make to the garden.
Things to be getting on with in the garden in December
- Bag fallen leaves. Spike the bags to give them some breathing holes and store for 12 months and you’ll have a good supply of leaf mulch for next year. Spread it over your borders to replace nutrients. It works and it’s free! Clearing fallen leaves also lessens disease.
- Prune deciduous shrubs, fruit trees and bushes – but not if it is frosty. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website has more information, but you can call me for advice.
- Clear out/disinfect your greenhouse.
- Fill your tubs and baskets with winter-flowering Pansies, Bellis Daises and Primulas. Add evergreen shrubs such as Skimmia or Euonymous for leaf colour, or Dogwood for stem colour.
- Plant fruit trees.
- Plant bare-rooted roses.
- Digging borders will expose pest larvae to birds. Add manure or compost to the borders so that worms can break this down in the soil over winter.
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Gardens Designed by RHS Gold Medal and Best in Category winner, RHS Tatton Park show July 2016
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