Page 50 - West Dorset Living Dec:Jan 2019
P. 50

It is so easy when you move into a new property to go straight into the garden and start planting all of your favourite perennials just to make it feel more like home. However, it is a good idea to stand back and think about the bigger picture before you fill in the smaller gaps, as structure, shade and how you want to divide and use the space are key factors in how you will enjoy the garden in the future.
Winter is a great time to do this as the
garden is laid bare and you can see all of the main features such as perimeters, existing paths, trees etc. and a quick sketch will give you something to work from. Other family members might well want to contribute too
- a patch for some family football, space for play equipment, a veg patch, wildlife area or pond, green house or shed, all of these things
need to be catered for if they are essential to family harmony!
It is also good to go out at different times
of the day to see where the sun and shade fall - if you are planning a BBQ area you don’t want it in deep shade - and then comes the exciting bit, choosing the various parts that will go to make up your garden going forward.
There is so much choice that it can be bewildering, especially if you are new to gardening but there is lots of help and advice out there, from your local garden centre
to specialist nurseries, garden designers, landscapers, don’t be afraid to ask questions, they will be happy to help. Trees and shrubs are such a great part of a garden and now is the time to plant, when they are dormant and can get their roots down over the winter for
a great summer display, and a walk around the local area is great too. You can see what grows well, you can get ideas about design and if you chat to your neighbours you will be sure to get cuttings and seeds - gardeners love to share. Moving
house is a really exciting time, so when the boxes are unpacked take a cuppa out into the garden and enjoy planning your new space.
Matthew is a radio
and TV presenter, member of BBC Gardeners’ Question Time Panel and author of a number of books, his latest is ‘RHS The Secrets of Great Botanists and What They Teach Us About Gardening’.

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