These are my helpful hints on bringing my garden back to life. They are quick, easy and affordable.
1) Lawn care always revives our lawns. Every spring I hire a roller with spikes, and aerate the lawn (this can be done by digging in with a garden fork). I purchase a lawn fertiliser, and spread it everywhere. I cut back any trees that are preventing sunlight, from shining onto the lawn. I mow the lawn to a healthy height of about 2 1/2 cm. And, year after year, we are guaranteed of a beautiful, lush, green grass.
2) Herb gardens not only bring our gardens back to life, but they but they help us to live a healthy life. We have had an assortment of herb gardens over the years. At the moment we have little pots in the garden with herbs growing in them. The most important thing for me, apart from nurturing them, is ensuring that they are labelled. This way we instantly have access to a variety of herbs for cooking, healing and cosmetics. Twice a year I sew seeds for herbs we don’t have.
3) Seeds, seedlings, bulbs and cuttings bring daily life into our garden. I love to take packets of seeds, and sew them randomly. I often plant clumps of bulbs, in winter. Whenever someone is willing to part with a cutting, I plant these as well. Not everything grows, but it is always a surprise and a joy, when plants and flowers pop up for us.
4) Birds bring life to our gardens. We made a little bird feeder, and water dropper out of waste, and every couple of days we fill up the bird feeder with seeds, and top up the water. These attract an array of the most beautiful, colourful birds, that bring us such joy with their harmonious singing.
5) Children bring life, and the more they do outside, the healthier for them. It is great to have an area of sand, where they can play boules, hopscotch and various ball games. A trampoline is so much fun and such great exercise too. There is nothing like trees for children to climb in. A place for them to swim, will bring hours happiness, and laughter.
6) The sound of water soothes our souls. If you are fortunate enough to live by the sea, or a river you will be blessed, with the ongoing sounds of nature. If not, a water feature is a good option. I love the sound of rain, and there is nothing more relaxing, than lying in bed during a thunder storm. Not only is rain the most beautiful sound, but it guarantees us a living garden.
7) Water is essential for our gardens, in the right quantities of course. I have a timer on my irrigation system, which ensures that the garden is always watered. On hot summer days, our plants often cry out for more water, and it is so relaxing to stand with a hosepipe, and water the plants. This is the best way to ensure that we have a dose of Vitamin d, every day.
8) Pets love us unconditionally, and every garden should have a pet. We have always had dogs, and the odd cat or rabbit. They have an energy that is so heartwarming.
9) Paint and varnish revives everything. I love to get an array of paints, and repaint old pots, garden walls, and best of all our garden furniture. It is fun choosing the colours, but not nearly as much fun as being creative, and painting. And Voila, in a few hours, everything is like new again.
10) Fruit trees, are amazing, as they provide us with an abundance of fruit if well nurtured. But, best of all, in spring, many fruit trees burst into blossom. A lemon tree is one of the essential fruit trees for me is, as we have lemon juice daily, and it means that they are always on hand.
11) Struggling plants are messy, and need to be cared for. Depending on their requirements, it is best to compost, prune, spray, or move them to create perfect conditions. Most of them will revive themselves with this tender care.
12) Rest and revival is what we all need for our souls, and a garden offers us this opportunity. Hang a hammock if you have place, and if not ensure that there is a patch of grass to lie on. Lying in the shade on a hot summer’s day is bliss.
13) Flowers bring life to our homes. All year round we can ensure that we always have flowers in the garden. At least once a week, I pick flowers, and arrange them in vases in around the house.
14) Indigenous plants and trees are ideal to keep life in our gardens. They thrive better than other plants, as they are in their natural habitat. Our garden is completely indigenous, and extremely low maintenance.
15) Clean up regularly. Whenever I walk in the garden, I keep my eyes open for rubbish, dead plants, or broken goods. And I throw them away, or recycle them if possible. It is amazing what an instant clean up can do.
16) Wooden structures, including decks, fences and roofs revive gardens. Pool decks and patios increase our living area. A fence is quick to install, and offers us instant privacy. A roof structure, provides us with much needed shade.
17) Compost is the ideal way of recycling. It is one way we can contribute to helping the environment. All you need is a little corner somewhere to put your compost. I would Google for instructions. Compost is the best way of feeding our plants.
Article written for Life Retreat by Trish