1. Plant up some containers
Potting up flowering annuals and shrubs is a never-fail method of smartening up the garden. Try easy care annuals such as petunias, alyssum, lobelia, geraniums, impatiens or calendula.
Choosing the same type of pot, plant and flower colour gives a more contemporary look. All white gives a fresh, calm appearance while red will create a colourful yuletide atmosphere.Freshen up containers by removing mould from the outside, weeding and adding new compost to the top of the soil.
2. Feed your plants
December is peak growing time for most plants and they therefore need to keep replenishing their energy levels. Liquid feed flowering climbers,perennials and shrubs such as clematis, dahlias, day lilies, delphinium, hydrangeas, roses, and lilies every two to three weeks to encourage plenty of blooms.
3. Add perfume to the garden
There’s nothing like scent in the garden when you’re outside entertaining friends and family. Think about treating yourself to an early Christmas and buying a few perfumed plants such as gardenia, frangipani, star jasmine, stephanotis or stock. These can be left in pots and tucked among the foliage near your deck or terrace then moved further out into the garden after the festive season.
4. Trim and feed hedges
If you haven’t already given your hedges their spring trim, give them a clip now. A good nitrogen-based liquid feed and plenty of water during the hotter months will keep plants healthy and help prevent diseases.
5. Check watering systems
Automatic irrigation systems need regular maintenance checks to make sure hoses aren’t leaking and spray fittings aren’t blocked. This is particularly crucial in December when they’ll be starting to work hard or if you’re planning a Christmas break.
6. Top up mulches
Avoid wasting that precious water through evaporation by covering all garden beds with a good thick (10 to 15 centimetres) layer of organic mulch, such as shredded garden clippings, bark or pea straw. This will help retain moisture in the soil, improve its texture and of course reduce weeds. Mulches also give gardens a unified look.
7. Give lawns some TLC
Feeding your lawns now will ensure they remain in tip-top shape for summer. Remove broad-leaf weeds like dock and fill gaps with a mix of grass seed and garden mix. Trim edges for a neat scrisp look and raise the blades of your lawnmower to keep lawns lush and green. This will also help protect grass roots from drying out.
Check out Houzz for more great gardening tips.
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