I get it. By the time Christmas rolls around, the garden is not top on your priority list.
But at the same, so much of what happens at Christmas time takes place in the garden (think bbq, wines, family photos....) so here are my top tips to making it a space to be proud of.
1. Start Now.
Yes you heard me, get on top of those weeds right now. Doesn't matter how you do it, you can start clearing out a little section at a time so it's not an item for the last minute panic list. The nights are longer, and half an hour every second day will make all the difference, I promise!
2. Look at what you already have.
Do not skip this step and opt for a panic run to the nearest plant centre to spent $300 on plants that you don't need and don't work for the space 'just to fill a gap'. Look at what you have - what is working and will likely get bigger, can anything be shifted around, pruned back, perked up with a stake or a good fertilise?
3. Get more of what is really working well.
If you really do have some gaps that need filling, look carefully at what is already growing well. More of the same in the same spot will do the same thing. Simple. Also mass planting is one of the most effective ways to create a stunning garden. So go for more of the same - repeat, repeat, repeat.
4.How's that lawn looking?
If you do have a lawn, don't kid yourself that no-one is going to notice how it looks. Long summer nights attract friends and family to that lawn like mosquitoes to legs at the bbq. Unavoidable.
My next post is going to give you some hacks for a great looking lawn, so if your grass is less than lush, you're in luck.
5. Water, water, water
Unless you are lucky enough to have a penchant for succulent and cacti, chances are your garden is going to need watering. Whether you are thinking irrigation, or hand-watering via sprinkler or hose, soon you'll need to be adding this into your daily schedule (or paying one of your kids off). Remember watering is an early in the morning or evening gig - preferably not in the peak sun when the plants will suffer. And yes, wine or beer in hand is acceptable for the pm watering shift.
6. A big pot in the right spot.
Want a splash of colour without spending lots of cash and mucking up your simple border garden? No problem - plant some big potted colour. This is your chance to go crazeee and express yourself!! Potted colour is cheap as chips and if you look after it well it will repay you with weeks of colour. If you're a bit slack with watering or pots are your only item to water (think apartment living) then you can even buy little water pouches that will do the work for you. No excuses!
7. Channel Nigella and grow herbs.
Do you need to spend hours cultivating a herb garden? Absolutely not. But boy will you feel
flash when you go to season your Christmas goodies and have to nip out to chop those fresh herbs of yours! Herbs are generally very forgiving I find (except basil which I just cannot grow). You can grab a bunch of your favourites, pop them in the ground (or a pot) and you're a culinary genuis overnight.
8. Fertilise and mulch.
Don't feel you need a fertiliser for every different plant in the garden. Go old school with Sheep Poop Pellets and some good quality mulch. The sheep pellets feed the plants and the mulch holds the goodness along with the moisture in the warmer months. Well worth this little investment!
9. Indoor colour.
There is plenty you can grow in your garden that can look gorgeous indoor as cuttings to brighten up your home or welcome guests. Think Lavender, Hydrangea, Star Jasmine, Roses, Camellia - the list is endless. I have another post coming up where I'll show you exactly how to make your home pop by bringing the outdoors in, so stay tuned.
10. Ask a gardener!
While my life goal is to convert you into rock star gardeners, I also understand there are only so many hours in the day. If you are in central Auckland and need a gardener to make the pre Xmas magic happen then get in touch, we'd love to hear from you and we never judge! And if you're out of Auckland or just need some advice, you can email always me on firstname.lastname@example.org or hop over to our Facebook Page
So try your best and have fun - 'cause your garden knows if you're not doing either!
Kate The Gardener x