Break The Rules In Your Garden

When planning your garden, so many books suggest conventional guidelines such as choosing colours that complement one another. The problem with rules is that they stifle your creativity. Sometimes it can be fun to tear them up and try something new for some unexpected and exciting results. Here are some common garden rules that are worth breaking.

Weeds are not always the enemy If you helped in the garden as a child, one of your first jobs was probably digging up weeds. But some weeds are quite beautiful. If you have a particular weed in your garden that you find attractive, don’t feel that you have to get rid of it.

Choose clashing colours Some gardeners like to plan their garden colour scheme with military precision but it can be more fun to experiment with several different colours. Buy a packet of mixed wildflowers where you can never be sure exactly what you’ll get.

Mix flowers with vegetables By including a mixture of flowers, vegetables and herbs in your garden, you can create a really diverse environment with plants to delight all the senses – from beautiful flowers to sweet-smelling herbs and tasty veggies. Some vegetables are just as pretty as flowers and can enhance the appearance of your garden. Combining flowers and vegetables can also ward off certain garden pests – for example growing marigolds alongside tomatoes helps protect your tomato crops by keeping away aphids, tomato hornworms and whiteflies.

Use funky containers Why not be creative and ditch your usual pots? Old jam jars, an unused wheelbarrow or a metal watering, can are ideal homes for plants. Things like an old-fashioned wooden stepladder are perfect for displaying plants at different heights.

Don’t be a fine weather gardener There’s no reason not to enjoy your garden during winter. Keep a stack of blankets at the ready and make the most of fresh air at any time of year – a cup of hot chocolate and a book are a real treat at this time of the year.

Go exotic While native plants will give you reliable results, why not try growing something new? If you live in a cool climate you might have ruled out bird of paradise, orange trees and chilli plants but if that’s what you fancy, why not give it a go? It might not work out the first time but you’ll have fun working out how they might survive.

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