April is Lawn & Garden Month so each week this month we'll be sharing our tips and suggested products to help you get the most out of your garden this April.
Beautiful beds and borders can turn your garden from average to amazing! Preparation is everything when it comes to getting your borders just right. Whether you're expanding or refreshing your existing beds or starting fresh we have a few Dandy hints and tips to help you out...
Shape your garden...You may be tempted to simply follow the fence line or your garden to make your borders, which is fine if you're after clean straight modern lines, however adding a few curves will soften the edges and can make the space look larger!
Gently sweeping curves are best but avoid wavy edges as they can be difficult to maintain and can look untidy.
...and then raise it up!
Make sure there's enough space in your bed or border for larger trees or shrubs as planting these can we useful for use as a screen from neighbouring properties.
Creating a brand new border?
If the area of your new bed or border is part of your existing lawn then the first job is to remove the turf. When you have marked out the area cut around it using a sharp spade and lift the turf away horizontally - if you are unsure about the area you've marked then start cutting further back than you wanted... it's easier to take away more grass than put it back!
You can edge your new bed or border with rockery stone, sleepers, granite sets or even something quirky or recycled like shells or tyres!
Next add topsoil or compost to your new border...Adding plenty of compost to your existing soil will help improve the texture of the soil, add nutrients and make it easier for your plants and flowers to get established. Soils that are rich in organic matter hold onto water too so less time spent with the watering can!
If your soil is clay based or compacted we suggest you go for our Soil Improver Composted Fines.
If you opt for a raised bed you will need to fill it up with topsoil and compost - our Dandy's Bordermix Topsoil is a pre-mixed blend of compost, manure and topsoil.
When building a raised bed on concrete or flags you will need to incorporate a drainage system first. Simply add broken pots, rocks or stones/gravel at the base, typically a few inches, along with some sand and then top up with your topsoil. You will most likely only plant into the top 8 inches or so of a deeper planter or raised bed so anything below this can act as a part of the drainage system.
Get planting….Combine a few species of plants, shrubs and perennials to give your garden scheme more variation. Adding height to the back (or closest to your fence or perimeter) will naturally drawing the eye and make your garden appear bigger. Plant-out straight borders or raised beds with equally spaced smaller shrubs or flowers to keep it modern and easy to maintain. Or for a more natural appearance add a mix to your larger bed or curved border - the key is to compliment size, texture and colours. Don't forget to consider that some species may grow quicker and larger than others and this could mean a fight for sunlight.
Add a mulch and 'ta-da'!
No border would be complete without a topping of gravel, slate or garden bark mulch. Adding material over the top of your completed border not only acts as a weed suppressant but can also add nutrients, retain water and give your garden a lovely finish.
Check out our decorative gravels or natural garden mulches - don't forget your anti-weed membrane!