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Enjoy refreshing your garden

This article was first published on 26 Aug 2016.

refreshing your garden

refreshing your garden

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

It’s time to spring clean the garden! This is an ideal time of year to look at your garden with fresh eyes and a good opportunity to revitalise things.

The first and easiest way to tidy up is to cut herbaceous plants back to their new spring growth, removing old, dried flowers and leaves that have over-wintered. Rake up dead leaves that have gathered at the base of plants. Lightly loosen up any compacted soil throughout your garden beds.

Another way to freshen things up is the free option. Use what you already have in your garden by dividing perennials to increase existing plantings or add a drift of plants elsewhere. Shift plants that need a more suitable location for their needs, or a spot that just seems nicer. Think about taking softwood cuttings from successful performers.

As the spring sap rises in trees, so does our own enthusiasm. Do a little research and find inspiration in gardening books or magazines. Go for a walk in the botanic garden for ideas - you may spot a plant or planting combination that appeals; take note of the names of those plants you like.

Spend a little money shopping. Check out the plant trolley at the botanic garden information centre or head along to your local garden centre. They are bursting with new season’s plants and inspiration.

To finish things off, apply a fresh layer of compost or mulch and watch your garden leap to life.

Linda Hellyer is curator of the rose garden and herbaceous borders at Dunedin Botanic Garden.