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Fri, 18 Oct 2019
Here’s a great way to bring form and movement through the garden, create a garden path that is as attractive as it is useful. You can use up leftover building materials, purchase some cheap pavers, or even make your own stepping stones. How to create a simple path without concrete or mortar:
1. Lay out your materials so that you can plan the best configuration. Mark the place of each ‘step’ with pegs or spray paint. Tip: Take a photo with your phone for quick reference later.
2. Dig a shallow trench for each ‘step’ to sit in.
3. Replace steps and pack clods of earth or sweep sand into any gaps, to stop your new steps from moving. That’s it!
Feeling inspired to tackle a larger project? You could build your own pizza oven.
Got a spare ceramic plant pot? If so, consider yourself ready to make a water feature! You’ll need to purchase a small pump but these are inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores. Most pumps have a selection of spray heads so you can create a small fountain or a simple trickle. It can be as simple as:
1. Place the pump in the pot, supported by a rock or brick to the correct height if need be.
2. To create a pebble base, choose a plant saucer that fits snugly into the top of your pot - support with another inverted pot if need be. Drill several drainage holes into the saucer (or use a hammer and nail to make holes) and add pebbles.
3. Fill the pot with water, switch on the pump and you’re good to go!
Notes: Only ever plug a pump into an outdoors-approved power source; a solar pump will negate the need for a power source, but the water feature must be placed in direct sunlight to function; plug up the hole in the base of the pot with silicon once the pump is in place.
This is a great way to spruce up the yard and give your garden a tidy finish. DIY garden edging using whatever you have at hand, you could upcycle cut branches, rocks, bricks, pavers etc. Use a spade to define the edge and cut a narrow trench. Put your edging material in place and firmly tap into the soil. Use the images as inspiration and keep these factors in mind: Edging should be sturdy so that it won’t collapse under the weight of earth and water; consider mowing, you’ll need to get the mower close to the edge, so breakable items are not advisable; garden borders can be flush with the ground to create a mowing strip.
Add an architectural element to your yard with trellis. Trellis panels are available in many sizes at all garden centres and landscaping supplies yards. You can apply a trellis to an ugly wall and grow a beautiful plant on it, or place a trellis toward the back of the garden as a focal point, or create an archway leading to the vegetable garden or front path. Choose a flowering vine to plant on either side. For a rustic look, consider making your own trellis with twigs or even old household items like broom or rake handles. You can create your own wire framework for trailing plants, like the gorgeous example in the top left of our image. What is there lying around at your place that could support a stunning plant?
Plants can be expensive, why not make use of what you already have to flesh out your greenery? Many plants can be grown from cuttings, some can be dug up, divided and re-planted and others will create ‘pups’ or baby plants that pop up on the side of the main plant. Separated clumps can often be re-planted immediately, cuttings will need to be cared for until their own roots form. Dip into rooting hormone and keep the cuttings indoors or in a protected spot, checking periodically until the roots and first leaves grow. Some plants will sprout roots in water alone. Leave them in a jar on the kitchen bench and watch the baby roots form.
Do you have friends with gardens? Perhaps you could arrange a swap, so that you can share cuttings, pups and unwanted plants with each other.
Check out our spring gardening tips here.
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