SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 254
Despite green-ﬁngered eﬀorts, some lawns
can't be salvaged. Shady gardens always
struggle with grass growth, family lawns
used as football pitches are easily ruined
and postage stamp-sized gardens are too
small for lawn mowers.
Luckily the look and feel of artiﬁcial turf
have come a long way, and it has a whole
range of beneﬁts - it's cushioned and mudfree for kids' play areas, easily laid and
much less upkeep than the real thing.
Lucy Graham from BuzzGrass (buzzgrass.
com) says: 'It's easy to maintain, dogs love
it and it's fab for tiny, muddy spaces. But
most of all, artiﬁcial grass looks good!'
Begin with a ruthless clear out. Most gardens have
old shrubs that have seen better days; these can be
dug up to clear space for new bulbs and plants.
Remove broken pots and dried-out hanging
baskets, and tackle weeds large and small with a
good digging session. Spread mulch to stunt their
regrowth. The aim of all this is to start the new
season with a gardener's blank canvas.
LIFT THE PLANTS
'Crown lifting' is the
method of removing
lower branches from
trees, plants and
shrubs - a simple
trick that improves the
overall shape of the plant,
helps air circulate around the
roots, and opens up the space
below to add smaller foliage.
Focus on messy growth and
branches that touch the ground,
pruning back with clean cuts.
Large plants and bushes are
fairly simple to crown lift, but
it's best to consult a professional
tree surgeon when shaping
254 | MAY 2017
Cultivate a vibrant green
lawn by starting with a
diligent mowing session
on a dry day, cutting
away one third to keep
the grass healthy. Then
apply a lawn feed, which
will tackle weed and moss
growth. Tidy the edges
with a pair of shears.
Ideally, it needs a trim
every couple of weeks in
summer. If the grass is
patchy, re-turﬁng could
restore its vitality, but
don't just lay new on top
of old: 'The soil should
be prepared as if for a
seed bed for the best
results,' say the experts
at Harrowden Turf
Patios, doorsteps and window sills
are perfect locations for bright
garden containers, which can be
planted from April, all ready to
burst into colour in the summer.
Pre-planted containers can
be picked up in garden centres,
nurseries and supermarkets, or
keen gardeners can get creative
with their own designs.
Choose a colour scheme and
ﬁnd some suitable planters - large
ceramic pots, metal troughs and
hanging baskets are all good
options. Potted displays are most
eﬀective with contrasting ﬂower
shapes and sizes; dahlia, fuchsia,
lavender and marguerite are all
good focal points, begonias and
busy lizzies work well in shade,
and petunias and verbenas trail
beautifully from baskets. Mix in
some light and dark foliage to
contrast the colourful ﬂowers.