Battersea Flower Station Presents: Our top 10 tips for your garden
(And that’s a real photo, taken on a not expensive phone, just last week, at Battersea Flower Station!)
- Be bold, be brave – good design is never half-hearted.
- Size doesn’t matter. Don’t ever think that you can’t have an amazing, show-stopping garden just because you’ve only got a balcony or a back-yard.
- Clear up the clutter. A lot of gardens and balconies would be half way there just by clearing up accumulated junk and introducing a sweeping brush. Throw away old paint tins, deflated footballs, car tyres, broken pots, mattresses etc. Don’t use your garden to park things you don’t want indoors.
- Think big. A few large things (pots, plants, furniture) will make your urban Eden feel more spacious. Lots of small things will make it feel … small. We’ve all got used to filling our rooms with hulking great sofas, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and statement wall art but we lose the plot as soon as we move outside & worry that we don’t have room to put a mug down. You do.
- Don’t be blinded by flowers. We all love a flower, especially if it promises scent as well, but don’t let it be the only reason you buy a plant. Flowers can be terribly fleeting, doing their thing for a few brief weeks a year. The plant left behind when they’ve faded might be the dullest thing on the planet.
- Be selective. The plants you choose should earn their keep for as many days of the year as possible – especially when they’re in full view from the window.
- Be ruthless with half-dead & horrible plants. It may have been lovely once, it may have been a present from your first dog – but if it’s half dead and ugly it’s time to move on. You wouldn’t have a dead vase of flowers on the kitchen table (would you?) so why have a dead plant on the table outside.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat and keep things simple. Repetition helps to pull a space together, make it feel calm, comfortable and easy on the eye. There’s a reason we like fields of wheat, cornflower meadows, bluebell woods – they’re simple, bold and there’s lots of repetition. Having one of this, one of that and then one of the other does nothing for a space.
- Get as much greenery and structure into the garden as possible first – you can always add colourful flowers later. Nothing will make your space feel more like a garden than if it’s bursting with verdant, lush growth.
- Focus your ‘colour’ on one big pot, and whatever you think big is, it’s not big enough. One huge pot which is always full of colour – whether it’s a mass of white tulips or lipstick-red geraniums – will have the wow factor.