A Garden Makeover – Easy as Swapping Shoes

garden makeover

Doing a garden makeover is as easy as swapping shoes!

There are times when Sheryl heads out for the day with two pairs of shoes. I’ve always assumed this was to keep her feet comfortable and that she swaps over half way through the day. Apparently I was wrong (again) because I recently noticed that she returned from the ladies’ restroom looking very different and it had a lot to do with her shoes. She confirmed that she (and many other women) use a change of shoes (and a few other items carried around in their hand bags) to morph their day outfit into something more appropriate to the evening. Same clothes, but with different shoes, jewellery and lipstick.

Now I’ve always known about the throw pillows on the couch, and this seems like a very similar approach. The main part of the equation – the couch or the clothes – remain the same but the whole look is transformed with a few tweaks. Our couch changes by the season. Same couch, but crisp pillows in summer and cosy plush ones in winter.

And then the light bulb came on. It’s the same in the garden! I’ve watched the professionals do this all the time. Same garden, but so different when you add in the scatter cushion equivalents – new plants.

Here are three scenarios to copy…

One: the Refresh

You’re just bored with the way things look but you don’t want to spend a lot of effort or time ripping it all out and starting over. Well don’t bother. Instead look around and identify what I call the highlight spots – beside the front door, the garden bed along the patio. This is where you want to introduce a bit of punch. There are two ways to do it – colour or texture. Aim to plant in clumps of three or five, all of the same plant. Trust me you need to keep them the same to achieve the fresh look you’re hoping for. For colour I’d scroll through our collection of Flower Carpet® roses and pick what you like. These roses grow fast, look after themselves and when they start flowering they’ll completely change the way your garden looks. If your garden is full of fine foliage, go the other way and add some serious punctuation texture with something strappy like the Burgundy Spire™ cordyline.

Garden Makeover

Flower Carpet White roses quickly flip a garden on its ear.

Two: a Big Event

We hosted a big party in our garden not so long ago and I was very keen to get the place looking good. My first real look around did make me panic, but then common sense  (and experience) kicked in and I got cracking. I filled the garden with Flower Carpet® white roses – put anywhere and everywhere. It looked absolutely fabulous and the lighting at night bounced off the white like it does better than off any other colour. I’m glad every day that they’re in the garden, pulling everything together.

burgundy spire cordyline

Master of texture: Burgundy spire packs a punch. You only need a few plants to re-invent your garden’s look.


Three: an Update

Or maybe you’ve just looked outside one day and realise that your garden has become not only tired but dated. The flowering colour you chose ten years ago may no longer be your thing. I say accept it and move on. Pull out (and give away) the plants you don’t like, then apply the refresh approach above. Have fun looking around at your plant options, but whatever you do, make sure they’re not fussy. You want a beautiful garden, not a source of stress. Plant all your new plants with care, feed them to get them going and water them regularly for at least two weeks to get them off to a great start. Baby them a little at the beginning and they’ll grow up to be tough a resilient in the long term.





5 Responses to A Garden Makeover – Easy as Swapping Shoes

  1. Graciebelle December 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Thanks for these simple tips and I can’t wait until spring to try some in some of the older sections of our gardens (and as someone who changes shoes 3X a day, I love the analogy! . I’ve been growing Flower Carpet roses for years and found that some of the new varieties of “super-tunias” work nicely as filler in between the roses.

  2. Your Easy Garden Team December 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Glad this was helpful! Happy Gardening

  3. Ann Q. December 11, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    My mother has a swap pot system – it hides tired plants and shows off the one that are in flower. She has a set of fancy pots and a series of plants growing in plastic containers that are just the right size to nest into the fancy ones. She always a set being made ready out the back of the carport while the in-season showy ones are set out on the deck. Make you look like a gardening legend.

  4. Phillip Townshend December 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi Anthony

    I really like the idea of the swap pot system as it really makes the option of re[decorating your garden to look its best through the whole of the season (and different seasons) so easy. This is something that I am going to adopt for my own garden and whilst I have sort of done this in the past I hadn’t thought of it as an ongoing arrangement and mainly just shifted plants in pots at a time to showcase them at their best…. Great tip thanks.

  5. Laurie Riedman January 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Anthony – at first I had no idea where you were going with this – but I love the analogy and the tips. Thanks for the post!

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