Get your garden ready for spring
By Jerome Allen
One of the many joys of living in Ibiza is our wonderful climate. Spring comes early here, so while most of Europe is still stuck in the cold gray of winter, we are enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beauty of nature as it blooms all around us. This is also the time of year to plant our gardens and get them ready for the long season of outdoor living.
A well kept garden brings style, grace and natural beauty to your home – whether it is a large expansive area or just a few lovely plants to bring life and colour. Of course the choice of plants and flowers is an essential element in creating the feeling that you want in your garden.
Beautiful flowers that bloom at different times of the year can be mixed with fragrant herbs like lavender, rosemary, mint and thyme. In the ground you can plant colourful bougainvilleas, hibiscus and morning glories. Whether you are creating a completely new garden, or just renovating and re-planting an existing one, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a garden planner or your local garden centre. They can help you with all elements of the design, and in choosing which plants will thrive in different areas of your garden. You might also want to check if you need new gardening tools: clippers, shovels, rakes, brooms, etc..“A garden brings style and natural beauty to your home”
Those who live in apartments or otherwise have limited space, can bring the joy of nature into their homes using terra cotta pots in a variety of sizes and shapes. This gives you the opportunity to have several types of plants in a small area. Terra cotta is porous which helps to keep plants cool in the heat of summer. For further ambiance you can grow climbing plants like grapes or fragrant flowering vines on rustic-looking vertical trellises.
This helps you to make the most of your available space, especially in smaller gardens. If you have a large garden area then olive and citrus trees provide a true Mediterranean touch. Finishing off your plantings with a layer of mulch or wood chips can add to the natural look. The most efficient way to water most gardens is by installing a drip irrigation system. This is basically a network of tubes and emitters that allow water to drip directly into the roots of the plants. Among its many advantages are saving water, minimizing evaporation and lessening the growth of weeds. The system can be set on a timer to work automatically which makes it very dependable and convenient.
Of course planting is only one aspect of getting your garden ready. If you have outdoor furniture that has been used for some years, then it may be time to look into replacing some of the older pieces.
Check your wood and rattan furniture to see if it needs a new coat of lacquer for shine and protection. Even furniture that is in good condition may need some new cushions. The quality, resilience and beauty of outdoor fabrics have improved greatly in recent years, and many innovative designs are available. Given our abundance of sunshine and the high humidity of the evenings, your exterior fabrics should have the following properties:
- Resistance to fading from exposure to the sun so they can retain their original colours for a long time.
- Water repellent treatment that allows the night moisture to roll off the fabric without being absorbed.
- Antifungal treatment to resist mould and resistance to the oils and creams that we use on our bodies.
- Easily removable and washable.At the end of the day your garden should be a reflection of your personal taste, and you can create that feeling with various design aspects.
Getting professional advice will help you to create a very personal space that feels right for you. Mosaic tiles add a decorative touch to walls, tables and pots. Weathered wood benches, trellises and perhaps a rustic door will all contribute to your garden’s ambiance. A source of gently splashing water can also enhance the sensory experience that you seek. A fountain set against a wall made of rough plaster or natural stone is a classic look, but a freestanding fountain or bubbling water feature will also do the trick.