Landscaping guidelines

You can use your holidays to lay the foundation for a striking garden. This is how you can do it.

What sets one flower garden apart from another is the structure and design surrounding the flowers.

According to Darlene Roelofsen of Gardening in South Africa, the easiest way to create an attractive and continuous display of colour in your garden is to plant perennials, bulbs, annuals and groundcovers around a framework of shrubs, roses and ornamental trees.

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“The various plants will support each other visually and make a rich patchwork of texture and colour. Attempting to create a flower garden without first planting this framework of shrubs and trees would be like painting and decorating the interior before your home has been built,” says Roelofsen.


In fact, landscaping a garden is similar to designing and building a house, starting with the architectural design of the building. The large trees and shrubs provide the bare structure of the building before the walls and interiors are done. These give a home or garden its specific style.

Next, consider hedges and plantings of smaller shrubs as the walls of the garden. They demarcate the various rooms in the design and provide background colour. This is like selecting the paint for the interior walls of your home.

These plants will provide all year-round structure and substance to the garden. In addition, they provide the ideal backdrop for your flowering perennials, annuals and bulbs, which can be compared to the interior colours and accessories of a home.

Finishing touches

Lastly, plant your ground covers. These will tie the whole design together, like flooring in the home. Stretches of lawn or paving are used in the same way.

Strategically placed pots make a strong statement and can transform any area of your garden. Many bedding plants grow beautifully in containers, and groupings of flowering pots and hanging baskets will instantly add a warm, welcoming touch to entrances, patios and other areas.

Finally, be patient. Keep in mind that prize-winning flower gardens are not created in the first year, and a bit of forward planning will save you time and money in the long run.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

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