Garden Design Tip: Never underestimate how much a plant will grow!
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When I initially planted the garden I was keen to have a ‘full’ look in the first year so planted things quite close together. I didn’t actually need to do this though. Planting young plants in early spring, it is easy to underestimate how much they will grow in a single growing season! This gave me the full look I desired in year one but it meant that by year two, a lot of plants had been ‘crowded out’ by others.
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This can be easily solved by moving roses or shrubs at the end of winter to give other plants around them more room. Or if you need to move perennial plants such as erysimum, asters or rudbeckias, then wait until they have developed new shoots and move them in spring when the soil has started to warm up. Perennial plants that have ‘multiplied’ can be divided in spring to stop them crowding out other plants.
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I’ve learned that the evergreen grass Carex ‘Everest’ was by far the most vigorous plant in the garden and has had to be lifted and split in spring to reduce the size of the plant. There are always solutions to get around the issue of an overcrowded garden but I have learnt that the easiest solution is to not overplant in the first place!
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Tip from @hull_urban_gardener, author of the upcoming book, The Modern Cottage Garden: A Fresh Approach to a Classic Style, available July 7, 2020.
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