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Planning a Garden

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Designing a garden isn’t difficult if a few simple steps are followed.

First test the soil pH. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil determines the plants you will or won’t be able to grow. Plants such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias must have acidic soil. Most other plants are flexible in this regard.

Use a compass to establish north and south. Areas of the garden facing north will tend to be cool and shady. South facing areas will be hot and sunny.

Large shrubs and trees will also create areas of shade so spend some time watching how the sun moves across the garden and make a note of hot and cool spots.

Different features require different situations so the following is a list of projects and where they will be most successful:

1. Patio – Sunny.
2. Herbaceous border and most annual flowers – Sunny.
3. Pond – Partial shade but not beneath deciduous trees.
4. Woodland garden – Shade.
5. Rockery – Sunny.
6. Vegetable plot – Sunny.
7. Greenhouse – Sunny.
8. Last but not least, somewhere to sit and relax – Shady.