If you only have a window box or a few pots on a balcony you can still indulge your urge to grow a few well chosen plants to enhance your new life following divorce.
If your divorce settlement wouldn’t stretch to a house the size of a planet surrounded by acres landscaped by whoever has inherited the crown from Capability Brown, don’t worry. Even in a small space there is plenty you can grow easily, either in pots or in hanging baskets.
Pots and other containers
Whatever containers you use, care must be taken to ensure that you get the most out of your planting. Firstly, give the containers a thorough clean making sure that the containers have sufficient drainage holes, otherwise the compost will become saturated causing roots to rot.
Place a layer of clean stones or pieces of broken pots in the base of each container to prevent the compost being washed out of the drainage holes. Loam based composts are a good choice for tubs and pots whereas the lighter soiless composts based on coir or peat are more suitable for hanging baskets.
They should be lined with a waterproof membrane, a tough black bin bag – remember to make holes for drainage in it - is a cheap option, to stop them drying out too quickly. Also remember to locate baskets so you are able to reach to water them. Plants grown in containers will quickly use up nutrient so need to be fed at least once a week at the height of the growing season.
The only limit on what you can grow in containers is your imagination. Don’t think of using that lovely old terracotta pot just for plonking a few geraniums in during the summer. With a little thought you can have a fabulous selection of plants to give colour and interest all year round and charming containers can be bought in all shapes and sizes or utilised from old sinks or lidless pots from the kitchen.
Don’t forget that lots of varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs will grow very happily in containers and Greenfingers sell a good range of pots, planters and hanging baskets ready for you to fill.
If you have a small garden then planting climbers will give you lots of interest without taking up precious space. Wigwams of canes can be easily and cheaply constructed to support sweet peas for example or climbing plants such as clematis and jasmine can be trained to grow over and through other shrubs or small trees.
Low maintenance options
Finally, if you enjoy a garden, but not the gardening, the following suggestions should help. Choose plants that are hardy and easy-to-care for and don’t require watering in times of drought.
If you hate mowing a lawn then shale is a good alternative. A rock garden is a wonderful easy-to-maintain landscape, and there are plenty of plants to choose from. Last of all, the ultimate in low maintenance gardening…concrete. Or move into a second floor flat.