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The art of tiding up

Bold groupings of similar coloursAccording to the gardening trend watchers having a Tidy Garden is what we are all striving for. Tidiness as a trend is sweeping the globe, thanks to the Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo and her bestselling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up". Most importantly a tidy garden doesn’t mean neatly clipped and controlled, it is rather a take on the global trend of finding inner bliss with what you have in a less is more style of gardening. How does this relate to our gardens you may ask? Eckards looks at the trend in a South African context.

The tidy-gardens trend makes sense as we move to smaller homes and gardens as well as limited resources such as water, particularly in RSA. Limited space means keeping what you need or love and discarding the rest. It’s an amplified version of spring cleaning basically which then becomes a way of life.Use a restricted pallet of plants

A tidy garden is not an exact science. But what the trend does tell us is that the world is looking for a calmer place to surround themselves with, to get away from the crazy that is out there and on every TV channel every day. Finding inner peace is easier if there is less clutter and positive energy is allowed to flow freely.

There are 8 decluttering lessons according to Marie Kono. Here’s our take on them for your garden or patio.

Thin your garden

Get plants under control. Lift canopies of trees and large shrubs to allow for better air circulation. Also look at cleaning up perennials and ground covers that have overgrown in their clumps. Divide and replant which allows you to feed and improve the condition of the soil at the same time.

Clear out the garden clutter

Get rid of things you don’t need. Garden sheds and store rooms... like my garage, always have old garden bits and pieces lying around. Many never get used again. Same goes for the areas behind the staff room or down the side of the house you don’t get to every day, magnets for random things you felt sorry that are no longer wanted. Throw out, donate and get the positive energy flowing around your home.

Play in your gardenKeep what you need or love and what loves your garden

Simplify your garden. Take the bold step to remove some of the plants you don’t like and add more of the plants that you love and which grow well in your garden. Bold groupings of similar colours or of the same plant will add to the calmness. It is also an opportunity to rezone your garden with water use in mind. Plants that have similar water requirements can be grouped together and be #WaterWise.

Out with the old, in with the new.

There are many new plants that are more compact, grow stronger and flower better than older varieties. The same as you don’t love to wear everything in the styles you grew up in. Fashion changes in the garden too. Old fashioned agapanthus only flower for a short period but new varieties are repeat flowering and get so many more flowers at a time they steal the show. Look at what you plant in your patio pots and update to suit the style of your home and the changes within.

Responsible gardening

Healthier homes and people go hand in hand with healthy plants and garden. To keep them healthy look at using modern fertilisers that are not harmful to the soil and when you have to use an insecticide use one that is kinder to the environment. Use organic fertilisers like BioGanic and BioOcean and where you need a quick release fertiliser look at options that do not need as much fertiliser to be spread. Banish old fashioned fertilisers from your garden such as 232, LAN and superphosphate... it is 2016 after all not 1970.

Respect belongings

This is an interesting aspect of a tidy garden but what it relates to is keeping what you have looking good, pruned if need be, and garden tools clean and tidy. This comes back to the age old view that if you look after and respect what you have then its comes back to you in a positive way.

A defined boundary is like a garden hugCreate boundaries and define spaces

Garden boundaries are what make your garden a safe haven for you and for your pets that live in it. By creating boundaries with leaves you are adding a virtual hug to your home and a comforting space to live in. It’s about making the outside world disappear and finding peace within your garden and home.

Use a restricted palette of plants

By repeating similar plants in your garden its adds to the calmness brought by the simplicity of the design. Think of how in a park such as Kirstenbosh, there are large beds of one thing then the next. Bold groupings are not only easier to water it is also a way of keeping the eye moving throughout the garden. This adds to the feeling of positive energy and a more relaxed atmosphere.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” - Marie Kondō

Credit goes to the Garden Media Group who inspired us to think about this global trend. www.gardenmediagroup.com

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